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Political protest and dissent in the Khrushchev Era

Hornsby, Robert (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses the subject of political dissent during the Khrushchev era. It examines the kinds of protest behaviours that individuals and groups engaged in and the way that the Soviet authorities responded to them. The findings show that dissenting activity was more frequent and more diverse during the Khrushchev period than has previously been supposed and that there were a number of significant continuities in the forms of dissent, and the authorities’ responses to these acts, across the eras of Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. In the early Khrushchev years a large proportion of the political protest and criticism that took place remained essentially loyal to the regime and Marxist-Leninist in outlook, though this declined in later years as communist utopianism and respect for the ruling authorities seem to have significantly diminished. In place of mass terror, the authorities increasingly moved toward more rationalised and targeted practices of social control, seeking to ‘manage’ dissent rather than to eradicate it either by persuasion or by force. All of this was reflective of the fact that the relationship between state and society was undergoing a vital transitional stage during the Khrushchev years, as both parties began to establish for themselves what had and had not changed since Stalin’s death.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Smith, Jeremy (Dr) and Ilic, Melanie (Dr) and Titov, Alex (Dr)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:Centre for Russian and East European Studies
Subjects:JN Political institutions (Europe)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:405
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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