Industrial Power and the Soviet State

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Oxford University Press, 1993 - Political Science - 279 pages
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This book analyses the relationship between economic power and political authority in the Soviet system. In it, Stephen Whitefield takes issue with those who think that communist politicians successfully dominated the economy and society. He argues, on the contrary, that politicians' efforts to build authority in the industrial sector were a key source of political instability, and that perestroika was the last in a series of failed attempts by Soviet leaders to gain control of the behaviour of the institutions they themselves had created. In an administered economy, industrial organization is vitally important in structuring the interests and behaviour of social groups. The dilemma for Soviet politicians was that their attempts to build authority over industrial actors destabilized society and ultimately resulted in the collapse of the Soviet state itself. But industrial power has outlived the Soviet Union, and this book concludes by showing how industry continues toexert a crucial influence on Russian government and society.

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About the author (1993)

Stephen Whitefield, Lecturer in Russian and East European Politics, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London.

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