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Revisiting the Fall of the Soviet Union

FalgOctober 13-14, 2011
Indiana University Bloomington

» Conference Schedule & Podcasts [PDF]

The total collapse of the Soviet Union, from superpower to fifteen brand-new states in the space of just a few months in 1991, outstripped the expectations of even the most astute social scientists. How could one of the most powerful countries in the world simply fall apart, without a war? And what did that collapse portend for its successors?

Twenty years after those epochal events, it is time for reconsideration. Our guests will be the foremost scholar of Soviet politics, Stephen Cohen; one of the most distinguished American journalists, Katrina vanden Heuvel of The Nation; Jack Matlock, Ambassador to the Soviet Union 1987-1991; and other prominent experts from Russia and the United States.

The Soviet implosion has something for everyone: economic and political transformation; new horizons in culture and in science; suggestive parallels to Russia’s past; powerful, emotional debates about the meaning of freedom and of civil rights; and the visible shifting of international tectonic plates. “Revisiting the Fall of the Soviet Union” offers us all the opportunity to reflect on what those changes have meant and what still lies ahead.


Russian and East European Institute
College Arts and Humanities Institute
Office of the Vice President for International Affairs
College of Arts and Sciences
Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
School of Journalism
Department of Political Science
Collins Living-Learning Center
Foster International Living-Learning Center


For more information, contact Mark Trotter at or 812-855-7309