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IDEOLOGY AND THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET SYSTEM

A Critical History of Soviet Ideological Discourse Neil Robinson, Lecturer in Government, University of Essex, UK
This innovative book offers a critical history of the development of Soviet ideology, discussing its centrality to Soviet politics and the destructive effect that it had on the Gorbachev reforms.
Extent: 240 pp
Hardback Price: $145.00 Web: $130.50
Publication Date: 1995
ISBN: 978 1 85898 167 3
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  • Politics and Public Policy
  • European Politics and Policy
  • International Politics
  • International Relations
This innovative book offers a critical history of the development of Soviet ideology, discussing its centrality to Soviet politics and the destructive effect that it had on the Gorbachev reforms.

Neil Robinson analyses the nature and historical evolution of Soviet ideology between 1917 and 1985 to demonstrate the structural importance of Soviet ideological discourse and the uncertain place that it allocated to the communist party in the Soviet political system. On the basis of this analysis, Dr Robinson provides a fresh interpretation of Gorbachev’s political reforms. He describes the ideological dynamic that underwrote the development of perestroika, how Gorbachev’s ideas on democratization sent contradictory messages to the communist party, and how this stimulated opposition to perestroika from party cadres and Soviet society.

Ideology and the Collapse of the Soviet System establishes the ideological roots of the crisis of Soviet power under Gorbachev and provides a convincing account of the Soviet system’s inability to reform itself.
‘. . . this work is a serious attempt to bring ideology back into discussions about the end of the Soviet Union.’
– Bartholomew Goldyn, Slovo

‘. . . this is an excellent book which sheds considerable light upon the role of ideology, particularly in the last years of the Soviet Union.’
– Graeme Gill, Europe – Asia Studies

‘. . . Robinson’s book is invaluable and will be of lasting value.’
– Michael Waller, Keele University, UK

‘Robinson’s method is considerably more advanced than the methodologies that informed most discussions of this subject while the USSR was still in existence. He asks better questions and comes up with more stimulating answers than one is likely to find in conventional sovietological accounts.’
– Michael Urban, Slavic Review
Contents: Preface 1. Bringing Ideology Back In: The Party and the Soviet Model of Politics 2. The Origins of Soviet Ideology and the Power of the Party 3. Ideology after Stalin: Khrushcev, Breshnev and the Revival of Communist Construction and the Resurrection of Party Power 4. Breaking the Ice: From Uskorenie to Perestroika. Gorbachevism, 1985–1987 5. The Second Phase of Perestroika: “Socialist pluralism of opinions”, the “Socialist law-based state” and “socialist choice” and the Party 6. The End of the Soviet Model of Politics: The Failure of the Party and the Collapse of Party Hegemony 7. Conclusion: Ideology and the Collapse of the Soviet System Bibliography Index