chapter  2
15 Pages

Human rights movement in the USSR after the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, and the reaction of Soviet authorities

BySVETLANA SAVRANSKAYA

As superpower détente began its disintegration in the mid-1970s, a new sort of energy was emerging in Europe, a dynamics that was not immediately caught by earlier studies in the neorealist tradition – the energy of globalizing influences and integrationist processes. Many of these processes could be credited to the impact of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act on the economies and societies of the signatories. As commercial ties expanded and visitors flowed from country to country, especially across the Iron Curtain, non-strategic factors began transcending the superpower relationship. Even though the division of Europe into two military-political blocs remained, the European playing field was transformed forever. The Soviets discovered that they could send troops to Afghanistan in 1979, but not to Poland in 1981. A 1968 was impossible after 1975.