Northern Illinois University Press

Russia's Workers in Transition

Labor, Management, and the State under Gorbachev and Yeltsin

Paul T. Christensen

"Readers at all levels will benefit from this excellent economic survey of a current topic of major importance. This well-written and timely volume will be valuable throughout the social sciences."—Choice

"Original, provocative, and deeply empirical, Christensen's book recasts the international discussion about transitions to democracy and capitalism."—Valerie Bunce, author of Subversive Institutions

How is it that the Soviet superpower became the economically dependent Russia of the late 1990s? Based upon impressive archival research and extensive fieldwork, this timely study compares the policies of Gorbachev and Yeltsin as they attempted to throw off the enduring economic legacies of Stalinism.

Christensen focuses upon the organization and activism of the Russian working class, arguing that the labor movement under Gorbachev was as crucial for the destruction of communism as were the nationalist revolts.

Russia's Workers in Transition approaches economic and social policy in Russia historically as well as empirically, tracing long-term evolutions across the Soviet and Russian periods. Russia's unique circumstances explain the failure of transition policies that had worked elsewhere, leading Christensen to re-examine the assumptions of postcommunist transition theory.

(1999) 208 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-253-4
cloth $40.00

Table of Contents

1 Restructuring State Socialism
Theorizing the Political Economy of Post-Sovietism
2 The Dictatorship and the Proletariat
The Political Economy of Labor Relations from Lenin to Brezhnev
3 The Revolution Delayed
The Politics of Production Democracy, 1987–1990
4 Class Power and Power Politics
Workers' Responses to a System in Crisis, 1989–1991
5 Disempowering Labor
Workers and Trade Unions under Yeltsin
6 Laboring under Illusions
Russian Workers and the Political Economy of Yeltsinism
Labor Politics, Reform in Russia, and Democratization Theory
Select Bibliography

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-253-4
cloth $40.00