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Can Leninism countenance the new Soviet federal order?

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Can Leninism countenance the new Soviet federal order?

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Abstract One of the most intractable contemporary problems in the USSR is the Soviet federal dilemma. The late 1980s witnessed competing claims among the national minority groups of the USSR to rights of voice, representation, and cultural, economic, and even political sovereignty. Since the onset ofperestrojka, the principle of nationalstatehood has acquired a new legitimacy. Nationality is one of the pillars of the federal reform. The drive to create a new Soviet federalism has become an important component ofperestrojka. But, according to Leninist doctrine, the nation is a transitional formation. Unless there is a significant departure from Leninist theory, the new acknowledgement of the rights of nations in the USSR can only be a political and thus temporary concession. Can the ideology evolve in such a way as to provide ideologically-based political legitimacy to the notion of national-statehood? Is Gorbachev”s dynamic interpretation of Leninism capable of rejecting one of Lenin’

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