The Strange Death of the Soviet Union: reflections on the collapse of a superpower 1991-2021

Thirty years ago the Soviet Union collapsed, bringing an epoch which opened up in 1917 to an end. But why did this 'superpower' implode? Was it inevitable? And what impact has the end of the Soviet system had on the former USSR, the continent of Europe, and the wider international system?


The Strange Death of the Soviet Union


The Strange Death of the Soviet Union

This webinar was held on Monday 15 November 2021.

Meet the speakers

Archie Brown is Emeritus Professor of Politics at Oxford, a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent books are The Human Factor: Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War (2020), The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age (2014; with updating new Foreword in 2018 paperback reprint), The Rise and Fall of Communism (2009) and Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (2007). You can enter discount code ASFLYQ6 on the checkout page of the OUP website for 30% off The Human Factor.

Kristina Spohr is a specialist in the International History of Germany since 1945 and interested in questions of World Order, Diplomacy & Strategy and the practice of Applied History. She is now writing a global history on the Arctic. Spohr is author of a dozen books or edited volumes. In 2019/21 her monograph Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World the World After 1989 (HarperCollins, 2019 and Yale UP, 2020 ) was published together with the Spanish Edition Después del Muro (Taurus, 2021) and the German edition Wendezeit (Deutsche Verlags Anstalt, 2019) which won the prize  “Das politikwissenschaftliche Buch” 2020 for the best political science book published in Germany that year.

Vladislav Zubok is professor of international history, with expertise on the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Stalinism, and Russia’s intellectual history in the 20th century. His most recent books are Collapse: The Fall of the Soviet Union (2021), The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev (2017), Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century (in Russian, 2016) A Failed Empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev (2007) and Zhivago’s Children: the Last Russian Intelligentsia (2009).

Meet the chair

Michael Cox is Founding Director of LSE IDEAS and Emeritus Professor of International Relations at LSE. His new book, Agonies of Empire: US Power From Clinton to Biden, will be published in 2022.

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.