Structures of trust after Stalin

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Abstract

The Soviet Union under Stalin is not often thought of as an environment conducive to inter-personal trust. The article builds on recent research which suggests that trust may exist in contexts marked by high levels of coercion, to look for signs of trust at the apex of the Stalinist political system. It identifies two sources of trust, one consisting of incipient institutions whose rules were only ambiguously defined, and the other of komprotnat whose practice in certain areas was sufficiently systematic to support trust on certain issues. The article concludes by arguing that although the practice of komprotnat persisted, the social values supporting it changed with Stalin's death.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-146
Number of pages27
JournalSlavonic and East European Review
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013