This article refers to debates explaining the end of the Cold War. It notes a variety of theoretical approaches but outlines two fundamental explanatory perspectives-the material and the ideational. The paper favours the ideational approach, and especially Gorbachev’s agency. Yet it underlines that the focus on agency does not automatically mean that an agent acted rationally and efficiently. The case of Gorbachev is a good illustration of partial reforms which were far from consistent. As a result, the article indicates a third, coincidental perspective which is necessary to an explanation of the end of the Cold War. It argues that elements of irrationality and coincidence cannot be ignored in the analysis of events accompanying the end of the bipolar rivalry. Finally, the paper formulates some conclusions about the rationality and predictability of contemporary international relations.
Paul Schiemann was one of the most significant ethnic Germans left outside the German state by the post-First World War peace settlement. As editor of Rigasche Rundschau and an active politician in the new Latvian state, he was well placed both to comment on developments in the political life of the Baltic region and to attempt to work towards responses to them. This article focuses specifically on his journalism during the critical years 1919-20. As the Latvian state was forming against a background of considerable on-going violence and instability, Schiemann disseminated consistently a call for reconciliation between Latvia’s mutually suspicious national groups. The paper examines the compelling arguments he used.
The article explores the main elements of the creation a proinnovation policy in Poland as a new case of public policy. It analyses the current status of proinnovation policy in Poland and the relationships implicit in the Polish National Innovation System. The findings support the conclusion that Polish proinnovation policy and the system through which it is enacted are at an early stage of development which is characteristic of co-called ‘catching-up’ countries. The findings show that there is a need for the strategic and holistic management of this type of sub-functional system to enable it to support SMEs in the development of their capacity for innovation. This should include a wide range of public and private institutions in the context of multi-stage governance.
Taking recent events in Ukraine as central, the article examines Russian identity as a reaction against its own construction of Western identity. In the process the piece argues that Russia and the West have fundamentally different ideas of law. In the West, power is constrained by law, but in Russia power is superior to it.
Drawing on works of literature, especially ones written by Dostoyevsky and Böll, this essay discusses Orwell’s decision, at the height of the Cold War, to inform against suspected Leftist sympathisers.
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This paper offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the current armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine as a way of understanding the dispute and the failure of the warring parties to broker a lasting peace. It examines the ideological background to the conflict by considering the most significant historical myths that inform both sides, especially the myths surrounding the medieval state of Kievan Rus’, and the religious, political and linguistic elements of those myths that contribute to mutual misunderstanding and heightened tensions. What is demonstrated is that the myths of each side are structurally very similar: one set is the mirror image of the other (with corresponding labels interchanged). This symmetry helps to intensify and maintain inflamed confrontation, so that there is a pressing need to move beyond these myths, if a lasting peace is to be achieved.
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