Personality and International Politics: Gorbachev, the End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the Soviet Union
Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-475
Formerly listed as: POSC-57 | POSC-75
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William C. Taubman (Section 01)
[G] When Mikhail Gorbachev became its leader in 1985, the Soviet Union, while plagued by internal and external troubles, was still one of the world’s two superpowers. By 1991, the cold war was over, and on the day he left the Kremlin for the last time, December 25, 1991, the USSR ceased to exist. Of course, Gorbachev was not solely responsible for this upheaval. Developments in the USSR and the world prepared the way. But he set decisive change in motion, and no one else in the Soviet leadership would have done so. This course is therefore a case study of the impact of personality on politics, but also of the limits of that impact, and of the importance of other causes (economic, political, social, ideological, international) of events that changed the world. This course fulfills the requirement for an advanced seminar in Political Science.
Admission with consent of the instructor. Not open to first year students. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Emeritus Taubman.
If Overenrolled: Priority given first to students who have taken courses or possess special background in the subject, then to senior majors, then seniors, then others by class.
Offerings2015-16: Offered in Spring 2016
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015