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  • The Soviet military sector in American studies: Omitting the obvious (Kontorovich, V. (2019). Reluctant Cold Warriors. Economists and National Security. Oxford University Press. The Book Review)


TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 18 (no. 1),

The author analyses the studies of the role of the military sector in the Soviet economy conducted in the USA after World War II. The paper shows that nearly all American Sovietologists significantly underestimated the Soviet military sector. To explain this fact, the author describes the state of the entire Soviet studies in the USA, mostly funded by the American government. In addition to this big mistake of American specialists, the author also emphasizes another serious error in evaluation of the fixed assets – an essential underlying factor for economic growth. There were also other severe mistakes in economic calculations. Nevertheless, American Sovietologists have considerable merits for alternative estimates of the Soviet economy. The author demonstrates that the best estimates of the military sector in the Soviet economy were given by independent researchers – immigrants from the USSR who were often discriminated in the US academic circles. At the same time, their forced emigration is indicative of the shortsightedness of the Soviet internal policy, depriving the USSR of its talented people. Raising this issue brings the author to a question about the causes of such errors. These causes are related to the place of Sovietology in American economic science, its progress, scholars’ motivation as well as the behavior of the American government. Failures of Western economists to predict the 2008 crisis coupled with such failures of economic Sovietology allow us to talk about a crisis of the entire Western economics and higher economic education. Meanwhile, after 1991, Western economics has set the pattern for Russian economic science and higher economic education.
Citation: Khanin, G. I. (2020). The Soviet military sector in American studies: Оmitting the obvious (Kontorovich, V. (2019). Reluctant Cold Warriors. Economists and National Security. Oxford University Press. The Book Review). Terra Economicus, 18(1), 154–166. DOI: 10.18522/2073-6606-2020-18-1-154-166

Keywords: USSR economy; military sector of the USSR economy; economics in the US; American Sovietology

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