chapter  1
14 Pages

Introduction

A Framework for Analysis
ByIlana Kass

This chapter utilizes the compound problem of Soviet involvement in the frontline Arab states in the crucial period of 1966—1973 as a case study of Soviet foreign policy formulation. One is examining organs that are official mouthpieces of such vast and heterogeneous institutions as the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee or the Soviet Council of Ministers. It is hardly probable that this intrinsic heterogeneity would allow the elaboration of a uniform line on any controversial issue, let alone on an issue of such wide ramifications as the Soviet involvement in the Middle East. Textual analysis of the Soviet elite’s descriptive or prescriptive communications presents a major methodological challenge to the student of the Soviet political system. The main advantage of using the Soviet press as a means of examining Soviet political processes is that the researcher is dealing with written material, which easily lends itself to analysis.