Russia and the World 1917-1991

Kennedy-Pipe, Caroline
Date published: 
October 1998

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 had a profound effect upon the nature of international relations. From being a considerable imperial power, the USSR quite literally shrunk to the nineteenth-century borders of Czarist Russia. This book looks at all the main phases of Russian foreign policy from 1917 to 1991. It pays attention to major events such as the impact of the Second World War on Russia and the emergence of the Cold War after 1945. Looking beyond the traditional story of great power-rivalry (although that forms an important theme), the book highlights the importance of technological, strategic and domestic factors in the making of Russian foreign policy. In particular, it questions whether, given Russia's history, insecurity, and the commitment to revolutionary change, we could actually conceive of a past without confrontation between Russia and the external world. The book also examines the nature of the Kremlin's troubled relationship with its superpower rival, the United States, and focuses on the arenas of conflict in the developing world, the Middle East and Europe.