Cover Osteuropa 7-9/2020

In Osteuropa 7-9/2020

A complex issue
Research on the environmental history of the Soviet Union

Klaus Gestwa

Deutsche Fassung


It was against the background of the political debates of the 1970s and 1980s that the historiographical subdiscipline of the environmental history of the Soviet Union was created. Initially, it covered topics such as “ecocide” and “econationalism”. More recent research from a regional, imperial and global historical perspective has taken up new themes. Environmental history illustrates the extent to which humans as social beings are characterised by the conflict between wanting to dominate their environment while at the same time being unable to extricate themselves from the natural cycles of which they are a part.

(Osteuropa 7-9/2020, pp. 7–32)