Politics and Religion in Central and Eastern Europe: Traditions and Transitions

By William H. Swatos Jr | Go to book overview

5
From Glasnost to Dukhovnost? The Commonwealth's Alienation Crisis

Patricia Ann Wasely Lomire

In Soviet Society under Perestroika, David Lane( 1990) has successfully constructed a conceptual framework that presents a sociological analysis of the social, politicolegal, and economic changes that evolved during Mikhail Gorbachev's ascent to power. Lane conceptualized Gorbachev's reform strategy as involving (1) uskorenie (acceleration or rapid growth in the economic structure) as a primary policy goal; (2) perestroika (restructuring or radical reform) as a method of change intended to resolve rather than create contradictions; and (3) an interrelated cluster of specialized mobilization strategies--consisting of glasnost, democratization and pluralism, law and control, and khozraschet--that were intended to create noveye myshleniye (new thinking) about the nature, causes, and consequences of perestroika.

The primary advantage of Lane's analysis is that he successfully transcends the usual Western approach of merely evaluating Gorbachev's efforts as positive or negative. Instead, Lane appears to assume a critical distance from Western analysts, and he tends to formulate a sociological framework that has the potential to stimulate the generation of

The research on alienation reported in this chapter was supported by Bush Foundation Grant Awards ( 1989, 1990), and the research on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union was supported by Minot State University Writing and Thinking Institute, Social and Behavioral Research, Arts and Sciences Research, and Center for Economic Education grants ( 1992).

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