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Regular version of the site

War, Power and Society in the USSR, 1930-50s: continuity and changes

Priority areas of development: humanitarian
2018
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research

The goal of this research includes a comprehensive analysis of the Soviet state and society during World War II. It also involves the study of the Stalinist system during the interwar and war periods, which we examine within a broader framework of Soviet social and political history. Parts of this research are aimed at synthesizing recent scholarly approaches to the history of Stalinism and the Great Patriotic War as well as political transformations of the first half of the twentieth century. Another component of this research is to analyze changes in the Stalinist political system during the interwar and war periods and to examine Soviet policy towards particular ethnic groups and territorial units during the war and in the post-war period.

Methodology

The project’s research methodology relies on an interdisciplinary approach, including political, social and cultural history. It involves regional studies and case-studies which are subsequently integrated into larger historical narratives about Stalinism and World War II. The project also synthesizes the diverse national historiographies on the topic. Additionally, the authors consider the latest comparative approaches while examining continuity and change in Soviet history.

Empirical base of research

This research is based primarily on archival documentation of World War II and other materials related to Soviet history from Russian state and party archives, the archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Byelorussian archives, as well as personal and autobiographical sources.

Results of research

This work has produced eleven articles in international peer-reviewed scholarly journals, all of which are included in the citation indices of Web of Science and Scopus. This research has also led to a publication of a scholarly monograph by a leading international scholarly publisher.

The synthesis of recent scholarship on the history of Stalinism, Soviet society and World War II, as well as the analysis of newly available documentary collections resulted in the publication of the articles “A Harvard Project in Reverse. Materials of the Commission of the USSR Academy of Sciences of the History of the Great Patriotic War - Publications and Interpretations,” published in the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile), and “New sources on Soviet perpetrators of mass repression: a research note,” published in the journal Canadian Slavonic Papers (indexed in Scopus and Web of Science). This research also resulted in the publication of the historiography articles “Bolshevik Millenarianism as Academic Blockbuster,” published in the journal Canadian-American Slavic Studies (indexed in Scopus, 2nd quartile), and “Stalin, Gitler i Donbass” (“Stalin, Hitler and Donbass”), published in the journal Ab Imperio (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile).

This project has also generated publications about Stalin’s political and economic systems of the interwar and war periods. These publications include the articles “Stalin’s War Cabinet: ‘Normalisation’ and Political Dynamics of the Dictatorship,” published in the journal Europe-Asia Studies (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile) and “Decentralizing Dictatorship: Soviet Local Governance during World War II,” published in Russian Review (indexed in Scopus, 1st quartile). Additionally, Stalinist economic system was explored in the article “Sovetskie narkomaty i detsentralizatsiia upravleniia ekonomikoi v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny” (“Soviet peoples commissariats and the decentralization of the economic management during the Great Patriotic War”), published in the journal Rossiiskaia Istoriia (indexed in Scopus, 3rd quartile), and the scholarly monograph The Soviet Economy and the Approach of War, 1937–1939, published by the leading academic publisher “Palgrave Macmillan.” These publications reveal the examples and effects of the centralization and decentralization in the Stalinist politics and economy of the interwar and war periods.

This research has also resulted in several articles on the Soviet policies towards particular regions and ethnic groups during the war and in its aftermath. These publications include the article “‘Kvartirnyi vopros’ v Zapadnoi Belorussii i evreiskoe naselenie, 1939-1940 gg.” (“Housing problem” in Western Belorussia and its Jewish population, 1939-1940”), published in Soviet and Post Soviet Review (indexed in Scopus, 3rd quartile) and the article “Sovetskie grazhdane v Zapadnoi Belorussii, 1939-1941 gg.” (“Soviet citizens in Western Belorussia, 1939-1941”), published in the journal Voprosy Istorii (indexed in Scopus and Web of Science). The nationality issues were also explored in the articles “Birobidzhan in Khrushchev’s Thaw: the Soviet and the Western Outlook,” published in Journal of Modern Jewish Studies (indexed in Scopus, 2nd quartile), and “Escape through Poland: Soviet Jewish Emigration in the 1950s,” published in the journal Jewish History (indexed Scopus и Web of Science).

Finally, this project has resulted in international scholarly conferences “Soviet Encounters with East and West” and “The International Forum for Young Historians of Soviet and Post-Soviet History and Culture (second session)”.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results

The results of this project, which include published articles and a scholarly monograph, can be utilized widely for the research and teaching of Twentieth Century Soviet and European history. They are especially relevant to the history of Stalinism and World War II. More specifically, the results of this project will be used for developing courses in the social and political history of Russia, and for research seminars at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics. The project’s results can also be used for the further development of scholarship on the Soviet state and society, as well as World War II.

Publications:


Budnitskii O. Il denaro per la nuova Russia. La questione dei crediti esteri nel periodo del Governo provvisorio, in: La Russia e l’Occidente. Dinamiche politiche a cento anni dalla Rivoluzione d’Ottobre. Milan : Vita e Pensiero, 2018. P. 41-48.
Karpenkina Y. Яўрэйскае насельніцтва Заходняй Беларусі ў ролі ахвяр і катаў (1939-1941), in: Масавыя рэпрэсіі ў СССР у гістарычных даследваннях і калектыўнай памяці. Minsk : Зміцер Колас, 2018. P. 199-210.
Будницкий О. В., Новикова Л. Г. Великая Отечественная война: взгляд с «другой стороны» // В кн.: Гарвардский проект: рассекреченные свидетельства о Великой Отечественной войне / Сост.: О. В. Будницкий, Л. Г. Новикова; под общ. ред.: О. В. Будницкий, Л. Г. Новикова. М. : РОССПЭН, 2018. Гл. 1. С. 5-26.
Карпенкина Я. В. «Паспортизация» еврейского населения в Западной Белоруссии, 1940-1941 гг. // В кн.: Тирош. Труды по иудаике, славистике, ориенталистике. Вып. 18. [б.и.], 2018. doi С. 160-172. doi
Davies R., Harrison M., Khlevniuk O. V., Weatcroft S. The Industrialisation of Soviet Russia. Volume 7: The Soviet Economy and the Approach of War, 1937–1939. NY, Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. doi
Будницкий О. В. Русские евреи-эмигранты накануне и в начале Второй мировой войны: Из переписки Б. Л. Гершуна и А. А. Гольденвейзера // В кн.: Across Borders: 20th Century Russian Literature and Russian-Jewish Cultural Contacts / Ed. by Lazar Fleishman, Fedor Poljakov. Vol. 48. Berlin : Peter Lang GmbH, 2018. С. 457-499.
Будницкий О. В. От редактора: 10-й! // В кн.: Архив еврейской истории. Том 10 / Под общ. ред.: О. В. Будницкий. Т. 10. М. : Научно-политическая книга, 2018. С. 5-9.
Архив еврейской истории. Том 10 / Под общ. ред.: О. В. Будницкий. Т. 10. М. : Научно-политическая книга, 2018.
Across Borders: 20th Century Russian Literature and Russian-Jewish Cultural Contacts / Ed. by Lazar Fleishman, Fedor Poljakov. Vol. 48. Berlin : Peter Lang GmbH, 2018.
Voronovici A. A Springboard for Revolution?: The Establishment of the Moldovan ASSR and the Competing Visions of its International Revolutionary Role, in: New Europe College Yearbook: Pontica Magna Program, 2015-2017. Bucharest: NEC, 2018. P. 337-365.
Estraikh G. Birobidzhan in Khrushchev’s Thaw: the soviet and the western outlook // Journal of Modern Jewish Studies. 2018. P. 1-19. doi
Дэвид-Фокс М. Ш. Жизненный цикл русской революции: опыт теоретического и сравнительного исследования. Часть 1 / Пер. с англ. // Неприкосновенный запас. Дебаты о политике и культуре. 2018. Т. 118. № 2. С. 51-76.
Дэвид-Фокс М. Ш. Жизненный цикл русской революции: опыт теоретического и сравнительного исследования. Часть 2 / Пер. с англ. // Неприкосновенный запас. Дебаты о политике и культуре. 2018. Т. 119. № 3. С. 55-82.
David-Fox M. Bolshevik Millenarianism as Academic Blockbuster // Canadian-American Slavic Studies. 2018. Vol. 52. P. 75-86. doi
David-Fox M. Illusion der Einflussnahme und Nimbus der Macht: Die fellow-traveler und Stalin als Philosophenkönig, in: „Auf nach Moskau!“ Reiseberichte aus dem Exil. Ein internationales Symposion. Baden-Baden : Tectum Wissenschaftsverlag, 2018. Ch. 2. P. 31-50.
Estraikh G. Escape through Poland: Soviet Jewish Emigration in the 1950s // Jewish History. 2018. Vol. 31. No. 3-4. P. 291-317. doi
Viola L. A. New sources on Soviet perpetrators of mass repression: a research note // Canadian Slavonic Papers. 2018. Vol. 60. No. 3-4. P. 592-604. doi
David-Fox M. Illusions of Influence and the Mystique of Power: The Fellow-Travelers and Stalin as Philosopher-King, in: Ideological Storms. Intellectuals, Dictators, and the Totalitarian Temptation. Budapest : Central European University Press, 2019. Ch. 1. P. 25-40.
Будницкий О. В. Борис Самуилович Итенберг: человек и ученый // В кн.: В ритме времени: Фронтовик. Учитель. Историк. Памяти доктора исторических наук Б.С. Итенберга: Сборник статей и материалов / Отв. ред. О.В. Будницкий, В.В. Шелохаев. / Отв. ред.: О. В. Будницкий. М. : Издательство "Политическая энциклопедия", 2018. С. 3-29.
Новикова Л. Г. Сталин, Гитлер и Донбасс // Ab Imperio. 2017. № 3. С. 281-289.
Хлевнюк О. В. Система высшей власти в СССР в годы Великой Отечественной войны. Историография, источники и перспективы исследований // Вестник Российского фонда фундаментальных исследований. Гуманитарные и общественные науки. 2018. № 1. С. 15-26. doi
Будницкий О. В. Б.С. Итенберг. Письма из действующей армии, 1943-1945 гг. / Публикация и примечания О.В. Будницкого // В кн.: В ритме времени: Фронтовик. Учитель. Историк. Памяти доктора исторических наук Б.С. Итенберга: Сборник статей и материалов / Отв. ред. О.В. Будницкий, В.В. Шелохаев. / Отв. ред.: О. В. Будницкий. М. : Издательство "Политическая энциклопедия", 2018. С. 319-333.