The Delicate Balance of Power in the Soviet Bloc: A Comparative Analysis of the Soviet Response to the Hungarian Revolution and the Polish Crisis.
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This thesis contains an analysis of the the Soviet response to the Hungarian revolution in 1956 and the Polish crisis in 1980-1981 respectively, and as such examines the international relations of the Soviet Union and the Soviet satellites in a comparative framework, with an emphasis on primary sources. The question at stake is why the Soviet leaders agreed on military intervention in Hungary in 1956, and why they decided against it in Poland in 1980-1981. In order to answer this question, the thesis is divided into four thematic chapters, which each focus on one 'explanatory factor'. In a telescopic manner, moving from internal party dynamics to international relations, the themes 'party unity', 'subservience', 'geopolitics', and 'ideology' are addressed in turn, in order to assess to what extent they affected the Soviet decision on (non)intervention, if at all. A brief detour to the Prague Spring in the conclusion serves to test whether the conclusions drawn from the comparison are coincidental or approximate a more general rule. The dynamics of Soviet power and the evolution of the Warsaw Pact are also evaluated in the light of the findings of the comparison.