Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Soviet Union and Formation of the Grand Alliance: Soviet Foreign Policy in Cooperation and Conflict with the Western Powers, 1941-1943
by Akulov, Dimitri, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012, 853; 3505252
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines Soviet foreign policy from the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941 to December of 1943. It is the first comprehensive study this period, which had been neglected in historiography of international relations during the Second World War. Specifically, this work explores such subjects as the nature of Soviet foreign policy under Stalin, origins of the Grand Alliance between the USSR with the western powers as well as the Soviet Union's role in the context of the global struggle of World War II. This dissertation examines these themes from a perspective of international history. Extensive use of primary sources gathered from archives in Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States allows providing new, more nuanced evaluations of subjects under analysis. Specifically, this work concludes that Soviet foreign policy under Stalin operated on the basis of power politics, with considerations of the balance of power and security being paramount for Soviet policymakers. Soviet diplomats during the Second World War more often resembled practitioners of Realpolitik than revolutionary ideologues. Their practical analysis of international relations, however, was conditioned by an ideological Leninist model that often skewed their interpretation of political developments. Additionally, this study finds that the Soviet Union played an important role in the global conduct of the war. Not only was it heavily involved in the war in Europe, but it was also a significant factor in the struggle between the Allies and the Axis in the Far East. This does not mean, however that the Soviet Union was a fully-fledged member of the Grand Alliance from the beginning of its participation in the war. This dissertation argues that the Soviets and the western powers formed a tenuous association until 1943, fighting largely separate wars and being preoccupied with divergent political interests. By the end of 1943, however, the Soviet Union became a full partner in the wartime coalition, participating in formulation of common military strategy and plans for establishment of a new world order on equal footing with Great Britain and the United States.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hasegawa, Tsuyoshi
Commitee: Edgar, Adrienne L., Talbott, John E., Yaqub, Salim
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: History
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: European history, History, Russian history
Keywords: Diplomacy, Foreign relations, Grand alliance, Russia, Soviet union, World war ii
Publication Number: 3505252
ISBN: 9781267294180
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