Economic Thought and Economic Reform in the Soviet Union: 5 (Cambridge Russian Paperbacks, Series Number 5)

Economic Thought and Economic Reform in the Soviet Union: 5 (Cambridge Russian Paperbacks, Series Number 5)

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Pekka Sutela
Cambridge University Press, 7/26/1991
EAN 9780521380201, ISBN10: 0521380200

Hardcover, 208 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.6 cm
Language: English
Originally published in English

Although the history of centrally planned economies has been widely studied, the development of socialist thinking on the subject has remained largely uncharted. In this 1991 work, Pekka Sutela presents a detailed analysis of Soviet economic thought and theory. Dr Sutela traces the competing currents in the Marxist tradition of socialist economies from the Revolution to the present day. In particular he shows how the Gorbachev economic reform programme of 1987 rose from the work of Nobel Prize economist L. V. Kantorovich and his followers. However, this programme failed and the author explains in some detail why this happened. Since then, Soviet economists have tried to abandon their traditional theory of central planning and move along the path and long established contacts with leading Soviet economists, Pekka Sutela is able to show how Soviet economic thinking has moved from dogmatism through reformism to pragmatism.

1. The Soviet political economy of socialism
2. The mathematical challenge to orthodoxy
3. The reformist programme
4. The years of radicalism and reaction
5. Not of mathematics alone
6. The age of perestroika

"...this book is must reading. Well written and highly readable, the book breaks new ground first by providing an organized survey of Soviet economic thought from its Marxist roots to its contemporary relatively liberal Western orientation, and second by showing the extent to which the ideas of the economists were reflected over the years in the specifics of reform programs actually adopted. Sutela has performed a great service by making the often abstruse and murky discussions in the Soviet literature intelligible to Western readers." The Russian Review "This is a clearly-written book, with a detached academic style suitable for undergraduate comparative systems courses. I recommend this book for course use if a basic text in comparative systems is not used. It is not particularly theoretical, but gives a good historical overview of the events that led up to the current crisis in the C.I.S." Journal of Economic Issues "The Finnish economist Pekka Sutela has probably worked himself more fully into the minds of the economists of the USSR than any other westerner. His short book is a guide through the labyrinth of thought in which Soviet economists wandered over the last 25 years, trying to understand what was wrong and how it could be fixed...he does an excellent job of conveying the conceptual framework they used in analyzing the economy and the reform measures they proposed." Robert W. Campbell, Slavic Review