Kremlinology

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Kremlinology is the study and analysis of the politics and policies of Russia [1] while the term Sovietology means the study of politics and policies of the Soviet Union and former communist states more generally. [2] These two terms were synonymous until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In popular culture, the term is sometimes used to mean any attempt to understand a secretive organization or process, such as plans for upcoming products or events, by interpreting indirect clues.[ citation needed ]

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union Process leading to the late-1991 breakup of the USSR

The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. The declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), although five of the signatories ratified it much later or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, resigned, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That evening at 7:32 p.m., the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag.

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The term is named after the Kremlin, the seat of today's Russian and then-Soviet government. Kremlinologist refers to academic, media, and commentary experts who specialize in the study of Kremlinology. The term is sometimes sweepingly used to describe Western scholars who researched issues of, or specialized in, Russian/Soviet law, although the correct term is simply Russian law scholar. Sovietologists or Kremlinologists should also be distinguished from transitologists, scholars who study legal, economic and social transitions from communism to capitalism.

Moscow Kremlin fortified complex in Moscow, Russia

The Moscow Kremlin, or simply the Kremlin, is a fortified complex in the center of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River to the south, Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square to the east, and the Alexander Garden to the west. It is the best known of the kremlins and includes five palaces, four cathedrals, and the enclosing Kremlin Wall with Kremlin towers. In addition, within this complex is the Grand Kremlin Palace that was formerly the Tsar's Moscow residence. The complex now serves as the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation and as a museum with 2,746,405 visitors in 2017.

In political science and in international and comparative law and economics, transitology the study of the process of change from one political regime to another, mainly from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones.

Communism socialist political movement and ideology

In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social, political, and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, which is a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes, money, and the state.

Techniques

During the Cold War, lack of reliable information about the country forced Western analysts to "read between the lines" and to use the tiniest tidbits, such as the removal of portraits, the rearranging of chairs, positions at the reviewing stand for parades in Red Square, the choice of capital or small initial letters in phrases such as "First Secretary", the arrangement of articles on the pages of the party newspaper Pravda and other indirect signs to try to understand what was happening in internal Soviet politics.

Cold War State of geopolitical tension after World War II between powers in the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

Red Square square in Moscow, Russia

Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. It separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and now the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod. Red Square is often considered to be the central square of Moscow since the city's major streets, which connect to Russia's major highways, originate in the square.

<i>Pravda</i> Russian newspaper

Pravda is a Russian broadsheet newspaper, formerly the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, when it was one of the most influential papers in the country with a circulation of 11 million. The newspaper began publication on 5 May 1912 in the Russian Empire, but was already extant abroad in January 1911. It emerged as a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution. The newspaper was an organ of the Central Committee of the CPSU between 1912 and 1991.

To study the relations between Communist fraternal states, Kremlinologists compared the statements issued by the respective national Communist parties, looking for omissions and discrepancies in the ordering of objectives. The description of state visits in the Communist press were also scrutinized, as well as the degree of hospitality lent to dignitaries. Kremlinology also emphasized ritual, in that it noticed and ascribed meaning to the unusual absence of a policy statement on a certain anniversary or holiday. [3]

Hospitality relationship between the guest and the host, or the act or practice of being hospitable

Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity.

Ritual set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value

A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized but not defined by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance.

In the German language, such attempts acquired the somewhat derisive name "Kreml-Astrologie" (Kremlin Astrology), hinting at the fact that its results were often vague and inconclusive, if not outright wrong.

After the Cold War

The term "Kremlinology" is still in use in application to the study of decision-making processes in the politics of the Russian Federation. [4] In popular culture, the term is sometimes used to mean any attempt to understand a secretive organization or process, such as plans for upcoming products or events, by interpreting indirect clues.

Politics of Russia all branches of national and regional governments of the Russian Federation

The politics of Russia take place in the framework of the federal semi-presidential republic of Russia. According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state, and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President with the parliament's approval. Legislative power is vested in the two houses of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, while the President and the government issue numerous legally binding by-laws.

While the Soviet Union no longer exists, other secretive states still do, such as North Korea, for which Kremlinology-like approaches are still used by the Western media. [5] Such study is sometimes called "Pyongyangology", after the country's capital Pyongyang. [6]

North Korea Sovereign state in East Asia

North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula, with Pyongyang the capital and the largest city in the country. The name Korea is derived from Goguryeo which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time, ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, parts of the Russian Far East and Inner Mongolia, under Gwanggaeto the Great. To the north and northwest, the country is bordered by China and by Russia along the Amnok and Tumen rivers; it is bordered to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. Nevertheless, North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands.

Pyongyang Directly governed city in Pyongan Province, North Korea

Pyongyang, P'yŏngyang or Pyeongyang, is the capital and largest city of North Korea. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River about 109 kilometres (68 mi) upstream from its mouth on the Yellow Sea. According to the 2008 population census, it has a population of 3,255,288. The city was split from the South Pyongan province in 1946. It is administered as a directly-administered city with equal status to provinces, the same as special cities in South Korea, including Seoul.

Notable Kremlinologists and Sovietologists

See also

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Finlandization is the process by which one powerful country makes a smaller neighboring country abide by the former's foreign policy rules, while allowing it to keep its nominal independence and its own political system. The term means "to become like Finland" referring to the influence of the Soviet Union on Finland's policies during the Cold War.

Marxism–Leninism political ideology

In political science, Marxism–Leninism was the official state ideology of the Soviet Union (USSR), of the parties of the Communist International, after their Bolshevisation, and is the ideology of Stalinist political parties. As Stalin's synthesis of Leninism, the political praxis of Lenin, and of Marxism, the politico-economic theories of Karl Marx, the purpose of Marxism–Leninism is the transformation of a capitalist state into a socialist state, by way of two-stage revolution, guided and led by a vanguard party of professional revolutionaries, drawn from the proletariat. To realise the two-stage transformation of the state, the vanguard party establishes the dictatorship of the proletariat, which determines policy with democratic centralism.

Soviet Empire Informal term referring to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

The informal term "Soviet Empire" has two meanings. In the narrow sense, it expresses a view in Western Sovietology that the Soviet Union as a state was a colonial empire. The onset of this interpretation is traditionally attributed to Richard Pipes's book The Formation of the Soviet Union (1954). In the wider sense, it refers to the country's perceived imperialist foreign policy during the Cold War. The nations said to be part of the Soviet Empire were officially independent countries with separate governments that set their own policies, but those policies had to remain within certain limits decided by the Soviet Union and enforced by threat of intervention by the Warsaw Pact. Countries in this situation are often called satellite states.

George F. Kennan American advisor, diplomat, political scientist and historian

George Frost Kennan was an American diplomat and historian. He was best known as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion during the Cold War. He lectured widely and wrote scholarly histories of the relations between the USSR and the United States. He was also one of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".

Containment American political strategy against spread of communism

Containment is a geopolitical strategy to stop the expansion of an enemy. It is loosely related to the term cordon sanitaire which was later used to describe the geopolitical containment of the Soviet Union in the 1920s. The strategy of "containment" is best known as a Cold War foreign policy of the United States and its allies to prevent the spread of communism after the end of World War II.

X Article

The X Article, formally titled The Sources of Soviet Conduct, was an article written by George F. Kennan under the pseudonym "Mr. X" and published in Foreign Affairs magazine in July 1947. Kennan, who was the Deputy Chief of Mission of the United States to the USSR from 1944 to 1946, advocated in the article a policy of containment of the Soviet Union and strong anti-communism.

Aleksandr Dugin Russian political scientist

Aleksandr Gelyevich Dugin is a Russian political analyst and strategist known for his fascist views.

Soviet and Communist studies is the field of historical studies of the Soviet Union and other Communist states, as well as of communist parties, such as the Communist Party USA, that existed or still exist in some form in many countries, inside or outside the former Soviet Bloc. It is a field rife with conflict and controversy.

Foreign relations of the Soviet Union

When Lenin and the Bolsheviks took over Russia in 1918, they faced enormous odds against the German Empire, and then again against multiple enemies in a bitter civil war.. At first, it was treated as an unrecognized Pariah state because of its repudiating the tsarist debts and threats to destroy capitalism at home and around the world. By 1922, Moscow had repudiated the goal of world revolution, and sought diplomatic recognition and friendly trade relations with the world, starting with Britain and Germany. Trade and technical help from Germany and the United States arrived in the late 1920s. Under dictator Joseph Stalin, the country was transformed in the 1930s into an industrial and military power. A totally unexpected treaty with Germany in 1939 allowed the Nazis to launch World War II with attacks first on Poland and in 1940 Western Europe without worrying about a two-front war. Germany in 1941 turned east in a massive invasion that reached the outskirts of Leningrad and Moscow. However, the Soviet Union proved strong enough to defeat Nazi Germany, with help from its key allies the United States and Great Britain.

The Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was the covert operation wing of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Created as a department of the CIA in 1948, it actually operated independently until October 1950. OPC existed until 1 August 1952, when it was merged with the Office of Special Operations (OSO) to form the Directorate of Plans (DDP).

Robert Charles Tucker was an American political scientist and historian. Tucker is best remembered as a biographer of Joseph Stalin and as an analyst of the Soviet political system, which he saw as dynamic rather than unchanging.

Neo-Sovietism is the Soviet Union-style of policy decisions in some Post-Soviet states, as well as a political movement of reviving the Soviet Union in the modern world or to reviving specific aspects of Soviet life based on the nostalgia for the Soviet Union. Some commentators have said that current Russian President Vladimir Putin holds many neo-Soviet views, especially concerning law and order and military strategic defense.

Adam Ulam Polish historian

Adam Bruno Ulam was a Polish-American historian of Jewish descent and political scientist at Harvard University. Ulam was one of the world's foremost authorities and top experts in Sovietology and Kremlinology, he authored multiple books and articles in these academic disciplines.

Kennan Institute institute for advanced Russia studies

The Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars was founded in 1974 to carry out studies of the Soviet Union (Sovietology), and subsequently of post-Soviet Russia and other post-Soviet states. The Institute is widely regarded as the foremost institute for advanced Russia studies in the United States.

The Soviet Interview Project (SIP) was a research project conducted in the early 1980s. The project's principal aim was to learn about the life in the Soviet Union, which in turn would contribute to the disciplines of Sovietology, political science, economics and sociology.

Eurasia The combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia

Eurasia is the combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia. The term is a portmanteau of its constituent continents. Located primarily in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres, it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and by Africa, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian Ocean to the south. The division between Europe and Asia as two different continents is a historical social construct, with no clear physical separation between them; thus, in some parts of the world, Eurasia is recognized as the largest of the six, five, or even four continents on Earth. In geology, Eurasia is often considered as a single rigid megablock. However, the rigidity of Eurasia is debated based on paleomagnetic data.

Lilia Shevtsova kremlinologist

Lilia Fyodorovna Shevtsova is a Kremlinology expert.

The "Peaceful Evolution" theory in international political thought refers to the alleged attempt to effect a political transformation of the Chinese socialist system by peaceful means, primarily by the United States.

Soviet Union-Africa relations covers the diplomatic, political, military and cultural relationships between the Soviet Union and Africa, from the 1940s to 1991. Joseph Stalin made Africa a very low priority, and discouraged relationships or studies of the continent. However the decolonization process of the 1950s and early 1960s opened new opportunities, which Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was eager to exploit. The Kremlin developed four major long-term policy goals: 1) To gain a lasting presence on the continent. 2) To gain a voice in African affairs. 3) To undermine Western/NATO influence, especially by identifying capitalism with Western imperialism. 4) After 1962, it fought hard to prevent communist China from developing its own countervailing presence. At no time was Moscow willing to engage in combat in Africa, although its ally Cuba did so. Indeed the Kremlin at first assumed that the Russian model of socialized development would prove attractive to Africans eager to modernize. That did not happen, and instead the Soviets emphasized identifying likely analyze and giving them financial aid and munitions, as well as credits to purchase from the Soviet bloc. Although some countries, such as Angola and Ethiopia, became allies for a while, the connections proved temporary. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russian influence greatly diminished.

References

  1. ""Kremlinology" definition". merriam-webster.com. Merriam-Webster Online. Retrieved 16 February 2015. Definition of KREMLINOLOGY: the study of the policies and practices of the former Soviet government
  2. ""Sovietology" definition". thefreedictionary.com. The Free Dictionary. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  3. Lawson, Eugene K. (1984). The Sino-Vietnamese Conflict. Praeger. pp. 8–9.
  4. Poland is in the Eurasian Union: the mythology of Russian-Polish relations. Eurasian Club East - West, October 2012 Archived 2012-12-07 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Salmon, Andrew (2 January 2012). "'Kremlinology' used to watch North Korea". The Washington Times. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  6. Nakagawa, Ulara (29 September 2010). "The Art of 'Pyongyangology?'". The Diplomat. Retrieved 25 January 2019.