Effective Political and Geopolitical Entropies in the Collapse the of States; Case Study: Soviet Union

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor of Geography, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran.


State as a political system has political behavior. Its elements and components are interconnected and work towards a common goal. The output of government as a political system can be examined in both internal and external dimensions. In other words, the positive output of the political system inside the country will increase citizens' satisfaction, strengthen their political legitimacy, increase public welfare, domestic security, and so on. In the outside, it also strengthens authority and sovereignty, enhances competence in regional and even global games, and continues to interact with the international community and to secure national interests. If a political system does not have these outputs and its energy and capital is spent on other affairs, then it will face complicated issues. The state is constantly confronted with evolutions in the economic, social, political, and technical spheres, and as the sole power in a country, it must have the will to continue the system and resolve the problems. The existence of a modifiable capacity in a system makes it viable. Any political system embedded in a totalitarian or similar ideology that faces social, economic, and political problems, if it fails to resolve the issues, it will lead the system to critical situation. The present study revolves around the fundamental question of what are the most important problems that can cause the collapse of a political system.
This is a causal-analytical study. The research data and materials have been collected in a library-based manner with emphasis on rich and first-hand sources. This study attempts to explain the systematic attitude in political geography, to describe the important entropies in political systems and their role in the collapse and diminution of such systems.
Discussion and results
One of the most important human systems that faces entropies, is political system. The loss of energy in political systems is obvious, but it is very high in some political systems. Although a political system may have certain characteristics, entropy is mentioned in their joint evaluation. The entropy in political systems is disorder. The higher the entropy in a political system, the more disorder it will be cause.
The most important entropies of the political system are as follows:

Political-administrative corruption

There is no standard or specific standard for measuring corruption, but Transparency International as an international institution defines and applies some indicators to measure corruption. The latest report emphasizes that Denmark is the healthiest country among 180 countries surveyed. Based on this report two-thirds of countries have high level of corruption.

Social capital depletion

Social capital emerges as a result of trust between the state and citizens. The greater confidence, the stronger social capital. Social capital does not have a financial form but can produce asset. The London-based Legatum is one of the international organizations that measure the level of social capital in different countries. The institute released its latest annual report at the end of 2019, which examined 167 countries worldwide. The findings of the annual report emphasize that Denmark is the country with the highest level of social capital among all the countries surveyed, while the African country of Gabon has the lowest level of social capital.

Geopolitical Challenge

Geopolitical challenge is another important entropy in political systems that will cause the system collapse if it continues. In recent years, some countries have been trapped in geopolitical challenges, and as a result, their entropy has reached a dangerous stage. Syria is one of these countries.

Restriction of human rights and freedom

Another important entropy is the restriction of freedoms. Human rights and freedom are recognized as the most obvious and first rights of citizens in the world. Democracy and freedom are among the most controversial rights in the world. After the end of the Cold War, the process of democratization in the world increased, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 paved the way for the emergence of civil society institutions in the countries. Between 1988 and 2005, non-free countries fell from 37 percent to 23 percent, while free countries rose from 36 percent of the world's total to 46 percent. This upward trend is now reversed. Between 2005 and 2018, non-free countries increased by 26 percent and free countries decreased by 44 percent. The collapse of the Soviet Union as a super eastern power which occurred due to the emergence of destructive entropies, is a great experience for all countries which their political system avoids defective structures and mismanagement and constructive interaction. The Soviet Union spent between $ 3.5 billion and $ 5 billion annually on ideological propaganda. The Soviet army at that time had 4.5 million troops. Part of the Soviet Army's equipment included 50,000 tanks and 20,000 cannon, more than 5,200 helicopters, more than 3,500 fighters, more than 250 nuclear bombs, 7,000 nuclear warheads, 156 strategic bombers, but ultimately was collapsed.
Every state, as a political system, always faces two groups of entropies. The first group, which has an internal origin and appears in a national scale can be explained from the perspective of political geography, and the second group, which is transnational and can be explained from a geopolitical point of view. The emergence of entropies is related to the functioning of political systems. A faulty political system with poor performance provides the platform for entropy. In such systems, the internal entropic state gives rise to the external entropic state, which is the same as geopolitical challenges. In other words, the geopolitical challenges that turn into entropy are the result of an inefficient political structure. The future of countries that are in an entropic situation does not have a clear horizon. A clear example of such countries is the collapse of the Soviet Union which was a military super power. The leaders of the Soviet Union did not claim to be constantly evolving and in addition to this widespread propaganda, the tyranny repressive machine of the Soviet Union suffocated every voice and could not tolerate any dissenting voice, so it did not believe in reforming the political system in any way. Inside of the Soviet Union was depicted for others like a paradise without shortages, but the reality was quite different. With all its authority, ambition, and austerity, the Soviet political system gradually became entrenched, and since its leaders did not believe in reforming the political system and resolving the problems, the political and geopolitical entropies of this powerful regime became entangled and eventually collapsed the Union.


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Volume 17, Issue 61
April 2021
Pages 214-244
  • Receive Date: 22 January 2020
  • Revise Date: 13 May 2020
  • Accept Date: 18 May 2020
  • First Publish Date: 21 March 2021