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Title: Soviet involvement in Ethiopia and Somalia, 1947-1991
Author: Yordanov, Radoslav
ISNI:       0000 0003 9958 6621
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Soviet-Third World relations during the Cold War are still not clearly understood. Largely based on previously unused primary material, this study aims to fill this gap in knowledge by emphasising the interplay between domestic, local, regional, and global dimensions in analysing Moscow’s involvement in the Horn of Africa. By offering a detailed examination of Soviet involvement in Somalia and Ethiopia during the Cold War, this thesis aims to shed light on the factors, shaping Moscow’s policies in the area. While it does not lay any claim of representativeness for other Third World regions, this thesis aims to highlight the intricate interplay between ideology and realpolitik in the making of Soviet foreign policy. Additionally, it tries to determine to what extent the ‘local pull,’ exerted by both Addis Ababa and Mogadishu, as well as by Soviet and other Bloc diplomats, informed the Kremlin’s policy in the area. This thesis shows that the two main strands of Moscow’s foreign policy, the pragmatic statist line and the ideological Cominternist approach, were not in conflict with one another. Instead, they were amalgamated into a flexible tactical approach, designed to maximise Soviet influence by whatever means available, along the path of least resistance. Another strand in the argument is interwoven with the pericentric framework for the study of the Cold War. While accepting recent interpretations of superpower-Third World relations, this research develops a more nuanced account of the centre-periphery interaction. The act of local engagement was Moscow’s initiative, in accord with its wider geo-political plans. Once engaged, the local actors proved instrumental in informing the Kremlin’s exercise of maintaining a presence. As with its entry, Moscow’s disengagement was predicated on strategic considerations. The period of perestroika, assigned the Third World lower priority in the Kremlin’s global agenda, engendering a withdrawal from the Horn.
Supervisor: Anderson, David ; Pravda, Alex Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: International,imperial and global history ; Soviet Union ; Soviet Bloc ; Developing Countries ; Somalia ; Ethiopia ; Horn of Africa ; Cold War ; Third World