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  • Between the liberalization of communism and orthodox marxism (understanding evolution of soviet economic development in the 1950s and 1960s)


TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 17 (no. 4),

The paper deals with the Soviet economy from the perspective of two contrasting models of the national economy, shaped under different types of political regimes. The author discusses the differences between the economic system under Stalinʼs dictatorship and post-Stalin moderate Communist regime. The main reasons why Stalinism has run its course in the early 1950s are analyzed. Short-term, but quite effective liberal (as far as it was possible under Soviet regime) reforms put forward by Georgy Malenkov, 1953–1955, are discussed. As opposed to Malenkov’s reforms, Nikita Khrushchevʼs technocratic course to transform the Soviet economy is analyzed. The latter implied extensive economic growth, with the massive investments into advanced technology, and public administration reforms. The author argues that Khrushchevʼs technocratic policy, despite its failures, is undervalued by the Russian historiographers (in particular, much has been done for housing construction and energy industry). Meanwhile, Khrushchevʼs reforms neglected the issue of return on investment, and eventually resulted in over-investment crisis of the Soviet economy and failure of the Khrushchev Thaw. Relying on still insufficiently studied historical sources, the author focuses on the role of Soviet economists in policy «shifts» which took place in 1950s.
Citation: Popov, G. G. (2019). Between the liberalization of communism and orthodox marxism (understanding evolution of soviet economic development in the 1950s and 1960s). Terra Economicus, 17(4), 113–128. DOI: 10.23683/2073-6606-2019-17-4-113-128

Keywords: planned economy; economic reforms in the USSR; economics in the USSR; Stalin’s course; G.M. Malenkov’s reforms; N.S. Khrushchev’s policy

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606