Executive Power and Soviet Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Soviet State

By Eugene Huskey | Go to book overview

The neglect of the Government in Soviet studies is rooted finally in the behavioral revolution that gripped Western social science in the first two decades after World War II. The behavioral revolution shifted the focus of research from the state to society and from institutions to functions. Unfortunately, the pendulum swung so far as to lead to an abandonment, or at best a marginalization, of work that retained state institutions at the center of analysis. The result has been the rise of a generation of students and scholars who have little appreciation of the role of state executive institutions in Soviet politics. There has simply been nowhere to turn for an introductory, never mind a monograph-length, analysis of contemporary institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and the State Committee on Supply (Gossnab).

During the last decade, scholars in comparative politics with varied regional interests and political perspectives have been bringing the state back to the forefront of political inquiry. As Theda Skocpol argues, the movement is in some respects a Continental reaction to an Anglo-American paradigm that failed to account for the continuing centrality of the state to European, and often Latin American and Asian, politics. 4 The resulting research has not divorced the state from society but it has emphasized the relative autonomy of the state, and of the state's constituent institutions, in the formulation and implementation of policy.

The chapters that follow seek to revive an understanding of and interest in state institutions in the Soviet Union and its successor states. This is obviously a difficult time for such an enterprise. There is an understandable emphasis at present on groups and the rise of a civil society in Russia and on survey research that explores the linkages between individual attitudes and their social, cultural, and economic determinants. Further, the instability of the state and the crises of statehood in post-Soviet politics make institutions particularly slippery subjects for investigation. But both the Russian and Soviet heritages suggest that institutions of state will continue to propel and direct social change. In this period of state building--or perhaps more accurately state renovation--on the territories of the former USSR, it is essential to refocus attention on the development and behavior of state institutions as political actors. This volume, which examines the rise and fall of the Soviet Government and its leading ministries and state committees, is offered as a primer on state institutions and as an opening contribution to the debate on the state in the transition from Soviet to post-Soviet politics.


Notes
1.
See the comments by K. G. Kholodkovskii of IMEMO in "Prospects for Democratization," Soviet Review ( May-June 1991), pp. 11-15.

-xiii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Executive Power and Soviet Politics: The Rise and Decline of the Soviet State
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 282

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.