chapter  Chapter 2
31 Pages

The Soviet Union and the National Liberation Movements

WithS. Neil MacFarlane

This chapter discusses the historical development of Soviet relations with national liberation movements, to shed some light on at least two of the issues implicit in this debate— the role of ideology in Soviet behavior and whether this has changed over time as a result of the learning process. It suggests that the prescriptive component of Marxism-Leninism may be of some importance in setting the agenda of Soviet policy towards the question of national liberation and in defining the character of Soviet approaches to it. The chapter also discusses the theoretical basis of Soviet ties to national liberation movements and then offer a historical account of their development. The most striking manifestation of the reorientation lay in the recasting of Soviet doctrine and policy towards bourgeois nationalism and the groups espousing it. The Soviets once again turned a more jaundiced eye on doctrinal innovation in the Third World, stressing the universal essence of Marxism-Leninism.