The Soviet Administrative Elite

The Soviet Administrative Elite

The Soviet Administrative Elite

The Soviet Administrative Elite

Synopsis

The Soviet elite has undergone two major transformations in the 20th century: Stalin's purges and replacement of the old elite by Soviet trained proletarian modernizing managers; and, under Gorbachev, the displacement of modernizing managers by "politicians." This book is an analytical study of the Soviet political elite as a body, from 1917 to 1990. Focusing on the changing structure of the elite, it is based partly on Farmer's database consisting of biographical and career data on over 1,500 high level leaders. The book also synthesizes the work of four classical theorists--Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, Max Weber, and Alexis de Tocqueville--with more contemporary theorists.

Excerpt

This study began as a quantitative study of the careers of post-Stalin Central Committee members. It turned out that the amount of truly significant information that could be obtained from that database was limited. My aim grew, then, from a small quantitative study to a larger qualitative analysis, with the database only one source of data. the methodology is eclectic and synthetic. I have based the approach on an effort to integrate the work of four classical theorists--Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, Max Weber, and Alexis de Tocqueville--with more contemporary theorists, notably John A. Armstrong and Suzanne Keller, and with the structuralist approach and anthropological approach to theory. As I imagine that many scholars do, I am left, upon its completion, with a vague sense of dissatisfaction with the result. All projects must come to closure, however, or they will never see the light of day.

For the transliteration of Russian words and names, I have employed a modified Library of Congress system, omitting diacritical marks. For names that have become part of the Western vocabulary, I have employed Yu or Ye rather than E, as in Yurii and Yel'tsin. Unless otherwise credited, all translations from the Russian are my own; quantitative generalizations, unless otherwise credited, are derived from my own databases.

I am indebted to a number of institutions and individuals for assistance and advice in the course of this project. the Graduate School of Marquette University provided a Summer Faculty Research Fellowship . . .

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