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ISBN: 0674836812, 9780674836815Издательство: Harvard University Press
What led to the breakdown of the Soviet Union? Steven Solnick argues, contrary to most current literature, that the Soviet system fell victim not to stalemate at the top nor to a revolution from below, but rather to opportunism from within. In three casestudies-on the Communist Youth League, the system of job assignments for university graduates, and military conscription-Solnick makes use of rich archival sources and interviews to tell the story from a new perspective, and to employ and test Western theories of reform in the Soviet environment. He finds that even before Gorbachev, mechanisms for controlling bureaucrats in Soviet organizations were weak, allowing these individuals great latitude in their actions. Once reforms began, they translated thislatitude into open insubordination by seizing the very organizational assets they were supposed to be managing. Thus the Soviet system, Solnick argues, suffered the organizational equivalent of a colossal bank run. When the servants of...