Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Not applicable

Advisor Role

Not applicable


The thesis undertakes an examination of certain Soviet problems which upon analysis serve to support the views of publicists such as Richard Nixon, Richard Pipes, Edward Luttwak, Paul Nitze, and Eugene Rostow. These experts argue that the Soviet Union is bent on a course of world hegemony. The objective of the thesis is to determine if the Soviet leadership is under lateral pressure to expand. Two proportions underline the broad theme of the thesis: that the Soviet Union is the de facto Russian empire, with the same concerns, i.e. stability and Russian domination; that real arms restraint on the part of the Untied States has given the Kremlin a “window of opportunity” in which to exploit its military superiority. The thesis is composed of chapters examining traditional influences on Soviet foreign behaviour, the place of the Soviet Union in the International State system, the internal problems of the USSR, the major external threat [China] to the Soviet Union, and a final chapter on Soviet Global strategy, tactics, and possible courses of action. The study may contribute to the understanding of motivating factors in Soviet foreign behaviour in the ‘80s, given its military superiority and consistent pattern of foreign behaviour, whether Tsarist or Soviet. It therefore follows that this study may also contribute to alerting those who refuse to accept that the United States and hence the West, is seriously vulnerable to probable Soviet foreign policy options in the early ‘80s.

Convocation Year