Collectivism Collapses, 1982–91

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


The dilemma Gorbachev faced was that both an activist (Khrushchev) and a more passive (Brezhnev) predominant leader had produced significant problems for the Soviet system. It was therefore unclear what leadership model he should seek to adopt. In the event, he went for a more activist model, but with the difference that he sought to carry his colleagues along with him, something in the mode of Lenin. However, the problem was that the radicalization of the political agenda undercut the basis of collective unity. As the established rules of both Soviet and, more narrowly oligarch, politics were called into question, the collective was unable to design an effective response and collapsed.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

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