Post-communist Studies And Political Science: Methodology And Empirical Theory In Sovietology Jr. Fleron Author
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Serious stock-taking is in progress now among practitioners of whathas been called Sovietology, meaning studies of the Union of SovietSocialist Republics. The reason is that the field for the most part hadnot been expecting what happened in 1991: The USSR collapsed andwent out of existence as a unified state system governing a sixth ofthe world's territory, having allowed its East European empire tofree itself from Soviet dominance somewhat earlier.It might be said in defense of Sovietology that, by the beginningof the 1980s, it understood that economic and political crises werebrewing in the Soviet Union and its outer empire. But the field asa whole failed to grasp the full depth of the systemic crisis in SovietRussia and the destructive or self-destructive potentialities inherentin it. As the editors of this valuable volume write in the Introduction:Sovietology was not prepared for perestroika and postcommunism.

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