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Studies in East European Thought

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 179–205 | Cite as

Construction, reconstruction, deconstruction: The fall of the Soviet Union from the point of view of conceptual history

  • Kristian PetrovEmail author
Article

Abstract

The fall of the Soviet Union is analysed in conceptual terms, drawing on Reinhart Koselleck’s Begriffsgeschichte. The author seeks to interpret the instrumental role of the concepts perestrojka, glasnost´, reform, revolution, socialist pluralism, and acceleration in the Soviet collapse. The semantics and pragmatics are related to a wider intellectual and political context, and the conceptual perspective is used to help explain the progress of events. The author argues that the common notion of the reform policy concepts as clichés is not valid.

Keywords

Begriffsgeschichte (Conceptual history) Perestrojka glasnost´ Reform Revolution Socialist pluralism Acceleration Marxism–Leninism Ideology Socialist tradition 

Notes

Acknowledgement

I wish to thank The Royal Society of Sciences and Arts in Göteborg for its support.

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History of Ideas and Theory of ScienceGöteborg UniversityGothenburgSweden

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