Publication Date

5-23-2013

Advisor(s)

Peter Rutland

Major

Government

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

The decade after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union was a unique period of U.S.-Russian relations. Americans saw incredible opportunity and risk in the rise of a new Russian state and economy and thereby responded through intensive investment efforts and unusual structures of coordination, including the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission. However, most scholars summarily describe 1990s American Russian policy as either a complete failure or total success and disregard the central importance of oil to the narrative of U.S.-Russian relations. This thesis challenges that framework and argues that the reality of the decade is somewhere in between; the United States' reaction to the 1990s Soviet collapse was a process of convoluted coordination and limited oil investment success that resulted in neither a wayward nuclear state nor a new Eurasian partner.

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