Causes of the Collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991
In the mid-20th century, the Soviet Union became economically and industrially powerful, threatening the Cold War in America. Kalashnikov (2011) indicates that the Soviet Union was still highly influential in the 80s when there was an increased sensitivity to military and technological advancements. However, the Soviet Union finally fragmented and collapsed around 1991 after various economic, social, and political domestic disagreements. The main thinking is that the Soviet Union collapsed due to the deficiencies of the Gorbachev Reforms and its internal challenges. Consequently, it has been argued that the involvement of the US in the collapse of the USSR and Regan s hard-line diplomacy led to the fall of the Soviet Union. This paper will discuss the causes of its collapse and identify the most persuasive school of thought on the concepts of its collapse.
Politically, Mikhail Gorbachev aimed to improve the declining Soviet economy and reorganize government administration. This did not yield the expected result, leading to his creation of the glasnost and perestroika policies to foster dialogue and a free market for government industries. This also did not materialize the intended results, and the state lost control of the media and the public. In the end, Gorbachev s political strategy and reforms failed, thus, hastening the collapse of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, the Soviet Union faced the challenge of a shortage of consumer goods and economic stagnation caused by the perestroika reforms. The union faced an inflation spiral as a result of fiscal policy mismanagement, making the nation vulnerable to external forces. Moreover, the drop in oil prices after Iraq s Kuwait invasion in 1990 further impacted the Soviet economy (Reynolds & Kolodziej, 2008).
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