The results of Gorbachev's foreign policies offer a rare example of rapid, profound, and peaceful international change. Yet historically, an elaborate system of official censorship and the secrecy of the Soviet policy process hindered studies of Moscow's foreign policy. In response, Western scholars developed sophisticated methodological assumptions to interpret the limited resource pool. Gorbachev's policies added to the complexity of this enterprise. His reforms offered analysts an improved view into the politics of Soviet foreign policy without allowing them to abandon entirely previous interpretative mechanisms. Future studies must explicitly address the relationship between Gorbachev's reforms of Soviet political communication and changes in the policy-making process. Only then can scholars accurately assess presently available and forthcoming archival material and personal accounts by Soviet participants.

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