Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-8-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Joshua First

Second Advisor

William Schenck

Third Advisor

Gang Guo

Relational Format



This thesis seeks to analyze the breakdown of the unity of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) over policy disputes through three case studies: the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the cooperative movements, and the concessionist policy towards nationalist movements in the Baltic republics. Through a content analysis of primary sources including meeting minutes, diaries, newspaper sources and interviews, to ascertain the positions and opinions of party members and give insight into the party dialogue and atmosphere, revealing policy disagreements tied to contending values. This thesis finds that there was a breakdown in party unity during the Gorbachev era due to incompatibility of glasnost, perestroika and democracy with the traditional methods of coercion and highly centralized control of politics and the economy. As a result of this disunity, the CPSU was unable to maintain power, thus resulting in the collapse of the Soviet Union.



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