Stealing the State

Control and Collapse in Soviet Institutions

Author: Steven Lee Solnick

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674836808

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 337

View: 5042

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What led to the breakdown of the Soviet Union? Steven Solnick argues, contrary to most current literature, that the Soviet system did not fall victim to stalemate at the top or to a revolution from below, but rather to opportunism from within. In three case studies--on the Communist Youth League, the system of job assignments for university graduates, and military conscription--Solnick makes use of rich archival sources and interviews to tell the story from a new perspective, and to employ and test Western theories of the firm in the Soviet environment. He finds that even before Gorbachev, mechanisms for controlling bureaucrats in Soviet organizations were weak, allowing these individuals great latitude in their actions. Once reforms began, they translated this latitude into open insubordination by seizing the very organizational assets they were supposed to be managing. Thus, the Soviet system, Solnick argues, suffered the organizational equivalent of a colossal bank run. When the servants of the state stopped obeying orders from above, the state's fate was sealed. By incorporating economic theories of institutions into a political theory of Soviet breakdown and collapse, Stealing the State offers a powerful and dynamic account of the most important international political event of the later twentieth century.

The Soviet Social Contract and why it Failed

Welfare Policy and Workers' Politics from Brezhnev to Yeltsin

Author: Linda J. Cook

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674828001

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 569

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As their woefully backward economy continues to crumble, much of the Soviet population remains indifferent, if not downright hostile, to the idea of reform. This phenomenon, so different from the Solidarity movement in Poland or the velvet revolution in Czechoslovakia, has been explained in terms of a âeoesocial contractâeâe"a tacit agreement between the post-Stalin regime and the working class whereby the state provided economic and social security in return for the workers' political compliance. This book is the first critical assessment of the likelihood and implications of such a contract. Linda Cook pursues the idea from Brezhnev's day to our own, and considers the constraining effect it may have had on Gorbachev's attempts to liberalize the Soviet economy. In case studies on job security, retail price stability, and social service subsidies, Cook identifies points at which leaders had to make critical decisionsâe"to commit more resources or to abandon other policies at significant costâe"in order to maintain the contract. The pattern that emerges attests to the validity of the social contract thesis for the Brezhnev period. At the same time, Cook's analysis points to several important factors, such as the uneven distribution of benefits, that help explain why labor unrest and activism have varied dramatically from sector to sector in recent years. Ultimately, these case studies reveal, particularly for the Gorbachev period, deep conflicts between the old contract and the requisites of economic reform. Cook extends her analysis into the Yeltsin period to show how the democratizing state dealt weakly with labor's demands, seeking to stabilize labor relations with an inappropriate corporate structure. In the end, mobilized labor contributed greatly to the pressures that undermined Gorbachev's regime, and remained an obstacle to economic reform through the early months of Yeltsin's Russia.

Beyond Totalitarianism

Stalinism and Nazism Compared

Author: Michael Geyer,Sheila Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521897963

Category: History

Page: 536

View: 2806

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These essays rethink the nature of Stalinism and Nazism and establish a new methodology for viewing their histories that goes well beyond outdated twentieth-century models of totalitarianism, ideology, and personality. They offer a new understanding of the intertwined trajectories of socialism and nationalism in European and global history.

Livre Noir Du Communisme

Crimes, Terreur, Répression

Author: Stéphane Courtois,Mark Kramer

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674076082

Category: History

Page: 858

View: 6356

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Collects and analyzes seventy years of communist crimes that offer details on Kim Sung's Korea, Vietnam under "Uncle Ho," and Cuba under Castro.

Empire De/Centered

New Spatial Histories of Russia and the Soviet Union

Author: Maxim Waldstein,Sanna Turoma

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317144368

Category: History

Page: 362

View: 1835

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In 1991 the Soviet empire collapsed, at a stroke throwing the certainties of the Cold War world into flux. Yet despite the dramatic end of this 'last empire', the idea of empire is still alive and well, its language and concepts feeding into public debate and academic research. Bringing together a multidisciplinary and international group of authors to study Soviet society and culture through the categories empire and space, this collection demonstrates the enduring legacy of empire with regard to Russia, whose history has been marked by a particularly close and ambiguous relationship between nation and empire building, and between national and imperial identities. Parallel with this discussion of empire, the volume also highlights the centrality of geographical space and spatial imaginings in Russian and Soviet intellectual traditions and social practices; underlining how Russia's vast geographical dimensions have profoundly informed Russia's state and nation building, both in practice and concept. Combining concepts of space and empire, the collection offers a reconsideration of Soviet imperial legacy by studying its cultural and societal underpinnings from previously unexplored perspectives. In so doing it provides a reconceptualization of the theoretical and methodological foundations of contemporary imperial and spatial studies, through the example of the experience provided by Soviet society and culture.

Women, the State and Revolution

Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917-1936

Author: Wendy Z. Goldman

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521458160

Category: History

Page: 351

View: 9034

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When the Bolsheviks came to power in 1917, they believed that under socialism the family would "wither-away." They envisioned a society in which communal dining halls, daycare centers, and public laundries would replace the unpaid labor of women in the home. Yet by 1936 legislation designed to liberate women from their legal and economic dependence had given way to increasingly conservative solutions aimed at strengthening traditional family ties and women's reproductive role. This book explains the reversal, focusing on how women, peasants, and orphans responded to Bolshevik attempts to remake the family, and how their opinions and experiences in turn were used by the state to meet its own needs.

Science in Russia and the Soviet Union

A Short History

Author: Loren R. Graham

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521287890

Category: Science

Page: 321

View: 563

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By the 1980s the Soviet scientific establishment had become the largest in the world, but very little of its history was known in the West. What has been needed for many years in order to fill that gap in our knowledge is a history of Russian and Soviet science written for the educated person who would like to read one book on the subject. This book has been written for that reader. The history of Russian and Soviet science is a story of remarkable achievements and frustrating failures. That history is presented here in a comprehensive form, and explained in terms of its social and political context. Major sections include the tsarist period, the impact of the Russian Revolution, the relationship between science and Soviet society, and the strengths and weaknesses of individual scientific disciplines. The book also discusses the changes brought to science in Russia and other republics by the collapse of communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Russia and the EU

Spaces of Interaction

Author: Thomas Hoffmann,Andrey Makarychev

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1351398369

Category: Political Science

Page: 254

View: 6509

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The annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s support for military insurgency in eastern Ukraine undermined two decades of cooperation between Russia and the EU leaving both sides in a situation of reciprocal economic sanctions and political alienation. What is left of previous positive experiences and mutually beneficial interactions between the two parties? And, what new communication practices and strategies might Russia and Europe use? Previously coherent and institutionalized spaces of communication and dialogue between Moscow and Brussels have fragmented into relations that, while certainly not cooperative, are also not necessarily adversarial. Exploring these spaces, contributors consider how this indeterminacy makes cooperation problematic, though not impossible, and examine the shrunken, yet still existent, expanse of interaction between Russia and the EU. Analysing to what extent Russian foreign policy philosophy is compatible with European ideas of democracy, and whether Russia might pragmatically profit from the liberal democratic order, the volume also focuses on the practical implementation of these discourses and conceptualizations as policy instruments. This book is an important resource for researchers in Russian and Soviet Politics, Eastern European Politics and the policy, politics and expansion of the European Union.

Failed Crusade

America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia

Author: Stephen F. Cohen

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393322262

Category: History

Page: 349

View: 1729

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Reveals what really happened in Russia following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the complicity of U.S. policy in a great human tragedy. Reprint.

The Vernaculars of Communism

Language, Ideology and Power in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Author: Petre Petrov,Lara Ryazanova-Clarke

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317647475

Category: Social Science

Page: 230

View: 6814

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The political revolutions which established state socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were accompanied by revolutions in the word, as the communist project implied not only remaking the world but also renaming it. As new institutions, social roles, rituals and behaviours emerged, so did language practices that designated, articulated and performed these phenomena. This book examines the use of communist language in the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods. It goes beyond characterising this linguistic variety as crude "newspeak", showing how official language was much more complex – the medium through which important political-ideological messages were elaborated, transmitted and also contested, revealing contradictions, discursive cleavages and performative variations. The book examines the subject comparatively across a range of East European countries besides the Soviet Union, and draws on perspectives from a range of scholarly disciplines – sociolinguistics, anthropology, literary and cultural studies, historiography, and translation studies. Petre Petrov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin. Lara Ryazanova-Clarke is Head of Russian and Academic Director of the Princess Dashkova Russia Centre in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures at the University of Edinburgh.

Empire of Nations

Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union

Author: Francine Hirsch

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801455936

Category: History

Page: 392

View: 8881

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When the Bolsheviks seized power in 1917, they set themselves the task of building socialism in the vast landscape of the former Russian Empire, a territory populated by hundreds of different peoples belonging to a multitude of linguistic, religious, and ethnic groups. Before 1917, the Bolsheviks had called for the national self-determination of all peoples and had condemned all forms of colonization as exploitative. After attaining power, however, they began to express concern that it would not be possible for Soviet Russia to survive without the cotton of Turkestan and the oil of the Caucasus. In an effort to reconcile their anti-imperialist position with their desire to hold on to as much territory as possible, the Bolsheviks integrated the national idea into the administrative-territorial structure of the new Soviet state. In Empire of Nations, Francine Hirsch examines the ways in which former imperial ethnographers and local elites provided the Bolsheviks with ethnographic knowledge that shaped the very formation of the new Soviet Union. The ethnographers—who drew inspiration from the Western European colonial context—produced all-union censuses, assisted government commissions charged with delimiting the USSR's internal borders, led expeditions to study "the human being as a productive force," and created ethnographic exhibits about the "Peoples of the USSR." In the 1930s, they would lead the Soviet campaign against Nazi race theories . Hirsch illuminates the pervasive tension between the colonial-economic and ethnographic definitions of Soviet territory; this tension informed Soviet social, economic, and administrative structures. A major contribution to the history of Russia and the Soviet Union, Empire of Nations also offers new insights into the connection between ethnography and empire.

Western Marxism and the Soviet Union

A Survey of Critical Theories and Debates Since 1917

Author: Marcel Van Der Linden

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004158758

Category: Social Science

Page: 380

View: 7022

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If the Soviet Union did not have a socialist society, then how should its nature be understood? The present book presents the first comprehensive appraisal of the debates on this problem, which was so central to twentieth-century Marxism.

The Dynamics of Soviet Politics

Author: Paul Cocks,Robert Vincent Daniels,Nancy Whittier Heer

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674218819

Category: History

Page: 427

View: 3490

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The Dynamics of Soviet Politics is the result of reflective and thorough research into the centers of a system whose inner debates are not open to public discussion and review, a system which tolerates no public opposition parties, no prying congressional committees, and no investigative journalists to ferret out secrets. The expert authors offer an inside view of the workings of this closed system a view rarely found elsewhere in discussions of Soviet affairs. Their work, building as it does on the achievements of Soviet studies over the last thirty years, is firmly rooted in established knowledge and covers sufficient new ground to enable future studies of Soviet politics and social practices to move ahead unencumbered by stereotypes, sensationalism, or mystification. Among the subjects included are: attitudes toward leadership and a general discussion of the uses of political history; the dramatic cycles of officially permitted dissent; the legitimacy of leadership within a system that has no constitutional provision for succession; the gradual adoption of Western-inspired administrative procedures and "systems management"; a study of group competition, and bureaucratic bargaining; Khrushchev's virgin-lands experiment and its subsequent retrenchment; the apolitical values of adolescents; the problems of integrating Central Asia into the Soviet system; a history of peaceful coexistence and its current importance in Soviet foreign policy priorities, and, finally, an overview of Soviet government as an extension of prerevolutionary oligarchy, with an emphasis on adaptation to political change.

Scientific Management, Socialist Discipline, and Soviet Power

Author: Mark R. Beissinger

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674794900

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 363

View: 9628

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In this book Bessinger traces the rise and decline of administrative strategies throughout Soviet history, focusing on the roles of managerial technique and disciplinary coercion.

Reconstructing the House of Culture

Community, Self, and the Makings of Culture in Russia and Beyond

Author: Brian Donahoe,Joachim Otto Habeck

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857452762

Category: Social Science

Page: 348

View: 8727

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Notions of culture, rituals and their meanings, the workings of ideology in everyday life, public representations of tradition and ethnicity, and the social consequences of economic transition- these are critical issues in the social anthropology of Russia and other postsocialist countries. Engaged in the negotiation of all these is the House of Culture, which was the key institution for cultural activities and implementation of state cultural policies in all socialist states. The House of Culture was officially responsible for cultural enlightenment, moral edification, and personal cultivation-in short, for implementing the socialist state's program of "bringing culture to the masses." Surprisingly, little is known about its past and present condition. This collection of ethnographically rich accounts examines the social significance and everyday performance of Houses of Culture and how they have changed in recent decades. In the years immediately following the end of the Soviet Union, they underwent a deep economic and symbolic crisis, and many closed. Recently, however, there have been signs of a revitalization of the Houses of Culture and a re-orientation of their missions and programs. The contributions to this volume investigate the changing functions and meanings of these vital institutions for the communities that they serve.

Russia's Foreign Policy

Change and Continuity in National Identity

Author: Andrei P. Tsygankov

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1442254033

Category: Political Science

Page: 336

View: 2688

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Now fully updated and revised, this clear and comprehensive text explores contemporary Soviet/Russian international relations, comparing foreign policy formation under Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Medvedev, and Putin. Challenging conventional views of Moscow’s foreign policy, Andrei Tsygankov shows that definitions of national interest depend on visions of national identity and are rooted both in history and domestic politics. Yet the author also highlights the role of the external environment in affecting the balance of power among competing domestic groups. Drawing on both Russian and Western sources, Tsygankov traces how Moscow’s policies have shifted under different leaders’ visions of Russia’s national interests. He gives an overview of the ideas and pressures that motivated Russian foreign policy in six different periods: the Gorbachev era of the late 1980s, the liberal “Westernizers” era under Kozyrev in the early 1990s, the relatively hardline statist policy under Primakov, the more pragmatic course of limited cooperation under Putin and then Medvedev, and the assertive policy Putin has implemented since his return to power. Evaluating the successes and failures of Russian foreign policies, Tsygankov explains its many turns as Russia’s identity and interaction with the West have evolved. The book concludes with reflections on the emergence of the post-Western world and the challenges it presents to Russia’s enduring quest for great power status along with its desire for a special relationship with Western nations.

Between Europe and Asia

The Origins, Theories, and Legacies of Russian Eurasianism

Author: Mark Bassin,Sergey Glebov,Marlene Laruelle

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press

ISBN: 0822980916

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 7693

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Between Europe and Asia analyzes the origins and development of Eurasianism, an intellectual movement that proclaimed the existence of Eurasia, a separate civilization coinciding with the former Russian Empire. The essays in the volume explore the historical roots, the heyday of the movement in the 1920s, and the afterlife of the movement in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. The first study to offer a multifaceted account of Eurasianism in the twentieth century and to touch on the movement's intellectual entanglements with history, politics, literature, or geography, this book also explores Eurasianism's influences beyond Russia. The Eurasianists blended their search for a primordial essence of Russian culture with radicalism of Europe's interwar period. In reaction to the devastation and dislocation of the wars and revolutions, they celebrated the Orthodox Church and the Asian connections of Russian culture, while rejecting Western individualism and democracy. The movement sought to articulate a non-European, non-Western modernity, and to underscore Russia's role in the colonial world. As the authors demonstrate, Eurasianism was akin to many fascist movements in interwar Europe, and became one of the sources of the rhetoric of nationalist mobilization in Vladimir Putin's Russia. This book presents the rich history of the concept of Eurasianism, and how it developed over time to achieve its present form.

Law books, 1876-1981

books and serials on law and its related subjects

Author: R.R. Bowker Company

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 5039

View: 1094

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