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An Algebra of Soviet Power : Elite Circulation in the Belorussian Republic 1966-86 - Michael E. Urban

An Algebra of Soviet Power

Elite Circulation in the Belorussian Republic 1966-86

Hardcover Published: 23rd November 1989
ISBN: 9780521372565
Number Of Pages: 200

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Control of office has long been regarded as the key element in understanding power and policy in the Soviet system. What, however, accounts for the control of office and how are individuals recruited into positions of power and responsibility? In An algebra of Soviet power, Michael Urban adopts a new approach and introduces into the field of political elite studies the sociological technique of vacancy chain analysis. This treats the movements of actors as sequences of complex inter-relations that are structured by the properties and powers of the personnel system rather than by the consequences of individual intentions or characteristics. This algebraic method is applied to a large body of career data of officials from the Soviet Republic of Belorussia for the period 1966-86. The author documents how, despite the formal systems of nomenklatura - central control over personnel placement - the flow of individuals through the hierarchy of offices in Belorussia has not been influenced by any coordinating policy issuing from Moscow or Minsk. Instead regionalism has played an important, and patronage, the decisive, role in system. This study also outlines changes in this pattern that stem from the advent of the Gorbachev leadership and shows how these changes were anticipated in some important respects by events in Belorussia. An algebra of Soviet power will be welcomed by students and specialists of Soviet politics and political sociology.

List of figures and tables
Method, model and historical background
Hierarchy, mobility and a stratified model
Centralisation as a determinant of elite circulation
The regional structure of elite circulation
The structure of patronage affiliations
Does faction make a difference?
Political succession
Conclusions, implications and the question of level
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521372565
ISBN-10: 0521372569
Series: Soviet and East European Studies (Hardcover)
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 200
Published: 23rd November 1989
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.57 x 15.9  x 2.26
Weight (kg): 0.41