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History, politics and institutions – the test
Below you have the list of topics we have addressed during our classes - the test will be based on these topics. The topics on the list have been divided into:
- part a) information from the lecture to be remembered: in this part I present information (these information are taken from my presentations with some additional clarifications) which generally are not included in the texts we were reading for our consecutive classes – part of the test’s questions will be based directly on the ‘information from the lecture to be remembered’
- part b) reading and issues/questions to be addressed: in this case I point your attention at the issues/questions you should especially focus on when studying the particular text – the part of the test’s questions will be connected directly with the issues/questions pointed out
1. Institutional approach in political science a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
According to sociologists Peter and Brigitte Berger institution can be defined as a ‘regulatory pattern or programme imposed by society upon the conduct of individuals’1. They enumerate five basic characteristics of institution:
1. Experienced as having external reality 2. Experienced as possessing objectivity 3. They have coercive power 4. They have moral authority 5. They have the quality of historicity
The institutional approach – general overview
1. Basic characteristics (of the classic institutional approach):
- political institutions are understood in a formal-legal terms - political behaviour is determined/regulated by legal rules and procedures - studying political institutions is central to the identity of the discipline of political science
1 Berger P., Berger B., Sociology: a biographical approach, Penguin Books 1976.
2. Three basic methods in the classic institutionalism:
a) Descriptive-inductive: ‘hyperfactualism’ - analyzing and explaining particular events, eras and institutions in order to draw inferences from number of observations; the approach is characterized by distaste for theory which is considered secondary, because the facts are the most important in analysis of political behaviour b) Formal-legal: study of ‘constitutional structure’- focus on formal framework of political behaviour with a special emphasis on the system of fundamental political institutions (so a constitution is understood not only in the terms of written document, but it is also the set of political institutions being fundamental for the political order of given state) c) Historical-comparative: understanding by comparison - historical comparison of institutions across countries, with the focus on evolution of institutions and the forces behind institutional change
3. Critique of the institutional approach in the political science:
- the study of formal institutions does not cover all important dimensions of political life (like informal patterns of behaviour; spontaneous political activity) - the hyperfactualism is accompanied by theoretical weakness (a lot of facts, but at the same time lack of theoretical generalizations/conclusions) - lack of quantitative analysis, but rather focus on the particular historical events and legal constructs - it is the old-fashioned approach
Neo-institutional approach or the ‘new institutionalism’
As a result of critical views on the classic institutional approach the concept of institution has been widened – an institution is understood not only as a set of formal rules, but also informal rules are included. According to Douglass North, representative of neo-institutionalism, an institution is ‘humanly devised constraint that shape human interaction’2.
Why does history matter as a component of analysis of political life (according to Charles Tilly)3?
a) In the case of large-scale political processes, explanations always make implicit or explicit assumptions concerning historical origins of the phenomenon
b) In the case of long-term processes, some or all features of the process occur outside the observations of any connected cohort of human analysts, and therefore require historical reconstruction
2 Sanders E., Historical institutionalism, [in:] The oxford handbook of historical institutions, ed. R. A. W. RHODES, S. A. BINDER, B.A. ROCKMAN, Oxford University Press 2006. 3 Tilly C., Why and how history matters, [in:] The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, ed. R. Goodin, C. Tilly, Oxford University Press 2006.
c) Most or all political processes are connected with/affected by locally available cultural materials such as language, social categories, and widely shared beliefs – these are historically determined products/outputs
d) Processes occurring in surrounding places such as neighbouring countries influence local political processes, hence historically variable neighbouring forces impact the operation of those local processes.
e) ) Path dependency prevails in political processes, such that events occurring at one stage in a sequence constrain the range of events that is possible at later stages
f) Once a process (e.g. a revolution) has occurred and acquired a name, both the name and one or more representations of the process become available as signals, models, threats, and/or inspirations for later actors
b) reading: Robinson J., Acemoglu D., Why nations fail. The origins of power, prosperity and poverty , London 2012, p. 70-96.
issues /questions to be addressed:
- extractive vs inclusive economic institutions
- inclusive economic institutions and its impact on technology and education
- ‘inclusive economic institutions need and use the state’ – how should we understand this link?
- extractive vs inclusive political institutions
- explain a feedback loop between extractive economic and political institutions
2. Feudal monarchy and rules of succession a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
The Carolingian Empire (800-887 AD) – the empire which provided two important foundations for development of feudal monarchy in Europe:
- model of patrimonial monarchy (realm is a property of royal family)
- feudalism as a system of political, social and economic organization
Feudal system can be characterized as a system of personal networks based on contract between senior and vassal - within this system protection and fief is offered by senior in exchange for military service and loyalty provided by vassal
Feudal monarchy (X-XV century) – basic characteristics:
- patrimonial monarchy – state and its resources are treated as a property of royal family
- no distinction between private and public revenues and expenditures
- close bonds with the Church - monarch is sacred figure
- monarch is at the top of the system of feudal dependencies
- seigniory as an autonomous center of local power
- official concentration of executive, legislative and juridical power
Rules (orders) of succession in monarchy
The rules of succession as a factor behind stability of monarchy
Gordon Tullock’s theory of autocratic survival – assumptions:
- members of the political regime have the interest in maintaining the status quo
- a death of the monarch poses a risk to the regimes continuity
- if there is no clear successor pointed, there is a risk of chaos/power struggle
- members of the elite anticipate the power struggle so they have an incentive to take a first step
- members of the elite prefer to maintain the status quo, rather than to engage into the uncertain power struggle
Because of the above mentioned assumptions a lack of a clear successor is problematic both for the king and for his/her social surrounding. Accordingto Gordon Tullock a succession based on primogeniture solves this problem thereby increases autocrat’s chances of surviving in the office. The advantages of primogeniture are following:
- solving regime change/coordination problem (the crown prince provides a natural focal point for the elite)
- the crown prince is naturally younger than the king so he is patient to wait for his turn in power holding (in the other succession systems potential successors are motivated to speed up power transmission)
- young age of the king when he takes over the power gives a feeling of the long term stability to the members of elite
Gordon Tullock’s theory has been verified empirically by ANDREJ KOKKONEN and ANDERS SUNDELL4. The researchers analyzed a political paths of 940 European monarchs living in 42 political entities between the years 1000-1800. The basic findings: - in the history of European monarchies there was a general tendency to replace the non- primogeniturial principles of succession by the primogeniturial method of power succession
- the average tenure for monarchs living under primogeniture was approx. 21 years, while for those living under non-primogeniturial system was 11 - the longer duration of the king’s rule the higher possibility of being deposed/young kings are less like to be deposed - the rules of succession determine political stability in an autocratic monarchy: the monarch ruling under primogeniture is less likely to be deposed
3. Feudal monarchy and its transformation Development of the legal limits of monarch’s power in the medieval Europe
Three main factors behind establishing a rules limiting powers of monarch:
1. Political struggle and pressure from below
- the feudal contract between vassal and senior (including the top senior-monarch) entitled vassals to resistance (ius resistendi) in a case of violation of the contract (the Magna Carta of 1215 can be illustration of such effective resistance)
4 Kokkonen A., Sundel A., Delivering stability – primogeniture and autocratic survival in European monarchies 1000-1800, The Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, 2012.
2. Writings of the jurists
- Natural Law School - Hugo Grotius (1583-1645); Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694) - all human beings were born with certain rights and these rights should be protected/guaranteed by the Constitution
3. Treaties/doctrines of the philosophers and theologists
- the Church Fathers – the positive law can not violate the natural law derived from God’s will
Pope Gelasius I (492-496) and his doctrine of the two swords/powers: spiritual (pope) and temporal (monarch) - spiritual power represented by pope is superior to monarch’s power because monarch is not competent in religious matters.
- Marsilius of Padua (1274-1342) – ruler is bound by law as he is citizen exercising a governmental function so accountability before the law applies to him
- John Locke (1632-1704) and Montesquieu (1689-1755) – separation of power
Three ideal-types of monarchy
Alfred Stepan, Juan Linz and Juli Minoves5 claim that when analysing a democratization of monarchies we should distinguish three ideal-types of monarchy:
1. Ruling monarchy 2. Constitutional monarchy 3. Democratic parliamentary monarchy
The slide below presents characteristic features of each of the types:
b) reading: Caenegem C. R., An historical introduction to western constitutional law, Cambridge University Press 1995, p. 91-107
issues /questions to be addressed:
- political changes/processes which paved the way to absolutist monarchy in XVI century
- advantages offered by absolutist regime
- weaknesses of absolutist monarchy
4. The rise of European Parliaments
5 Stepan A., Linz J., Minoves J., ‘Democratic parliamentary monarchies’ Journal of Democracy, vol. 25, no 2, 2014
a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
The establishment of a councils/assemblies having consultative and advisory role to the sovereigns is an old political phenomenon. The kings had to consult with an adult males representing given political entity especially the issues of war and taxes. During an assembly meetings a king discussed and negotiated the level of taxes with two estates: nobles and clergy. An assembly meetings of the two estates sometimes were called curia regis (royal council; king’s council)
In England after 1066 the curia regis existed in a two forms:
• the great curia regis (magnum concilium) – convened occasionally by the king to deal with the special issues
• the small curia regis – perpetual council in constant session being an actual king’s court (following the king in his travel throughout his realm)
There was no clear division on separate powers – the curia regis dealt with legislative, juridical and executive issues (including advising on diplomacy).
But the historians of the European parliaments make a clear distinction between the royal councils and the ‘modern’ parliaments.
- an independent body/or at least autonomous containing members of three estates (not only two like in a councils’ case) : the clergy, the nobility, the city dwellers (sometimes also peasants)
- legal entity with clearly fixed rights and obligations ensuring continuity of its existence
The main functions of the parliaments of medieval Europe:
- accepting/negotiating taxation
- dealing with the most important pieces of legislation
- war and peace (foreign policy)
- high court of justice
- appointment of a sovereign
What were the forces behind the rise of parliaments?
The forces from above - a king was usually the one who initiated the meetings of three estates:
- he wanted to stabilize his reign, especially just after succession
- he wanted to find additional revenues
- by limiting his own power he manifested respect for the law, including respect for property rights thereby creating conditions conducive to economic growth (increased tax income, incentives for a long-term investments, attracting merchants and skilled workers)
The ‘neighbourhood effect’ behind the spreading of parliaments in Europe
If one state introduces an institutional innovation in the form of parliament, the neighbouring countries may fell pressure to do the same as they do not want to lose competition (for example a competition to attract skilled labour force). The more states introduce representative body, the stronger will be the pressure to do this
The ‘first’ parliaments. Where and when did it start?
The first parliament in Europe was convened in 1188 in the Kingdom of Leon (The Cortese of Leon) when king Alfonso IX, just after succeeding power from his father, called for a meeting of bishops, magnates and representatives of cities. The first meeting of the parliament of the Kingdom of Leon resulted in issuing decrees according to which:
- Alfonso IX considered himself to be subjected to the law
- Alfonso IX promised to be impartial when administering the justice and not to act arbitrarily
- Alfonso IX guaranteed security of property and household
- Alfonso IX declared that he will not make war, peace or sign a treaty without a permission of the parliament
- a deal was made between the king and the cities: the king will not change the value of currency for 7 years in exchange for financial support
Why did the king do this?
The urban representatives had been granted the right of representation because of the special circumstances of the Reconquista. The cities being previously under Muslim control were incorporated in XII century to the Kingdom of Leon and granted an autonomy and privileges in order to win support of the city dwellers. The Castilian kings had to compete with the more advanced Muslim kingdoms which had ruled over the southern part of the Iberian peninsula - the message was sent to the merchants that their interests and property will be respected and protected by the new Castilian kings.
The case of England:
The foundation of parliamentary democracy in England is usually associated with the Magna Charta of 1215 – the document which confirms an agreement imposed on the King John by English rebellious barons who opposed the misusing of power by the King:
- the document reinforced position of barons and triggered pro-democratic path dependency – since that moment the monarch’s power started to be gradually limited by representatives of estates/parliament
- the document was referred to many times in the future fight for strengthening the parliament in England
The case of Iceland
A history of parliaments seems to overlook a very interesting case of the Icelandic Parliament - Althing which was established in 930 AD. This bias is probably caused by the peripheral position of Iceland in the Middle Ages and its small population at the time (of only 30 thousand people).
b) reading: Niaz Ilhan, The origins and legacy of Russian Autocracy in: Old world empires: cultures of power and governance in Euroasia, London 2014, p. 241-287.
issues /questions to be addressed:
- the apanage system as the foundation of political order in Kievan Rus
- pomestie and its links with territorial expansion of the Grand Principality of Moscow
- Ivan the Terrible (1547 – 1584) – establishment of the Streltsy and the Opricznina
- Russia’s modernization under Peter the Great (1682-1725)
4. Bureaucracy and its development a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
Characteristic features of bureaucracy (the simplification of the weberian model by Michael Mann):
1) Bureaucrats are separated from ownership of office and they are employed and regularly paid by the state
2) Bureaucrats are recruited and promoted according to impersonal criteria of competence/ merits
3) Bureaucratic offices are organized into departments based on centralized system of management - each department performing separate function
4) Departments are integrated into single administration constituting centralized hierarchy
5) The single administration is separated/insulated from general society and politics, including separation from values held by this society
The basic forces behind the early reform of bureaucracy in Prussia and Austria in line with the weberian model:
1. Cameralism - science of administration developed in XVIII century by German law professors who claimed that state departments should be centralized, rationalized, informed by statistical data and subordinated to universal fiscal rules. It was argued that such approach will:
- provide order - stimulate economic activity of subjects - increase state’s capacity for extracting subject’s wealth through tax collection
2. Prussian militarism – the Prussian army was the first organization based on bureaucratic rules providing model for civil administration (hierarchy of ranks, centralized system of command, discipline and loyalty expected from soldiers)
b) reading: Rothstein B., State building and capitalism: the rise of the Swedish bureaucracy, „Scandinavian Political Studies”, vol. 21, no. 4, 1998.
issues/questions to be addressed:
- the accord system in Sweden and its eradication
- the problems with low qualifications of the university graduates aspiring for the public office and reasons behind this
- differences between the feudal and bureaucratic servants when it come to their duties and payments
5. Historical transformation of political parties a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
In 1770 Edmund Burke (1729-1797) defined political party as a ‘body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interests, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed’. In 1976 Giovani Sartori (1924 - ) defined political party as ‘any political group identified by an official label that presents at elections, and is capable of placing through election, candidates for public office’.
First political parties emerged in proto-democratic systems with voting rights limited to a small, privileged group of the richest males (small upper class elite). These political parties can be named the internally created or elite parties - the term proposed by Maurice Duverger who in 1954 made distinction between the two types of political parties:
a) internally created political parties (elite parties) - having origins within parliament, created by already existing elite groups responding to enfranchisement by building electoral machines that would help them in securing political power
b) externally created political parties - having origins outside parliament, product of social mobilization of under-represented groups seeking access to political power
Transformation of political parties according to Peter Mair and Richard Katz:
I stage - elite party (XIX century)
II stage - mass party (1880 – 1960)
III stage - cartel party (1970 – till present)
Mass party – key features:
- created externally (extraparliamentary) by those who previously were excluded from the political power - parties of social integration aimed at inclusion of social groups into politics - mobilization of clearly defined economic/ethnic segments of society - strong organizational structure (centralized nationwide organization) and high level of membership
- strong commitment expected from members (e.g. paying membership fees and voluntary work) - strong ideological background .
Cartel party - key features:
- strongly amalgamated with the state apparatus in order to extract/use its resources to win elections (‘colonization’ of state institutions - especially public administration)
- the party harmonizes its interests/collude with the other parliamentary parties in order to block entrance of the smaller/new political parties (especially radical ones) into political process
- informal agreements and formal solutions (e.g. shaping system of public financing of the political parties; shaping electoral rules) are used by parties in power to reinforce their privileged position and to maintain status quo; political competition is weakened
In 1966 Otto Kircheimer, when studying a political transformation in Western Europe, formulated a concept of the catch-all party. According to Kircheimer after the World War II the mass parties transformed themselves into a new party type - the catch-all party. This transformation has been caused by diminishing of the traditional ideological (left vs right/ social democratic, liberal, conservative) divisions between political parties. The process of diminishing the traditional ideological divide has been triggered by a significant structural/ socio-economic change - the old class differences/cleavages are not so clear anymore as a result of the improvement of a living standard and the emergence of a strong middle class in the Western European countries.
The catch-all party’s key features:
- capable to represent at the same time several social groups
- more pragmatic (ideological purity is not so important anymore; votes are important)
- more effective in mass communication
- reacting better to social changes (more flexible)
The main changes pointed in the Kircheimer’s study on the transformation of Western European party systems after the Second World War :
1. The ideological character of political party decreased 2. The role of an average member decreased 3. The leader groups within party gained more power 4. Traditional support coming from a more narrow and concrete social group is being replaced by the support of a larger and more complex group 5. The increasing capability of political parties to represent the interests of various groups (stronger plurality of parties)
Robert Michels (1876-1936) and his ‘iron law of oligarchy’
A German sociologist who studied left-wing democratic parties in Europe. According to Michels as a political party grows and becomes more bureaucratized one can observe oligarchisation of its internal structure. A schism develops between a few active leaders of the party and a numerous passive rank and file members. Thereby, in the course of time the power over political party is concentrated in the hands of a small group of the top party officials, who are committed to internal organizational goals (and personal objectives) rather then to the interests of an average members of the party. It seems that for Michels the ‘iron law of oligarchy’ applies to all organizations – as he points out ‘who says organizations says oligarchy’.
b) reading: Scarrow S.,The nineteenth-century origins of modern political parties: the unwanted emergence of party-based politics, [in:] Handbook of party politics, ed. R. Katz, W. Crotty, Sage Publication 2006.
issues/questions to be addressed:
- how was the term ‘party’ understood before XIX century?
- two basic institutional changes which determined the emergence of political parties in Europe
- basic freedoms behind emergence of political parties in XIX century
- Alexis De Tocqueville’s opinion on the political parties in the USA
- pluralist view on political parties
6. Early good governance a) information from the lecture to be remembered:
According to Alina Mungiu-Pippidi the foundation of contemporary good governance is rooted in the norm of ethical universalism - all people should be equal before the law and in relations to state apparatus. We can trace intellectual inspirations for good governance already among ancient and medieval thinkers:
- Cicero and his legal philosophy (106 BC- 43 BC)
‘since the law is the bond of civil society, and justice of the law equal, by what rule can the association of citizens be held together, if the condition of the citizens be not equal? For if the fortunes of men cannot be reduced to this equality—if genius cannot be equally the property
of all—rights, at least, should be equal among those who are citizens of the same republic. For what is a republic but an association of rights?6’
- St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 AD)
Positive law should be subordinated to the indispensable natural law which is derived from God’s will and serves common good. Norms need to fulfil three conditions to be considered a law:
- serve the common good, not private benefit
- respect principle of proportional equality when distributing burdens to the subjects
- issued by legislator within the limits of his authority
- Marsilio of Padua (1275 – 1342 AD)
Draft of law should be prepared by ‘prudent’ people - experienced minority. However citizens should accept these drafts before they become mandatory laws for the community - the consent of majority is needed.
All the above mentioned thinkers expressed some ‘early good governance ideas’: governmental accountability/rule of law/public participation
Italian merchant city-states between XI and XIII centuries as an early example of good governance institutions
Some basic characteristics of the Italian city-states (like Venice, Genoa, Florence):
- self-governing republics, not democratic (poor people were underrepresented), but bounded by law
- moderately high level of political participation and inclusion of the local population into public bodies like city councils or accountability committees (clan/guild based quota system; short-term office holding based on rotation)
- idea of public office as a civic duty (majority of public positions were not paid)
Some good governance solutions:
- institution of Podesta – a chief magistrate who was a foreigner (he was an outsider free from local connections) hired usually for one year. Before he took his office he had to pay security deposit as a guarantee against mismanagement - the deposit was reimbursed only at the end of term after Podesta’s financial report was accepted
6 Quotation after: Mungiu-Pippidi Alina, Becoming Denmark: Understanding good governance historical achievers, European Research Centre for Anticorruption and State-Building, 2011 .
- rotating community based tax collection system - rotation of families responsible for collection of taxes (mechanism of sharing responsibility and local inclusion/participation)
- conflict of interest regulations - governors appointed for fixed term were not allowed to engage in local business, nor their family’s members; they had to leave the city governed by them at the end of term
Institutional roots of access to information and transparency - Sweden and the world’s first Freedom of Information Act of 1766
In 1766 in Sweden the world’s first Freedom of Information Act was adapted ensuring freedom of the press and access to governmental documents. This remarkable change was possible because of the special political context conducive to such initiatives - in Swedish history it is now known as the Age of Liberty (1719-1772) when power was transferred from monarch to Swedish parliament Riksdag.
The founding father of the Freedom of Information Act of 1766 was Anders Chydenius (1729-1803):
- a local Lutheran priest and politician (member of Swedish Riksdag representing clergy)
- a man of Enlightenment
- coming from periphery of Swedish Realm (Ostrobothnia region in Finland)
- advocate of liberalism – freedom is a core value
In his concept of freedom of the press and access to information Anders Chydenius was strongly inspired by institution of the ‘Imperial Censorate’ in China. The Imperial Censorate was established during the reign of Emperor Taizong (627-649 AD ) from the Tang Dynasty (VII- X AD) - it was an elite group of highly educated officials responsible for recording governmental decisions /correspondence and expected to criticise Emperor ‘s politics. The main role of the Imperial Censorate was scrutinizing government and exposing mismanagement and corruption. The institution was rooted strongly in Confucian values – love for the truth and fear of ignorance.
7. Informal institutions: One of the critical arguments against the classic institutional approach was that it focuses
only on the formal-legal institutions. But what if they do not matter as a rules governing policy-making? What if they are only facade, under which the real structure of power is hidden? There are political systems with a huge gap between written formal rules of power and unwritten, informal rules of the political/administrative game. One of the examples of such political systems can be the Soviet Union (1922-1991).
One of the important features of the Soviet Union (and other communist states) was a dense system of the patron-client relationships within the formal apparatus of the state. Patron- client relation’s main characteristics:
• exchange of benefits
• asymmetric relation (typical for highly hierarchicall systems)
• personal type of relation
The rules of the political system in the Soviet Union were one of the reasons behind the institutionalization of the patron-client relations within the state apparatus. The hierarchically organized, hegemonic, uncontested Communist Party was the only channel for political career. As a result the most important forces behind the political career were neither votes gained in the competitive elections, nor the merit-based system of recruitment to the public administration. It was only loyalty and favours towards those holding the strategic positions within the Communist Party what helped to get promotion.
According to Jacek Tarkowski an integral features of the soviet model were conducive to development of the patron-client relationships7:
1. Highly centralized and hierarchical organizational structure of the state – the units at the lower level of the system are subordinated to the center of the system by intermediating units
2. Decisions and information flow from the top to the bottom – there are no formal channels of influence from the bottom
3. State control over the economy makes the central planning and coordination possible – the nationwide priorities are imposed on the local communities
4. The interest of the political system as a whole is priority and the principle of unity is the core systemic value - autonomy and spontaneous articulation of interests is against the logic of central planning
5. State apparatus is the main redistributor (monopolist) of valuable resources
6. Ineffective economy leads to the permanent shortage
The Soviet Union’s economic system created conditions conducive to corruption.Some forms of corruption were institutionalized – they were treated as an unwritten norm of ‘having things done’ and it was difficult to attribute to this norm status of unethical behaviour. In this context we can refer to John Kramer’s typology of soviet corruption8:
7 Tarkowski J., ‘Centralized system and corruption: The Case of Poland’, Asian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 10, no. 1, June 1988. 8 Kramer J., ‘Political corruption in the U.S.R.’., Western Political Quarterly, vol. 30, no. 2, 1977.
a) corruption for private gain - clear-cut form of corruption
b) corruption for bureaucratic gain - its purpose was to increase organizational effectiveness to the benefit of the organization’s employees
Two types of corruption for bureaucratic gain – to fulfil the plan
a) false reporting of data concerning productive capacity to avoid raising of the production targets
b) use of illegal influence to find necessary materials:
blat - use of informal, personal influences to obtain certain favours to which enterprise was not legally entitled
tolkach (the one who is pushing) - the professional practitioner of blat. Tolkach was a factory representative who traveled the country in search for needed materials and to fix bureaucratic problems
Reading: Simis K., USSR: Secrets of a corrupt society, London 1982.
issues/questions to be addressed:
- real power structure in the Soviet Union – relations between the constitutionally empowered political institutions and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
- what was the main privilege of the ruling elite in the Soviet Union?
- two main factors predisposing members of the ruling elite to corruption
- the concept of nomenklatura