Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Book Discussion: Una Bergmane "Politics of Uncertainty: the United States, the Baltic Question, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union." (OUP, 2023)

Fri31  Mar02:30pm(90 mins)
Main Building Room 134


Una Bergmane2; David Smith4; Mart Kuldkepp1; Eglė Rindzevičiūtė5; Diana Kudaibergenova3
1 University College London, UK;  2 University of Helsinki, Finland;  3 University of Cambridge, UK;  4 University of Glasgow, UK;  5 Kingston University, UK


30 years after the Soviet collapse Politics of Uncertainty investigates the interplay between international and domestic dynamics in the Soviet disintegration process. Based on extensive multilingual archival research, this book recovers the voices of local actors in Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius in its examination of the triangular relations between Washington, Moscow, and Baltic independence movements.  Occupied and annexed by the USSR in 1940, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania were the first Soviet republics to push the limits of Perestroika  openly seek independence. 

The Baltic problem, at first seemingly minor, increasingly gained international visibility and by 1990 risked derailing issues that mattered in the eyes of both Soviet and American leaders—the transformation of the Soviet state and transformation of the European order. By focusing on the relations between those at the top of global power hierarchies and those situated at their margins, the book underscores how the Soviet collapse was driven much more by uncertainty, domestic pressures, and last-minute decisions than by long-term strategy.