SOVIET PERSPECTIVES ON THE ROLE OF CONGRESS IN U.S. FOREIGN POLICY: THEORETICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE STUDY OF SOVIET FOREIGN POLICY AND U.S.-SOVIET RELATIONS (UNITED STATES)
This study traces the development of Soviet attitudes toward the role of Congress in U.S. foreign policy. It also examines the importance of those attitudes for the study of Soviet foreign policy and conduct of U.S.-Soviet relations. There are currently three competing models of Soviet foreign policy. The totalitarian model sees Soviet foreign policy reflecting an all-encompassing ideology and a Party monopoly of power. Consumed with globally establishing communist regimes and requiring an external American threat, the model sees little prospect for improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations. No policy inputs are relevant other than those initiated by the highest Party leadership. The pluralist model regards Soviet foreign policy as resulting from informed debate among foreign policy institutions. The model assumes significant inputs below the top leadership level and learning experiences from abroad. As such, possible improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations through mutually-reinforcing policies is postulated. In the corporatist model, Soviet foreign policy is determined by the need for system maintenance. Policy inputs are acknowledged but inputs must serve political stability. Conservative objectives, backed by military power, are sought by cautious actors. Consensus policy outcomes are clearly the norm. Fundamental improvements in U.S.-Soviet relations are unlikely. The study evaluates existing models through examination of an unresearched area of Soviet foreign policy considerations. The writing of Soviet scholars on Congress' diverse role in U.S. foreign policy is detailed, as are relations between the Soviet Embassy and Congress, the treatment given Congressional delegations visiting the Soviet Union, and the attitudes of the Soviet leadership. In conclusion, the study argues that the pluralist model has the widest explanatory capability for Soviet scholarship on Congress and foreign policy, but that on some issues the totalitarian model offers the best explanation. In foreign policy institutions, behavior predicted by the corporatist model prevails. Attitudes of the Soviet leadership reflect all three models, although the degree of leadership understanding of Congressional powers is growing. Finally, the study emphasizes that Congress is receiving increasing Soviet attention as a powerful foreign policy institution, making Congress an effective consideration in the way superpower relations are conducted in both Washington and Moscow.