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Gorbachev's new thinking and Third World conflicts /
edited by Jiri Valenta and Frank Cibulka.
New Brunswick, N.J. : Transaction Publishers, c1990.
xxiii, 352 p. ; 24 cm.
More Details
New Brunswick, N.J. : Transaction Publishers, c1990.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1991-01:
Among the objectives of this collection of 16 essays is to examine the "sincerity" of Gorbachev's "new thinking" and to suggest policy options for the West "facing military and diplomatic challenges presented by Moscow, its allies, and its proxies." Recent events undermine the relevance of these objectives. Who are the "allies" and proxies" of the Soviet Union today? What are the military challenges posed by the Soviets in the Third World? Several of the essays deal with Soviet policy toward Third World conflicts in general, others have a regional or local focus. In a useful introduction, the editors Valenta (Institute for Soviet and East European Studies, University of Miami) and Cibulka (National University of Singapore), summarize each essay. The authors who are of similiar political outlook, include scholars, policymakers, journalists, and a former intelligence chief of the South African Defense Force. Most are skeptical about Gorbachev's "new thinking"; they recognize "new rhetoric" but not new policy, and consider the current Soviet retrenchment as temporary. Jerry Hough is an exception: he sees the change in Soviet policy as genuine and lasting and concludes that the Soviet challenge will be economic rather than military. The skepticism of the others seems to be grounded in a Manichean view of pre-Gorbachev policies. Bruce Porter's The USSR in Third World Conflicts (CH, Feb'85) is a more balanced and comprehensive analysis. For undergraduates and general readers, however, the book would serve as an introduction to the approach to the skeptics. No bibliograpy and all but three essays are sparsely documented. -R. P. Peters, University of Massachusetts at Boston
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 1991
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Main Description
Some of the most crucial changes inspired by Gorbachev and perestroika concern Soviet and East European policies toward Third World countries. Despite countless studies of Soviet-U.S. relations and U.S. relations with the Third World, the area of Soviet relations with the Third World has been left relatively undeveloped. This is the first of several volumes intended to add to our knowledge of what the series editor Jiri Valenta characterizes as East/South relations. In this new era of cooperation and diplomacy, the superpowers are working to resolve regional conflicts in and around Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Angola, and Cambodia. Such efforts are exceedingly complex, since they necessarily involve not only the Soviet Union, but Third World nations that may operate independently, such as Cuba and Vietnam. This volume addresses a number of such conflicts. In addition to those already mentioned, conflicts in Ethiopia, Namibia, and the Philippines are discussed, and their implications for Western policy makers are reviewed. As the contributors emphasize, despite current Soviet emphasis on peaceful solutions to regional conflicts, Gorbachev's "New Thinking" in foreign affairs is still decidedly selective. In some cases, the Soviet Union will actually encourage close ties with regional Third World powers, as it has with India. It is also too much to expect that the Soviet Union, much less Cuba and Vietnam, will completely cut ties to revolutionary allies worldwide. That said, the 1990s will undoubtedly be characterized by new Soviet foreign policy styles. Their shape and form is the subject of this book. It will be of immense interest to policymakers and researchers concerned about current developments in relations between the superpowers and with the Third World. Contributors include: Vernon Aspaturian, Bhabani Sen Gupta, William E. Griffith, Jerry F. Hough, Douglas Pike, Howard Wiarda, AH T, Sheikh, Sabahuddin Kushkaki, Colin Legum, H. de V. du Toil, Khien Theeravit, Frank Cibulka, Alvaro Taboada, Charles William Maynes, W. Bruce Weinrod, Jiri Valenta.

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