The Soviet Political Elite and How it is Chosen

  • Bohdan Harasymiw
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


We come at last to the stage of Soviet political recruitment which commonly holds most interest — selection of the elite. By now we appreciate how highly structured is the process up to this point, and how certain key social categories have, at various nodes, their progress impeded by obstacles placed before them by those already in positions of authority. Were it not for these apparently conscious interventions, the aspirants for political roles might have nothing more formidable (and for many, more favourable) to contend with than the ‘law of increasing disproportion’, the law which, in every industrial society, propels those of highest social status into the highest political offices. Unlike ‘eligible’, as we have seen, the ‘activists’ are not selected on the basis of social status, except for education. If the ‘law of increasing disproportion’ is so prominently broken at that juncture, what happens in the selection of the Soviet political elite? How easy is it for various social categories to make the transition from ‘activist’ to member of the elite?


Political Elite Central Committee Party Member Chief Engineer Party Membership 
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Copyright information

© Bohdan Harasymiw 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bohdan Harasymiw
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCanada

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