Home > IDEAS > Events > Individual Events > 2010 > Soviet Capitulation: Kabul, Berlin-Warsaw, Moscow

Soviet Capitulation: Kabul, Berlin-Warsaw, Moscow

Stephen Kotkin, Arne Westad (chair)
20 May 2010, 12.30pm, B212

event100520Imperial demise is hardly unusual in history. Peaceful imperial demise, however, is not frequent.  Why and how did the Soviet superpower capitulate?  Based on the now voluminous documentary record, and using the wealth of KGB memoirs to substitute for the still inaccessible KGB archives, can we describe and explain with confidence what caused the downfall of the Soviets?   What was the role of the third world, if any?  Of Eastern Europe?  Of Nationalism?  The Economy?  What is the inside story of the Soviet military industrial complex?  Why was there no massive crackdown, as feared?  What is the right balance between structures and agency?  In sum, what actually happened?  And are
there lessons for international history more generally?

As a lunchtime seminar, light refreshments will be served.



Stephen Kotkin is Professor of History and Director of the Program in Russian Studies at Princeton University and Professor of History and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School.  His latest book is Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of Communist Establishments (Modern Library, 2010).


Professor Arne Westad is Professor of International History at the LSE and co-director of LSE IDEAS. His book The Global Cold War (Cambridge, 2006) won the Bancroft Prize, the Harrington Award and the Akira Iriye International History Award. »



B212, 2nd Floor Columbia House, London School of Economics.  Map.