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The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia$
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Robert V. Daniels

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106497

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106497.001.0001

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Stalinism and Russian Political Culture

Stalinism and Russian Political Culture

Chapter:
(p.244) Chapter 21 Stalinism and Russian Political Culture
Source:
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia
Author(s):

Robert Daniels

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300106497.003.0022

During the 1970s, Soviet affairs were interpreted in the context of “political culture.” In constructing an image of Muscovite politics, Edward Keenan offered a detailed view of Russian political culture and how it influenced the postrevolutionary Soviet Union. Keenan noted a correspondence between old, pre-Petrine Russian patterns of political behavior and the Soviet modus operandi. In order to understand the role of Russian political culture under Stalinism and beyond, one must recognize that the operative meaning of ideology was changed considerably by pragmatic responses to events and by high-level reinterpretation. Muscovy differed from early modern states in its degree of centralism and the lack of legal or customary restraints on the despotic power of the tsar. One salient continuity in Russian political culture is the xenophobic attitude toward neighboring ethnic groups and other countries.

Keywords:   political culture, politics, Edward Keenan, Soviet Union, Stalinism, ideology, Muscovy, centralism

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