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Stalin's Successors

Stalin's Successors
Leadership, Stability and Change in the Soviet Union

$35.99 (C)

  • Date Published: April 1982
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521289061

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a comprehensive overview of the ways in which the structure and process of Soviet politics have been transformed since Stalin's death, and particularly during the years of the Brezhnev regime. In explaining the Soviet Union's political stability, the author analyzes the Soviet combination of harsh authoritarian rule with political flexibility in the treatment of its citizens, and he describes the social processes that contribute to this stability. He also analyzes the Soviet perception of the current international situation and discusses trends in Soviet foreign policy, including the imbalance between military power on the one hand and political, economic, ideological, and cultural resources on the other. Professor Bialer explains the Soviet concept of détente and explores the difference between Soviet and American perceptions of this process. A major part of the work is devoted to an examination of the imminent succession of the Soviet leadership. The book gives a profile of the new generation of potential leaders and identifies the characteristics that make them different form those whom they will replace. The Soviet leadership, while embroiled in its succession struggle, will have to make difficult decisions concerning the allocation of national resources and overall changes in management, planning, and incentives. Professor Bialer concludes by analyzing the kinds of economic reform that could make the problems manageable and the conditions under which the new Soviet leadership will need to institute reforms.

    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a penetrating view of the Soviet governmental system and its likely future in the 1980s. His dissection of Stalin's rule by mass terror is masterly.' John Barkham, Federal Times

    'He displays a mastery of detail and excellent judgment. The book is solidly based on a remarkably broad knowledge of the available data.' Myron Rush, International Security

    'Seweryn Bialer is probably the most perceptive observer of Soviet politics, society and foreign policy writing today … His book is a superb and well documented piece of scholarship.' Richard Ullman, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

    'In the next decade the world is likely to be a more dangerous place than anything we have known for at least a generation. In order to contain almost certain disorder, we had best try to understand the sources of Soviet conduct, and reading Seweryn Bialer is one of the best ways to begin.' The New York Times

    'It is salutary to have a work that asks us to set aside our penchant for facile or ideologically motivated assumptions, and to see the USSR in a dispassionate and icily objective manner.' Washington Post

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1982
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521289061
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.527kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Stalinism and the Soviet Political System:
    1. The mature Stalinist system
    2. Stalin and the Soviet Political elite
    3. Stalinism and the evolution of the Soviet polity
    Part II. Succession and Turnover of Soviet Elites:
    4. The approaching succession: the top leader
    5. The approaching succession: leadership and elite turnover
    6. The approaching succession: generational change
    Part III. The Nature and Extent of Soviet Political Stability:
    7. Stability: analytical considerations
    8. Soviet stability and its sources
    9. Soviet political stability and the question of legitimacy
    10. Soviet stability and the national problem
    Part IV. Soviet Perceptions of International Affairs and Trends in Soviet Foreign Policy:
    11. The Centrality of US-Soviet relations
    12. The arms race and the correlation of forces
    13. The role of the military factor in international relations
    14. The Third World and the translation of power into influence
    Part V. Prospects for the 1980s:
    15. The politics of stringency

  • Author

    Seweryn Bialer

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