Industrial Power and the Soviet State

Synopsis

This book analyzes the relationship between economic power and political authority in the Soviet system. Stephen Whitefield argues that Soviet politicians' efforts to build their 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 behavior of the institutions they had created. 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 to exert a crucial influence on Russian government and society.