In this 1992 book Professor Peter Rutland analyses the role played by regional and local organs of the Soviet Communist Party in economic management from 1970 to 1990. Using a range of political and economic journals, newspapers and academic publications, he examines interventions in the construction industry, energy, transport, consumer goods and agriculture. Rutland argues that party interventions hindered rather than assisted the search for efficiency in the Soviet economy, and repeated attempts to introduce more economically rational management methods failed to alter these traditional patterns of party intervention. He further demonstrates how as the Soviet economy matured and grew more complex over the last three decades, party interventions became increasingly out of tune with the needs of the economy. Yet even the calls for radical reform of the economy since 1985 were not accompanied by any decisive changes in this pattern of party intervention; this, argues Peter Rutland, casts serious doubts on the political feasibility of economic reform in a Soviet-type system.
List of tables; Preface; Glossary of Russian terms and abbreviations; Introduction: the party in the post-totalitarian system; 1. The party and the economy: structures and principles; 2. Party interventions in industry; 3. Interventions in industry: case studies; 4. The party as regional coordinator; 5. Regional coordination: case studies; 6. The party as fireman: party interventions in the transport and energy sectors; 7. The role of the party in agriculture; 8. Non-party control organs; 9. The principles underlying the party's work with cadres; 10. The obkom elite in the 1980s; 11. Party and economy under Perestroika; Conclusion; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index.