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Intellectual Precursors of Perestroika

John E. Elliott (University of Southern California, USA)
Abu F. Dowlah (University of Southern California, USA)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 May 1991



This article investigates the intellectual roots of perestroika. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the architect of perestroika claims that his programmes and policies are aimed at a revolutionary transformation of the Soviet economy from an overly centralised command system of management to a democratic system based mainly on economic methods and on an optimal combination of centralism and self‐management. To facilitate the restructuring process, Gorbachev simultaneously initiated two sweeping political reforms: glasnost (no “radical change is possible without it”); and demokratizatsiya (”there is no present‐day socialism, nor can there be, without democracy”). Therefore, prominent features envisaged by perestroika would presumably include: an optimal combination between centralism and self‐management, that would imply decentralisation in the economic management of the country; replacement of administrative methods by economic methods, that would emphasise economic incentives and market processes more than machineries of central planning; democratisation and openness in Soviet society, aimed at guaranteeing greater democratic rights for citizens, and pluralism in governmental and political processes.



Elliott, J.E. and Dowlah, A.F. (1991), "Intellectual Precursors of Perestroika", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 18 No. 5/6/7, pp. 175-206.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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