MINERVA SERIES OF STUDENTS HANDBOOKS Russian Political Institutions Other volumes in the Minerva Series INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS by Professor Paul Reuter University of Paris FREE ELECTIONS AN ELEMENTARY TEXTBOOK by W. J. M. Mackenzie Russian Political Institutions BY DEREK J. R. SCOTT Lecturer in Government University of Manchester GEORGE ALLEN UNWIN LTD Ruskin House Museum Street London PREFACE I was told that if the lectures on the Russian way of conducting political life which I at present deliver in the course in political institutions in the University of Manchester could be converted into an appro priately inexpensive little book even undergraduate students of politics might read it. The result of the conversion is perhaps a little longer than was envisaged because of the comprehensive nature of Russian politics and the opportunities which literary creation offers for fitting in a variety of things which for lack of time or cloudiness of mind do not get said in the lecture. The book offers little information which has not already been pub lished in English, and such as there is comes almost entirely from the more readily accessible organs of the Soviet press. The aim is rather to draw together the body of information which we have and to present it in a form suitable for the first approach of the serious student to the subject. Most of the reasons why books on Russia., including this one, are the peculiar products which they are form a necessary part of the course in understanding the Russians, and so belong in the introduction, which people are supposed to read, rather than in the preface. It should, however, perhaps be mentioned here that by a peculiarly unfortunate piece of timing this book was in proof, and the author in West Africa, when between December 1956 and May 1957 Mr. Khrushchovs ideas of the way to organise the management of the economy began to change the administrative shape of Russia. While the books main arguments are not affected, readers are entitled to expect the structure described to bear some resemblance to that which they read about in their daily newspapers, and accordingly I have made such changes as the rigid limits of page proofs and the lack of concrete information on the changes permit. References in the text to the present time or now are believed to be true as at the date of this preface, though often based on material of 1956. I confess myself greatly indebted to Professors W. J. M. Mackenzie and D. P. Costelio and Mr. Peter Campbell of the University of Manchester, for reading and commenting upon this book in the course of its evolution. Of course, they must be discharged from all responsibility for any violence to the facts and the English language and for any outrageous opinions that remain. More than gratitude is due to my aunt Mrs. W. Pevalin, whose successive typed drafts provided a most elegant background for successive layers of authorial scribble. DJ. R. S. Manchester September 1957 CONTENTS pages PREFACE 5 INTRODUCTION SCOPE OF THE ATTEMPT 15 Difficulties of Russian Studies 15 Method and Plan 17 I...
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