In 1989, the floodgates of revolution were opened in Eastern Europe. Communist governments toppled in all of the East European countries that were members of the Warsaw Pact. Glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union, the prospect of increasing West European integration leading to the further marginization of Eastern Europe, and long-suppressed alienation of the public from the political leadership throughout Eastern Europe were amongst the immediate factors leading to the upheavals of 1989. In this research volume, Alpo Rusi, Director of Planning and Research in the Political Department of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, examines the history of the postwar east-west relationship in Europe, the underlying proceses of change and the implications of the present period of transition to a new European order. In Dr Rusi's view the events of 1989 are but a harbinger of a new security order in Europe. The author analyses the rise of bipolarism, both during the conflict of the Cold War and during the growth of detente, and lays stress on the parallel process of an evolution towards multilateralism.
Dr Rusi's view is that in exploring the prospects for Europe's future, analysts and policy-makers must take into consideration the implications of the revolutions of 1989, the reunification of Germany, social, economic and political turmoil in the Soviet Union, the growing economic and political power of the European Community and the decline of the superpower influence. In this book the author emphasizes that the aims of both east and west must include the development of a framework for common European security.