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Seven Years That Shook Economic and Social Thinking: Reflections on the Revolution in Communist Economics 1985-1991
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main theme of this study is to analyze the Soviet economic theoretical debate in the period 1985 – 1991. This period of reconstruction gave possibilities of a more free debate. In the period up to 1989/90 the directive from the Central Committee of the Communist Party was to defend the socialist economic system and its supremacy over market economics. However, certain market economic ideas were deemed as functioning methods also in a planned economic system. One of the conclusions in this thesis is that the Soviet economists failed to solve some central theoretical problems in the Soviet economy and as consequence their thinking failed to have a stabilizing effect on the socialist economic theory. The Achilles heel was how to apply the labour theory of value on a planned economy. In 1990 and 1991 the discussion was very free and now a transition to market economy was accepted by the economists. The main issue between the Soviet economists became now whether a gradual transition to market economy was to be preferred to shock therapy. The majority of the economists recommended a gradual transition. Scholars have emphasized that old stationary structures are important in Russian and Soviet history. A conclusion in this thesis is that such structures seemed to have played a role in Soviet and Russian theoretical thinking in the period 1985 – 1991.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2008. , 174 p.
Stockholm Studies in Economic History, ISSN 0346-8305 ; 55
Keyword [en]
perestroíka, planned economy, labour theory of value, socialist market, market socialism, market economics, shock therapy, gradual transition
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8353ISBN: 978-91-86071-08-0OAI: diva2:200147
Public defence
2008-12-19, hörsal 3, hus B, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2008-11-27 Created: 2008-11-27 Last updated: 2012-07-05Bibliographically approved

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