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Reluctant Cold WarriorsEconomists and National Security$
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Vladimir Kontorovich

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190868123

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190868123.001.0001

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The Politburo’s Holy of Holies

The Politburo’s Holy of Holies

Chapter:
(p.25) 2 The Politburo’s Holy of Holies
Source:
Reluctant Cold Warriors
Author(s):

Vladimir Kontorovich

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190868123.003.0003

The military sector was the most successful part of the Soviet economy, and the most important one from the point of view of its rulers. It owed this success to its unique place in the Soviet economic and political system and its non-standard internal organization. Defense industry was not only separate from the rest of industry; it also had different management practices and was home to institutions unseen elsewhere in the economy. It was guided by the highest levels of political authority, and the rulers’ interest in the sector translated into generous allocations of inputs. USSR maintained a wartime level of military expenditures during the four decades of peace. Such a large and privileged claimant on the nation’s resources strongly influenced the performance of the civilian sectors. With all these characteristics, the military sector should have interested Sovietologists for its own sake, quite apart from Western security concerns.

Keywords:   defense industry, military sector, military expenditures, allocations of inputs, management practices

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