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.
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