Gorbachev’s Economic Reforms in the Context of the Soviet Political System

  • Stanislaw Gomulka


Since spring 1985 a warm wind of change has begun to envelop the Soviet Union, raising the prospect that the country’s immensely large and highly centralised institutional structure, particularly its economic sector, may soon begin to shrink and decentralise. This institutional structure has changed remarkably little since the early 1930s. It was established, it may be recalled, by a small group of single-minded communist revolutionaries to serve the implementation of their drastically new social order. The new institutions, initially at least, operated in a political and cultural environment very much hostile to that order and, in part because of that hostility, in a manner exceptionally authoritarian for nearly all and extremely unpleasant — indeed, tragic — for a large number of the Soviet people. That manner changed much for the better after Stalin’s death in 1953, when official ideology also became less rigid and more tolerant of other ideas. However, Khrushchev’s de-Stalinisation process was effectively stopped when Brezhnev came to power in 1964.


Socialist World Economic Reform Central Committee Political Democratisation Soviet Economy 
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Copyright information

© Stanislaw Gomulka, Yong-Chool Ha and Cae-One Kim 1989

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  • Stanislaw Gomulka

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