The Soviet Union: Gorbachev, perestroika and socialism

White, S.L. (1992) The Soviet Union: Gorbachev, perestroika and socialism. Journal of Communist Studies, 8(1), pp. 23-40. (doi:10.1080/13523279208415127)

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The Russian revolution of 1917 was originally conceived as part of a transition to socialism on a global scale. The failure of that strategy led to a far‐reaching debate about the means by which a relatively backward Soviet Russia could advance by itself to a communist future. The Gorbachev years saw the issue addressed in terms of the construction of a ‘humane, democratic socialism’, seen as part of a global process; individual scholars and publicists advanced still further towards a socialism that would embody a multi‐party system and a variety of forms of ownership. Increasingly, however, still more radical commentators identified the origin of Soviet difficulties as Leninism itself. There was, in fact, little popular support for a return to capitalism; but the experience of Soviet rule showed that the authorities in that country needed the political experience of the West as much as they needed its capital investment.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Professor Stephen
Authors: White, S.L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Journal of Communist Studies
Published Online:12 November 2007

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