Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics / Edition 1

Red Sunset: The Failure of Soviet Politics / Edition 1

by Philip G. Roeder
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691019428

ISBN-13: 9780691019420

Pub. Date: 09/20/1993

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Why did the Soviet system fail? How is it that a political order, born of revolution, perished from stagnation? What caused a seemingly stable polity to collapse? Philip Roeder finds the answer to these questions in the Bolshevik "constitution"—the fundamental rules of the Soviet system that evolved from revolutionary times into the post-Stalin era. These

Overview

Why did the Soviet system fail? How is it that a political order, born of revolution, perished from stagnation? What caused a seemingly stable polity to collapse? Philip Roeder finds the answer to these questions in the Bolshevik "constitution"—the fundamental rules of the Soviet system that evolved from revolutionary times into the post-Stalin era. These rules increasingly prevented the Communist party from responding to the immense social changes that it had itself set in motion: although the Soviet political system initially had vast resources for transforming society, its ability to transform itself became severely limited.

In Roeder's view, the problem was not that Soviet leaders did not attempt to change, but that their attempts were so often defeated by institutional resistance to reform. The leaders' successful efforts to stabilize the political system reduced its adaptability, and as the need for reform continued to mount, stability became a fatal flaw. Roeder's analysis of institutional constraints on political behavior represents a striking departure from the biographical approach common to other analyses of Soviet leadership, and provides a strong basis for comparison of the Soviet experience with constitutional transformation in other authoritarian polities.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691019420
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/20/1993
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 9.16(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Ch. 1Why Did Soviet Bolshevism Fail?3
Ch. 2The Authoritarian Constitution22
Ch. 3Creating the Constitution of Bolshevism, 1917-195341
Ch. 4Reciprocal Accountability, 1953-198666
Ch. 5Balanced Leadership, 1953-198694
Ch. 6Institutionalized Stagnation119
Ch. 7The Domestic Policy Spiral144
Ch. 8The Dialectics of Military Planning177
Ch. 9The Failure of Constitutional Reform, 1987-1991210
Ch. 10Can Authoritarian Institutions Survive?246
Notes255
Select Bibliography307
Index311

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