Prediction and Prophecy in Communist Studies

in Comparative Sociology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.

Help

 

Have Institutional Access?

Login with your institution. Any other coaching guidance?

Connect

Abstract

Contrary to Popper’s classic article with this title, it can be argued that the principal failure of Western analyses of communism was not the failure to predict the collapse of most of the communist regimes in and around 1989 but more a failure of prophecy, in the sense of a more speculative theory of the contradictions of those regimes and their unsustainability.

The reasons can be found in the polarisation between overblown theories of totalitarianism and excessively bland comparative approaches couched in terms of the, then popular, theories of industrial society and, often, convergence. There were also methodological reasons arising from the positivist shibboleths of factual documentation, with the consequence that dubious statistics were considered better than none, and value-freedom.

Sections
References
  • AndrleV., '‘The Soviet Industrial Worker’' (1979) 13 Sociology: 332-4.

  • AratoA., '‘Critical Sociology and Authoritarian State Socialism’', in J.B. Thompson and D. Held (eds), Habermas: Critical Debates, (Macmillan, 1982, London 1982) 196-218.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ArnasonJ.P., The Future that Failed: origins and destinies of the Soviet model, (Routledge, London 1993).

  • AronR., Dix-huit leçons sur la société industrielle, (Gallimard, Paris 1962) London: Weidenfeld 1967..

  • AronR., Démocratie et totalitarisme, (Gallimard, Paris 1965) London: Weidenfeld..

  • BafoilF., '‘A quoi servait la sociologie en RDA’' (1991) 32(2) Revue française de sociologie, avril/juin: 263-284.

  • BahroR., The Alternative in Eastern Europe, (N.L.B., London 1978).

  • von BeymeK., Systemwechsel in Osteuropa, (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1994).

  • von BeymeK., Transition to Democracy in Eastern Europe, (Macmillan, Basingstoke 1996) (abridged version of above)..

  • BracherKarl Dietrich, '‘Revolution against Totalitarianism’ in Bracher', in Turning Points in Modern Times, (Harvard University Press, 1995, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1992) 284-305.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • BunceValerie, Subversive Institutions. The Design and the Destruction of Socialism and the State, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1999).

  • CollinsRandall, '‘The future decline of the Russian Empire’', in Collins (ed), Weberian Sociological Theory, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1986) 186-209.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DeutschKarl, '‘Cracks in the Monolith: Possibilities and Patterns of Disintegration in Totalitarian Systems’', in C.J. Friedrich (ed), Totalitarianism, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1954) 308-344.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DjilasMilovan, The New Class: an analysis of the communist system, (Unwin Books, London 1966).

  • EttrichFrank, Die andere Moderne. Soziologische Nachrufe auf den Staatssozialismus, (GFSP, Berlin 2005).

  • FainsodMerle, How Russia is Ruled, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge: MA 1953).

  • FainsodMerle, Smolensk under Soviet Rule., (Unwin Hyman, Boston and London [1958] 1989).

  • FehérF., '‘Paternalism as a mode of legitimation in Soviet-type societies’', in T.H. Rigby and F. Fehér (eds), Political Legitimation in Communist Regimes, (Macmillan, London 1982) 64-81.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FehérF.HellerA.MárkusG., Dictatorship Over Needs, (Blackwell, 1983, Oxford 1983).

  • FehérF.HellerA., Eastern Left – Western Left, (Polity, Cambridge 1986).

  • C. Fleck, A. Hess and E.S. Lyon (eds), Intellectuals and their Publics, (Ashgate, Farnham ).

  • C.J. Friedrich (ed), Totalitarianism, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1954).

  • FukuyamaF., The end of history and the last man, (Hamish Hamilton, London 1992).

  • FulbrookM., '‘New Historikerstreit, Missed Opportunity, or New Beginning? The Forschungsschwerpunkt Zeithistorische Studien, Potsdam’' (1994) 12(2) German History, June: 203-7.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GadourekI., The Political Control of Czechoslovakia. A Study in Social Control of a Soviet Satellite State, (H.E. Stenfert Kroese, Leiden 1953).

  • GiddensA., The Class Structure of the Advanced Societies, (Hutchinson, London 1973).

  • GleasonAbbott, Totalitarianism. The Inner History of the Cold War, (Oxford University Press, New York 1995).

  • GouldnerAlvin, The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology, (London 1971).

  • GuldimannTim, Moral und Herrschaft in der Sowjetunion, (Suhrkamp Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1984).

  • HabermasJ., '‘A Reply to my Critics’', in J.B. Thompson and D. Held (eds), Habermas: Critical Debates, (Macmillan, 1982, London 1982) 219-283.

  • HavelV., '‘Anti-Political Politics’', in John Keane (ed), Civil Society and the State, (Verso, London 1988) 381-98.

  • HechterM., '‘Introduction: Reflections on Historical Prophecy in the Social Sciences’' (1995) 100 American Journal of Sociology, May: 1520-7.

  • HellerA., '‘On Formal Democracy’', in J. Keane (ed), Civil Society and the State London, (Verso, 1988) 129-46.

  • HirszowiczM., The Bureaucratic Leviathan: a study in the sociology of communism, (Martin Robertson, London 1980).

  • HodgesD.C., The Bureaucratization of Socialism, (U. of Massachusetts Press, Amherst 1981).

  • HollanderP., '‘Laboring Under Socialism’' (1983) 32(4) Problems of Communism: 57-61.

  • HoughJ., '‘The Cultural Revolution and Western Understandings of the Soviet System’', in S. Fitzpatrick (ed), The Cultural Revolution in Russia, (Indiana University Press, London 1978) 241-53.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JarauschKonrad, '‘Care and Coercion: The GDR as Welfare Dictatorship’', in Konrad H. Jarausch (ed), Dictatorship as Experience. Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR, (Berghahn, New York and Oxford 1999) 47-69.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • JowittK., '‘Soviet Neotraditionalism: the Political Corruption of a Leninist Regime’' (1983) 3 Soviet Studies XXXV: 275-97.

  • JowittK., '‘Really Imaginary Socialism. Explaining the end of Soviet Power’' (1997) East European Constitutional Review: 43-9.

  • KaiserMonika, '‘Reforming Socialism? The Changing of the Guard from Ulbricht to Honecker during the 1960s’', in Konrad H. Jarausch (ed), Dictatorship as Experience. Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR, (Berghahn, New York and Oxford 1999) 325-339.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KołakowskiLeszek, '‘Totalitarianism and the Virtue of the Lie’', in Irving Howe (ed), 1984 Revisited, (Harper and Row, 1983, New York [1983] 2005) 66-76 cited here from Kołakowski My Correct Views on Everything (South Bend Indiana: St.Augustine’s Press).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KonrádG., Antipolitics, (Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich, London 1984).

  • KonrádG.SzelényiI., The Intellectuals on the Road to Class Power, (Harvester, Brighton 1979).

  • KravchenkoV., I Chose Freedom: the Personal and Political Life of a Soviet Official, (Robert Hale, London 1947).

  • LaneD., Soviet Economy and Society, (Martin Robertson, London 1985).

  • LaneD., The Rise and Fall of State Socialism, (Polity, Cambridge 1996).

  • LaneD., '‘Civil Society and the Transition from State Socialism’', in Nikolai Genov and Reinhard Kreckel (eds), Soziologische Zeitgeschichte. Helmut Steiner zum 70. Geburtstag, (edition sigma, Berlin 2007) 189-203.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • LefortC., L’invention démocratique: les limites de la domination totalitaire, (Fayard, Paris 1981).

  • LefortC., La complication. Retour sur le communisme, (Fayard, Paris 1999).

  • LudzP.C., The changing party elite in East Germany, (M.I.T. Press, Cambridge [Mass.]; London 1972).

  • MarcuseH., Soviet Marxism: a critical analysis, (Columbia U.P., New York 1958).

  • MarkusG., '‘Economy and Social Structure’', in F. Fehér (ed), Dictatorship over Needs / Ferenc Fehér Agnes Heller and György Márkus, (Blackwell, Oxford 1982) 1-133.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MatthewsM., '‚The Soviet Industrial Worker’' (1979) 31 Soviet Studies, July: 457-8.

  • MatthewsM., '‘The Soviet Worker’' (1982) 60 Slavonic and East European Review, July: 468-9.

  • MespouletM., '‘Quelle sociologie derrière le ?’' (2007) 16 Revue d’Histoire des Sciences Humaines: 3-10.

  • MeuschelS., Legitimation und Parteiherrschaft: Zum Paradox von Stabilität und Revolution in der DDR 1945–1989, (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1992).

  • MeuschelS., '‚Űberlegungen zu einer Herrschafts- und Gesellschaftsgeschichte der DDR’' (1993) 19 Geschichte und Gesellschaft: 5-15.

  • MeuschelS., '‘The Other German Dictatorship: Totalitarianism and Modernization in the German Democratic Republic’' (2000) 63 Thesis Eleven: 53-62.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • NoveAlec, '‘The Soviet Worker’' (1981) Vol. 91(No. 364) The Economic Journal, Dec: 1075-7.

  • NoveAlec, The Economics of Feasible Socialism, (Allen and Unwin, London 1991).

  • D. Orlovsky (ed), Beyond Soviet Studies, (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Washington, D.C. 1995).

  • OssowskiS., Class Structure in the Social Consciousness, (Routledge, London 1963).

  • OuthwaiteW.RayL., Social Theory and Postcommunism, (Blackwell, Oxford 2004).

  • PakulskiJ., '‘Legitimacy and mass compliance: reflections on Max Weber and Soviet-type societies’' (1986) V.16(No.1) British Journal of Political Science.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • ParkinF., Class Inequality and Political Order: social stratification in capitalist and communist societies, (Macgibbon, London 1971).

  • ParsonsT., '‘Communism and the West: The Sociology of Conflict’', in A. Etzioni and E. Etzioni (eds), Social Change, (Basic Books, New York 1964a) 390-99.

  • ParsonsT., '‘Evolutionary Universals in Society’', in American Sociological Review, (1964b) 339-57.

  • PelczynskiZ. A., '‘Solidarity and the Rebirth of Civil Society in Poland 1976–81’' (1988) Civil Society and the State: 361-80.

  • PollackDetlef, '‘Modernization and Modernization Blockages’', in Konrad H. Jarausch (ed), Dictatorship as Experience. Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR, (Berghahn, New York and Oxford 1999) 27-45.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PopperKarl, '‘Prediction and Prophecy in the Social Sciences’', in Conjectures and Refutations, (Routledge, 2002, London 1948) reprinted in Popper.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RayL.J., Social theory and the Crisis of State Socialism, (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham 1996).

  • ReddawayP., '‘The End of the Empire’' (1991) 38(18) New York Review of Books, November.

  • RemingtonT., '‘Soviet Political Studies and the Problem of System Stability’', in Daniel Orlovsky (ed), Beyond Soviet Studies, (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Washington, D.C. 1995) 159-192.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RödelU.FrankenbergG.DubielH., Die demokratische Frage, (Suhrkamp, Frankfurt 1989).

  • RostowW., The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1979) First published 1960.

  • RostowW., '‘Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union: A Technological Time Warp’', in D. Chirot (ed), The Crisis of Leninism and the Decline of the Left – the Revolutions of 1989, (University of Washington Press, London 1991) 61-73.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • StaniszkisJ., Poland’s Self-Limiting Revolution, (Princeton U.P 1984).

  • StaniszkisJ., The Ontology Of Socialism, (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1992).

  • SułekAntoni, '‘On the Unpredictability of Revolutions. Why did Polish Sociology Fail to Forecast Solidarity?’' (2009) 4(168) Polish Sociological Bulletin: 523-537.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • SzelényiIván, '‘Social inequalities in state socialist redistributive economies: dilemmas for social policy in contemporary socialist societies of eastern Europe’' (1978) v.19 International journal of comparative sociology: 1-2.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TarrowSidney, '‘ “Aiming at a Moving target”: Social Science and the Recent Rebellions in Eastern Europe’' (1991) Vol. 24(No. 1) PS: Political Science and Politics, March: 12-20.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • TeckenbergW., '‘The Soviet Industrial Worker’' (1980) 30(4) Osteuropa: 370-1.

  • ToranskaT., Oni. Stalin’s Polish Puppets, (Collins Harvill, London 1987).

  • TorpeyJohn, Intellectuals Socialism and Dissent. The East German Opposition and its Legacy, (Minnesota University Press, Minneapolis 1995).

  • TouraineA., Solidarity: the Analysis of a Social Movement: Poland 1980–1981, (CambridgeUniversity Press, Cambridge 1983).

  • VerderyK., '‘What Was Socialism, and Why Did it Fall?’', in Daniel Orlovsky (ed), Beyond Soviet Studies, (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, Washington, D.C. 1995) 27-46.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • VozlenskyM., Nomenklatura. The Ruling Class of the USSR, (Overseas Publishing House, London 1985).

  • XenakisC., What Happened to the Soviet Union? How and Why American Sovietologists Were Caught by Surprise, (Praeger, Westport 2002).

  • YavchukA., Everything Was Forever Until It Was No More. The Last Soviet Generation, (Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford 2006).

  • ŽižekS., Did Somebody Say Totalitarianism?, (Verso, London 2001).

  • 27)

    Paul Hollander (1983) writing in the US Information Agency’s tendentiously titled Problems of Communism was particularly enthusiastic about the Schapiro and Godson collection and in particular the contributions of Seeger and Turovsky. Alec Nove (1981) confined himself to some qualifications to the general line of critique deployed in the book. W. Teckenberg (1980) by contrast provided one of the more sympathetic reviews of Lane and O’Dell.

Index Card
Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 41 33 0
Full Text Views 97 97 0
PDF Downloads 5 5 0
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0