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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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The Generational Revolution

The Generational Revolution

(p.319) Chapter 28 The Generational Revolution
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union held its Twenty-seventh Congress in February and March 1986, signaling the end of an era characterized by an unprecedented series of leadership changes sparked by the successive deaths of three national chiefs in less than two-and-a-half years. The bureaucratic elite also underwent radical changes. There were important questions about the nature of political power in the Soviet system, such as how power was mobilized and transferred and what difference the succession from one generation to another made as the experience of Stalinism receded into the past. The composition of the Central Committee in terms of functional and regional status reflects a compulsion about rank and precedence that seems to have been deeply embedded in Russian political culture. Generational politics undoubtedly played a central role in the surprise turns of Soviet politics during the triple succession to Leonid Brezhnev. Mikhail Gorbachev's leadership and his reform line were both confirmed at the Twenty-seventh Congress as the outcome of the triple succession.

Keywords:   generational politics, triple succession, Communist Party, Soviet Union, Twenty-seventh Congress, bureaucratic elite, Central Committee, political culture, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev

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