The Rise and Fall of State Socialism

The Rise and Fall of State Socialism : Industrial Society and the Socialist State

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This work provides a wide-ranging re-evaluation of socialism as an ideology and a political movement. It addresses the nature of the socialist tradition, and puts into perspective the "socialist project" inaugurated by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. It also examines the rise of Marxist-Leninist states, arguing that Marxism-Leninism became a doctrine of development with a practical political appeal to economically backward states. The first part of the book outlines the "World of the comrades" characteristic of the world communist movement. Here, developments in Eastern Europe, the USSR and China are compared. The major achievements of state socialism are outlined. But so too are its deficiencies, which led to disenchantment and reform. Part Two, "When prophecy fails", addresses the tensions of state socialism in the context of world capitalism. The internal and external sources of change leading to collapse - the rise of the intelligentsia, economic decline, ideological decay and international pressures are analyzed and evaluated. The reforming strategies adopted in Eastern Europe, the USSR and China are compared and discussed.
This book provides a comprehensive account of the achievements and deficiencies of state socialism and the reasons why it failed to establish itself as a viable alternative to capitalism. It should be useful reading for courses on industrial societies, development, socialist theory and Marxism, social stratification and social change, as well as on those focusing on post-communism.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 260 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 540g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 074560742X
  • 9780745607429

Table of contents

Part 1 The world of the comrades; the socialist project; state socialism - the Soviet model; the growth and spread of communism; movements for market and political reform. Part 2 Denouement: chronology and precipitants of regime collapse; explaining state socialism; the fall; the world of the comrades - an appraisal.
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Review quote

'Very clear analysis.' Morning Star 'This book is an accessible, balanced, up-to-date overview of the rise and characteristics of state socialism and reasons for its collapse ... Lane's book is comprehensive and balanced. It is written at an accessible, basic level that will make it invaluable for beginners to this area. The case studies give fascinating focus to the work, and Lane is careful to make conceptual and comparative distinctions where they are called for.' Sociology 'Rich in empirical evidence, based upon a well developed theoretical framework, and contain[s] numerous propositions for further research.' Europe-Asia Studies 'Provocative book ... particularly suitable for undergraduates.' Slavic Review 'An important addition to the literature ... The Rise and Fall of State Socialism will be useful not only to students of socialist and post-communist states, but also to those with an interest in Marxism, class analysis and social stratification. The book is well structured, stimulating, and challenging in some of its ideas. As with David Lane's many other books, it is also lucid and well written.' The Journal of Area Studies
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