The CPSU and its members: between communism and postcommunism

White, S.L. and McAllister, I. (1996) The CPSU and its members: between communism and postcommunism. British Journal of Political Science, 26(1), pp. 105-122. (doi:10.1017/S0007123400007432)

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Once dominant and unchallenged throughout the USSR, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union rapidly lost authority in the last two years of Soviet rule. Banned by Russian presidential decree after the failure of the attempted coup of August 1991, it was re-established in February 1993 and soon became the largest of the postcommunist parties. A 1992 survey of current and former party members as well as other Russians found that members were characterized by a relatively high degree of activism. They were disproportionately male, more affluent than non-members, and better provided with consumer goods. Younger respondents and religious believers were more likely to have left the party than their older colleagues. Those who still regarded themselves as party members were the most likely to oppose economic reform and support the collectivist principles of the communist era, particularly if they were activists; but the differences between members and non-members were not substantial, and both were found to hold generally pessimistic views on the postcommunist system. These findings suggest that, although former members will continue to be influential, CPSU membership is by itself likely to play a limited part in shaping the political direction of postcommunist Russia.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:White, Professor Stephen
Authors: White, S.L., and McAllister, I.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:British Journal of Political Science
Journal Abbr.:B. J. Pol. S.
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-2112
Published Online:27 January 2009
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 1996 Cambridge University Press
First Published:First published in British Journal of Political Science 26(1):105-122
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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