What Happened to Soviet Security Studies?: An Essay on the State of the Field

08 Jul 2019

(Russian Politics) Abstract: Security issues were a central part of Soviet studies. This article considers how the study of security issues has changed with respect to Russia and Eurasia since the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union. It highlights a series of positive changes: a broadening of vision beyond Moscow, more engagement with mainstream social science, greater attention to security issues internal to post-Soviet states, and the creation of an expert community that spans North America, Europe, and Eurasia. At the same time, I argue that scholarship on Russian and Eurasian security issues has become less strategic, in the sense this word is used by Richard Betts – about the interaction of political ends and military means, rooted in an appreciation of military science. The academy, especially in North America, has become a less welcoming place for scholars working on Russia and Eurasia who care about previously central issues in the field such as nuclear strategy, weapons procurement, military doctrine, and defense planning.

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