No Asylum: State Psychiatric Repression in the Former USSR

Overview

Boris Vinokurov, of Gostelradio in the former Soviet Union, was found insane, along with his wife and daughter, after he called prematurely for a bipartisan economy and communication system. The Ukranian mathematician Leonid Ivanovich Plyushch was arrested and diagnosed as schizophrenic with messianic and reformist delusions, after helping found the Action Group for the Defense of Human Rights. He spent nearly four years in psychiatric detention, where he survived massive doses ...

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Overview

Boris Vinokurov, of Gostelradio in the former Soviet Union, was found insane, along with his wife and daughter, after he called prematurely for a bipartisan economy and communication system. The Ukranian mathematician Leonid Ivanovich Plyushch was arrested and diagnosed as schizophrenic with messianic and reformist delusions, after helping found the Action Group for the Defense of Human Rights. He spent nearly four years in psychiatric detention, where he survived massive doses of drugs, and lived to emigrate in 1978.

There is little doubt that the Soviet state frequently hospitalized healthy individuals, either involuntarily or voluntarily admitted by relatives and others, for political activity or religious observance. All too frequently, political activists would come down with acute cases of asymptomatic psychiatric conditions that were purported to require detainment and heavy medication. Forced hospitalizations took place on a scale corresponding to the activity level of the dissident movement. In No Asylum: State Psychiatric Repression in the former USSR, Theresa C. Smith and Thomas A. Oleszczuk offer the first detailed quantitative study of psychiatric abuses in the USSR, based on more than 700 well-substantiated individual cases.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814780619
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1996
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.65 (w) x 8.75 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Theresa C. Smith is Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy at Mankato State University in Minnesota, the author of Trojan Peace: Some Deterrence Propositions Tested, and editor of Security vs. Survival: The Nuclear Arms Race.

Thomas A. Oleszczuk is Associate Director of Computing and Information Technology at New York University's Stern School of Business and the author of Political Justice in the USSR.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgements
1 Political Hospitalization: Conception, Conceptualization and Conduct 1
2 Characteristics of the Evidence: The Database of Psychiatric Hospital Detainees 44
3 Four Explanations of the Political Use of Psychiatry 65
4 Who Are the Dissident Detainees? Some Observations and Descriptive Statistics 74
5 Trends, Changes with Administration and Spatial Dispersion 92
6 The Risk of Psychiatric Detention, Demographic Variables and Deterrence of Dissent 122
7 Legal and Political Developments in the Gorbachev and Yeltsin Administrations and After 146
8 Summary of Empirical Findings and Conclusions 173
App Table A1: Articles Used in Soviet Dissidents' Trials: RSFSR Code of Criminal Law 201
App Table A2: Comparison of RSFSR Major Criminal Code Articles Used against Dissidents with Comparable Articles in the Criminal Codes of the Union Republics 203
App Table A3: Five Lists of Confirmed Cases of Soviet Psychiatric Detainees 205
Notes 238
References 260
General Index 279
Index of Laws, Decrees, Administrative Instructions 290
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