Substate Dictatorship

Substate Dictatorship

Yale University Press

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An essential exploration of how authoritarian regimes operate at the local level

How do local leaders govern in a large dictatorship? What resources do they draw on? Building on recent innovations in the theory of dictatorship, Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk examine these questions by looking at one of the most important authoritarian regimes of the twentieth century. They show how Soviet regional leaders, lacking Stalin’s direct access to the means of repression, resorted to alternative strategies—especially through political exclusion and control of information—to build the local networks they needed to rule. The authors suggest that making sense of these networks is key to understanding how the dictatorship as a whole operated. Analytical scrutiny provides important clues to how the institutions of dictatorship changed over time, how conflicts within it were resolved, and how certain central policies, such as on the management of ethnic diversity, were implemented.


Yoram Gorlizki is professor of politics at the University of Manchester. Oleg Khlevniuk is professor of history and leading research fellow of the International Center for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (Russian Federation).

Pub Date: 2020
Format: Hardback with bw illus.
Pages: 464
Size: 6.12 x 9.25 inches

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