Revolution and Foreign Policy

Hughes, Michael (2020) Revolution and Foreign Policy. In: A Companion to the Russian Revolution :. Wiley Blackwell Companions to World History . Wiley, Hoboken NY, pp. 297-305. ISBN 9781118620892

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Tsarist foreign policy in the years before 1917 was shaped by a variety of long‐term and short‐term factors. The same was true of the foreign policy pursued by the Provisional Government that came to power in 1917. Ministers in the Provisional Government also had to balance international and domestic pressures when seeking to promote policies designed to ensure the country's survival in the War against the central powers. The leaders of the Bolshevik Party, which overthrew the Provisional Government in October 1917, rejected traditional forms of ‘bourgeois’ diplomacy in favor of a proletarian internationalism that emphasised class solidarity across national boundaries. When the October Revolution did not lead to a world revolution, the Bolshevik leadership had to adapt their foreign policies and find ways of ensuring their survival in a world of hostile states. They sought to achieve their objectives by combining traditional diplomatic methods with a continued programme of revolutionary propaganda and subversion in foreign countries. The enduring character of the international global order placed limits on the ability of any single country to operate outside its established institutional and cultural forms. It is as a result possible to see continuities in Russian foreign policy across the 1917 divide.

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16 Oct 2020 13:50
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24 Jun 2024 23:58