New explanations for Romania’s detachment from Moscow at the beginning of the 1960s Cover Image
  • Price 3.80 €

New explanations for Romania’s detachment from Moscow at the beginning of the 1960s
New explanations for Romania’s detachment from Moscow at the beginning of the 1960s

Author(s): Elena Dragomir
Subject(s): History
Published by: Editura Cetatea de Scaun
Keywords: Cold War; 1960s; Romanian foreign policy; Romanian-Soviet relations; perceptions

Summary/Abstract: During the first years of the 1960s Romania defined its so-called independent foreign policy doctrine. Although the causes and motives of its ‘deviation’ from Moscow’s line have been largely studied, the findings of the previous research seem questionable in the light of the data offered by the new archive documents. While the previous studies used exclusively an objectivist approach and focused on the actors’ motives and the external pressures to explain the ‘deviation’, the newly available archive documents suggest that the decision was heavily influenced by the way the Romanian decision-makers perceived the external environment and identified threats. The paper is structured in two major parts. The first one presents in short the scholarship in this filed and reveals its methodological problems: the objectivist approach and the misuse of the archive sources. The second one, on the basis on the new archive documents and using a perceptual approach, presents some new explanations for the Romanian detachment. In analyzing the leaders’ perceptions, I use the so-called representational model, which assumes that inferences may be drawn directly from the subject’s statements. I focus on one attribute: perceptions of the Soviet Union’s aggressive intentions/threats against Romania. I conclude that at the beginning of the 1960s the Soviet Union was perceived in Bucharest as a direct and imminent threat to the Romanian state and, to some extent, to the communist ideology. These perceptions are highly responsible for the adoption of the so-called ‘Romanian independent foreign policy doctrine’ developed in the 1960s. The study brings into attentions the relevance the ideology (perceptions, ideas, beliefs, norms) had in the decision-making process during the Cold War. It also reveals the need for further research on the role of the Romanian communist leaders’ perceptions of the ‘others’ in adopting one decision or another.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 13
  • Page Range: 51-82
  • Page Count: 32
  • Language: English