Introduction: The Study of Soviet Leadership

  • Graeme Gill
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Political Leadership book series (PSPL)


Outlines the argument common in the literature that politics at the apex of authoritarian systems like the Soviet is an almost constant state of struggle for power between an individual leader and his colleagues. This is a misleading view, as an understanding of Soviet elite politics will demonstrate. The history of the study of Soviet leadership has tended to be conducted principally through the medium of biography, but although this may tell us a lot about the individual leader, it is deficient in explaining the structures and processes of leadership. This requires an investigation of the norms that underpinned that leadership and structured the way it operated. The chapter concludes by explaining the institutional structure of Soviet leadership politics, and defines the essential terms of the analysis.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Government and International RelationsUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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