Economic backwardness and state led development: the origin, character and fate of the Soviet model
AbstractThe collapse of the USSR in 1991 appeared to mark the end of an era of state led development as a response to economic backwardness. The Soviet model had already ceased to inspire similar state led approaches in the rest of the world but now it demonstrably failed in its leaders' self-defined mission - `to catch up and overtake' the advanced west. The papers in this portfolio reflect an attempt to come to terms with the Soviet experience - its origin, character and fate. But they also set this discussion within the wider context of global inequalities in a way that tries not only to make sense of the past but also to offer some understanding of the current constraints of economic convergence in the former Soviet Union in general and Russia in particular. In this way, the papers seek to engage both with specific debates about the USSR and wider questions of global political economy. The pieces selected here reflect the particular urgency in these debates created by the situation in the last five years as it has become obvious that the high hopes of the immediate post transition period were not being met. Instead there was economic, social and political turmoil in the fragments of the former USSR and a growing degree of intellectual anxiety as predictions unravelled. The papers were written as interventions in current debates, structured by an attempt to lay out a distinctive approach in the following terms: firstly, the argument that an explanation of the history of the USSR has to start from an understanding of its relationship to the wider global system; secondly, that this understanding has to be informed by a critical approach both to the development of global capitalism and in the USSR in particular; thirdly, that this requires both theoretical engagement and a strongly grounded empirical approach; fourthly, that together these point to the need to question both the conventional wisdom about the significance of the Soviet experience and the approaches usually adopted in more radical accounts.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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