Glasnost and Perestroika Reforms Under Mikhail Gorbachev: Research Proposal

Political science

Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost and Perestroika Reforms Write a research proposal about the soviet union when Mikhail Gorbachev took the lead.The Main Aspects of Perestroika and Glasnost Research proposal instructions: Your research proposal should be written in Times New Roman font, the size should be 12 points, double-spaced, and the margins should be 1” on all […]

Glasnost and Perestroika Reforms Under Gorbachev

The central research problem for this analysis revolved around the collapse of the Soviet Union when Mikhail Gorbachev took the lead. In essence, this event marked the end of one of the most volatile and tumultuous periods in modern history (Maximova, 2019). The current study proposes to analyze the glasnost and perestroika developments introduced under Gorbachev. The amendments exemplified the splitting of the Soviet Union into 15 post-Soviet republics and the final chapter of the history of the Soviet Union before its collapse in 1991.

The proposed research is, therefore, vital since it would help answer the question of how such widely acclaimed and promising plans destroyed the very society on which they were built. The Soviet Union was not torn apart by civil war nor destroyed by a foreign military invasion (Maximova, 2019). In this way, someone reading the proposal should care about the outcome of the analysis since it sheds light on the events that led to one of the most powerful nations ever seen in the globe signing itself out of existence. Notably, the study uncovers how glasnost and perestroika reforms helped end the Cold War.

Background and Significance

Within the Soviet Union, the late 1980s were a period of reform, change, and, eventually, the nation’s demise. Gorbachev spearheaded these economic and political reforms when he was appointed the General Secretary in 1985. He used this position to sanction a sequence of egalitarian and humanitarian legislations to improve the communist system from within (Cummings, 2014). The Soviet Union, by the 1980s, faced various internal challenges. Corruption was spreading, its leadership was rapidly aging, and the economy had stagnated. A costly war in Afghanistan also complicated politics abroad and at home.

In response to the stated problems, Gorbachev instituted the perestroika and glasnost reforms. He aimed to permit more freedom in the market, including the implementation of some mechanisms of the market economy. Nonetheless, the philosophies dealt not only with the economy but also with politics (Cummings, 2014). The political reorganization allowed opposition groups to criticize communism and led to a multi-candidate structure. However, the intentions and motivations of perestroika and glasnost were to prepare the nation for future development in all spheres of life; the reforms, to a great extent, added to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism.

The past literature extensively studied how the Soviet Union would undergo a rapid economic and political restructuring under the perestroika and glasnost reforms to transform much of society. Scholars have also cited reasons for the failure, including the reforms facing opposition from conservatives and liberals, as well as the Soviet people being unprepared for the speed of the reforms (Cummings, 2014). Previous research has also shown that the legislation in question was not the sole cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union; the methods used simply unleashed forces that weakened an already destabilized scheme and accelerated its end.

However, this has created a research gap since such studies have failed to present in detail how despite external and internal difficulties, the foreign dogma of perestroika and glasnost generated unquestionably and tangible outcomes founded on the notions of novel thinking. In this way, due to the perestroika and glasnost, the Cold War ended (Cummings, 2014). Lastly, the significant issues to be addressed by the proposed study are how the new thinking about the democratization of the Soviet regime and human freedoms resulted in the administration revolution.

Literature Review

Repnikova (2017) study advanced the notion that perestroika was the most far-reaching economic and political reform ever adopted in the Soviet Union. The mentioned author, in this regard, argues that the reform channeled and mobilized the opinion of the public, which, as a result, enabled the reformers to respond effectively and align with public concerns. The investigation by Guisan (2018) revealed that the most ground-breaking segment of the first report by Gorbachev in 1986 to the Party Congress was on overseas dogma, which signified a definite sequence of opinions and ideas that were characteristics of an entire section of the intellectual elite in the USSR. The report substituted the antagonistic notions of hostility between two structures with a new model of struggle and competition. Consequently, this gave up the compulsion to terminate global imperialism and accommodated an increasing inclination for interdependence among nations forming the community of the globe. In this regard, the long-standing institutional power, new ideas, and new leadership in the Soviet Union were mainly accountable for the Cold War abolition.

According to Maslov (2017), Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika resulted in liberalism that the state had never been formerly able to demonstrate or see. The projected outcome consisted of economic reformation to facilitate an improved economy for the superpower. Mascot (2017) further demonstrated that their interest by Gorbachev in closing down the nuclear arms race and ramping down militarism resulted from this universal yearning to put the economy of the Soviet Union on a new course. The American government also highlighted a desire to press the reset button in US/Soviet affairs, which had been running cold for approximately half a century, to empower the Soviet economy.

Equally important, the investigation by Shalin (2018) revealed that perestroika is understood as a social reform attained through glasnost based on promoting economic justice and civil rights in the realm, spreading enlightenment, and freeing communication from state control. Similarly, Cummings (2014) has produced significant results by showing that the new thinking about the democratization of the Soviet government and human freedoms eventually resulted in regime change. In this way, glasnost and perestroika reforms were the leading cause of the end of the Cold War, and these reformations are commended for bringing the world away from the brink of nuclear war.

Research Design and Methods

The proposed study uses qualitative research to collect non-numerical information and data. The reason for adopting this research design is that the concepts of descriptions, exploration, investigations, evaluations, explanations, and analyses would easily be achieved through qualitative research and related data. In attaining this end, the proposed analysis applies secondary research, which consists of analyzing, synthesizing, and gathering information previously collected and generated through the primary research approach (Noble & Smith, 2015). This implies that the study uses data from various resources, such as government documents, textbooks, scientific reports, and scholarly journals. The proposed work will likely face potential pitfalls and barriers considering the qualitative research design. As an illustration, in qualitative research design, data rigidity is more challenging to demonstrate and assess, and the data gathered is highly subjective. The approach also creates valuable findings that are difficult to interpret. In addressing the mentioned pitfalls, the study utilizes this approach alongside quantitative data collection to explain the reason for a particular response.

Preliminary Results and Impacts

The results of the proposed study would raise various suggestions for subsequent research. Future studies would likely investigate how the glasnost and perestroika reforms liberalized the Russian population in ways Gorbachev did not foresee. In the name of forming a diplomatic renaissance and renewed friendship with the West, mainly the US, Gorbachev decreased the pressure on the rights of expression and speech to encourage similar openness and energize policy domestically. To this end, future studies would aim to analyze how Gorbachev’s actions formed an avenue for long-buried or ignored social ills to be discussed openly and for the Soviet employee to be celebrated as an individual with unique qualities, not as a servant of the state.


All in all, past studies have demonstrated that while numerous aspects were involved in the collapse of the Soviet Union, glasnost and perestroika were indeed the eventual straw that sealed the fate of the regime Gorbachev. Scholars have extensively shown how the reforms in question were implemented to save the system; however, they brought about the opposite results. However, there is a need to conduct the proposed analysis to demonstrate how the new thinking about the democratization of the Soviet government and human freedoms led to the end of the Cold War.


Cummings, L. (2014). Gorbachev’s perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. Journal of Undergraduate Research. 54–77.

Guisan, C. (2018). Of political resurrection and ‘lost treasures’ in Soviet and Russian politics. Europe-Asia Studies70(9), 1381–1406.

Maslov, J. (2017). “If I Pick Flowers:” Posters, popular culture, and Gorbachev’s reforms in the 1980s. Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History7(2), 115–129. Retrieved from

Maximova, M. (2019). Reconstructing the Soviet canon: Strategies for collecting under perestroika. Journal for Art Market Studies3(1), 1–16.

Noble, H., & Smith, J. (2015). Issues of validity and reliability in qualitative research. Evidence-based nursing18(2), 34–35.

Repnikova, M. (2017). Media openings and political transitions: Glasnost versus Yulun Jiandu. Problems of Post-Communism64(3-4), 141-151.

Shalin, D. N. (2018). Communication, democracy, and intelligentsia. Russian Journal of Communication, 10(2), 110-146. Retrieved from

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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