'Loser’s History' : Legitimacy, History Politics and Ideological reforms in the Soviet Union

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The Cold War and the Politics of History

Title: 'Loser’s History' : Legitimacy, History Politics and Ideological reforms in the Soviet Union
Author: Kähönen, Aappo
Other contributor: Aunesluoma, Juhana
Kettunen, Pauli
Contributor organization: Yhteiskuntahistorian laitos
Publisher: University of Helsinki Department of Social Science History
Date: 2008
Language: eng
ISBN: 978-952-10-4637-7
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10224/4039
Abstract: As research of any historical topic, research on the Soviet society and, even more so, the political system, is unavoidably influenced by the present day in many ways. The ending of Cold War Era with the defeat of the Soviet Union has unavoidably changed the perspective on that period. All the decisions made by, or on behalf of, the Soviet side are easily seen as falling in the category of ‘loser’s history’, to be explained away or condemned. On the other hand, as all historical research is based on hindsight, recognising the result of a historical process does not automatically commit one to the ‘winner’s history’, which justifi es the actual outcome of the process, and only that. On a most general level the theme of this article is based on the relation between policy making and ideology. On a second, more practical level, this article examines the role of ideology and history in legitimating the political system of the Soviet Union, which was characterised by oneparty rule, and the open role of ideology. Here it becomes essential to keep in mind the old dual meaning of ‘history’ both as the events and the processes of the past, and as a discipline offering representations of those past events.
Subject: ideology
Soviet Union
History Politic

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