Essay Archives

Beissinger

November 2nd, 2009

How the Impossible Becomes Inevitable: The Public Sphere and the Collapse of Soviet Communism

Submitted by Mark R. Beissinger, Princeton University

Viewed in retrospect, the collapse of Soviet communism appears over-determined for all the reasons often cited. A highly repressive political system that could broker no genuine pluralism; a sclerotic, ritualized ideology that had lost its meaning; the inflexibility of a planned economy and its inability to compete with a post-industrial, globalizing capitalism; Soviet overreach abroad; [...]

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