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Practicing StalinismBolsheviks, Boyars, and the Persistence of Tradition$
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J. Arch Getty

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300169294

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300169294.001.0001

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The Party Personnel System

The Party Personnel System

Upstairs at the Central Committee

(p.96) 3 The Party Personnel System
Practicing Stalinism

J. Arch Getty

Yale University Press

This chapter looks in detail at patrimonialism and personalization in the Stalin period. It also looks at the structure of top party institutions, party personnel allocation, and the Bolshevik elite's self-representation as leaders. It illustrates that the leading bodies of the party were always ephemeral collections of personalities that never developed a rule-bound institutionalization that would allow institutions to project their rules, procedures, and authority onto senior political actors or determine their behavior. The chapter also shows how patrimonialism and personalized power consistently won over “modern” functioning, quite aside from the considerable influence of Stalin's personality.

Keywords:   patrimonialism, personalization, Stalin period, Bolshevik elite, persoanlities, Stalin

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