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Abstract

There are a number of general considerations in understanding the nature of leadership as an institution in Soviet-type societies. Perhaps the most significant of these is that the leader has a number of functions which are not paralleled in Western systems, because both the leader and the system as a whole lack popular legitimacy. What the leader has to achieve, therefore, is something short of legitimacy but which should provide stability. In the initial ‘revolutionary’ phase of Soviet-type systems, this was largely by coercion and, for a minority, belief in the official ideology. In the post-revolutionary `administrative’ phase, coercion on a mass scale has come to be regarded as inefficient in the achievement of goals and the ideology of Marxism-Leninism as officially propounded has largely lost whatever power of attraction it has ever had. Consequently, the system as a whole has had to find surrogates and it is in this context that leadership has come to play a pivotal role.

Keywords

Armed Force Party Secretary Trained Unit Personality Cult Official Ideology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© School of Slavonic and East European Studies 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Schöpflin

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