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SPP 221

Author: Stephen White, U. of Glasgow and Ian McAllister, U. of New South Wales
Description: This paper uses survey data from Russia to address three related issues What did it mean to be a party member in the late communist period? How many were active members, and in what did their activity consist? How many read the party press, attended meetings, or took a part in political life in other ways? Secondly we ask: How united was the CPSU in the late communist period? Did party members, compared with others, have similar views on the issues of the day? How did the views of those who left the party compare with those that remained? And thirdly, we examine the views of party members on economic change and political democracy. The CPSU and its present or former members are accordingly a major influence upon the political direction of postcommunist Russia, and the willingness or unwillingness of formerly hegemonic parties and their members to accept the 'rules of the game' is central in the transition from authoritarian to pluralist forms of politics.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland