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The Russian MafiaPrivate Protection in a New Market Economy$

Federico Varese

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198297369

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019829736X.001.0001

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(p.202) Appendix B

(p.202) Appendix B

The Destination of the Soviet Elite in Perm

Source:
The Russian Mafia
Publisher:
Oxford University Press

(p.202) Appendix B

The Destination of the Soviet Elite in Perm

Appendix B The Destination of the Soviet Elite in Perm

Below I give a sociological profile to those who benefited most from the transition to the market in Perm. In particular, I explore the destination of the Soviet economic elite in the new market society. In order to do so, I use a survey on the 1993 destination of those who were members of the Party elected assemblies in 1988.1 The survey covers 297 members of the CPSU who held elected positions in the Party's committees (gorkom and obkom) in 1988, as a result of the 19th Party Conference. It also specifies date of birth and a fairly detailed description of the members' occupations in 1988 and in 1993. The 297 names represent the total of elected officials to those bodies. The individuals elected in those bodies were not just members of the nomenklatura.2 The City Party Committee (gorkom) and the Region Party Committee (obkom) were supposed to represent the different strata of Soviet society. Therefore candidates were selected and elected to these positions on the basis of various demographic criteria (such as sex, age, marital status, occupation, and other personal details) with the intention of reproducing a microcosm of Soviet society. The phenomenon of the so‐called ‘token’ candidates was more generally typical of the Soviet Union's political system. The ‘token’ deputies frequently served only one term in office and rarely contributed to the decision‐making process. ‘They sat passively in their respective soviets: their arms were the only bodily parts required—to vote unanimously on decrees.’3 The survey at our disposal gives a picture that extends beyond the nomenklatura and includes manual workers, peasants, and school teachers. Table B1 summarizes the distribution of occupations of those elected to the Party's in 1988. Data were then collected on the position held by the same people in 1993. Table B2 shows the outflow data and percentages, which record the distribution of destinations for each category of origin. The image is that of individuals flowing out of their 1988 occupation.

Of interest for the present discussion is the destination of the Party apparatchiki (coded as I). Institutional changes occurring in Russia in the past years have been so far‐reaching that a major institutional arena, the Party, has disappeared. Full‐time Party workers have been forced to move in one or another direction. The data above show that most of those in category I in 1988 flowed to category II in 1993. Forty‐seven individuals out of 92 (51.1 per cent) were found to be top managers of economic enterprises in 1993. Another destination (p.203)

Table B.1 Members of Party Assemblies (Gorkom, Obkom) 1988 (N = 297)

Code

Occupation held in 1988

%

I

Apparatchik

31.0

II

Top manager

13.1

III

Top manager (agriculture)

3.0

IV

Army

1.3

V

State

4.0

VI

High intelligentsia

8.1

VII

Middle/Low Manager

11.1

VIII

Low Intelligensia

1.3

IX

Manual worker

25.1

X

Peasant

1.0

Total (N = 297)

100.0

of many Party apparatchiki was the top layers of the State bureaucracy: 22 cases out of 92 (23.9 per cent) appear in category V.

Almost all the members of the economic elite retained their positions, despite the transition to the market economy (34 out of a total of 39 individuals, or 87.2 per cent); 23 out of 24 members of the city intelligentsia (formed by university professors, two newspaper editors, the director of the local theatre, one artist, and one writer) retained their posts: only the editor of the daily Zvezda retired.4 The numbers in other categories are very few, such as top managers of sovkhoz and kolkhoz (N = 9) and Army officers (N = 4), therefore it is not possible to draw conclusions of any great consequence. Nevertheless, in both cases a high degree of stability exists: 7 out of 9 directors of agricultural enterprises and 2 out of 4 officers retained their posts. One officer retired and no data are available for the other.

The data for the lower spectrum of occupations (VII, VIII, IX, and X) are for the time being rather defective. There is a great deal of data missing in these categories (respectively, 72.7, 50, 50.6 and 100 per cent). The only categories with a noticeable number of cases are VII and IX (respectively, N = 33 and 77). Nevertheless, some clear trends are observable and even the missing data reflect an interesting sampling bias. Thirty‐three out of 77 (42.2 per cent) of individuals classified as manual workers were still manual workers in 1993; only 3 moved into category VII, while 2 retired. For category VII (a person with responsibilities over subordinates), data on 1993 occupations were only collected in 9 cases: (p.204)

Table B.2 Occupational Mobility of Members of Party Assemblies, 1988–93

Occupation in 1988

Occupation in 1993

Row tot.Col. %

II

III

IV

V

VI

VII

VIII

IX

X

XII

99

Count Row %

I

47

2

1

22

6

8

6

92

51.1

2.2

1.1

23.9

6.5

8.7

6.5

31.0

II

34

2

1

2

39

87.2

5.1

2.6

5.1

13.1

III

7

2

9

77.8

22.2

3.0

IV

2

1

1

4

50.0

25.0

25.0

1.3

V

9

1

2

12

75.0

8.3

16.7

4.0

VI

23

1

24

95.8

4.2

8.1

VII

1

7

1

24

33

3.0

21.2

3.0

72.7

11.1

VIII

2

2

4

50.0

50.0

1.3

IX

3

33

2

39

77

3.9

42.2

2.6

50.6

25.9

X

3

3

100.0

1.0

Col. N =

81

10

3

33

30

10

2

33

16

79

297

%

27.6

3.0

1.0

11.1

10.1

3.4

0.7

11.1

5.4

26.6

100.0

Note: XII = retired; 99 = missing data.

7 remained in category VII, while only 1 moved from VII to III. 50.6 per cent and 72.7 per cent of the data for categories IX and VII are missing. This in itself is worth noticing. It is easier to trace the occupational destination of those who held top positions, because they were more noticeable and conspicuous within the city. By contrast, it is very hard to trace the occupational destination of workers who moved to low‐level occupations.

Two findings of the survey deserve special attention. First, the success of the Soviet economic elite in the new market situation and, second, the lateral movement, rather than dramatic downward mobility, of the old Party elite into the new economic elite.5 Cadres are reaping the benefits of the transition to the (p.205) market. They are not experiencing a relative loss, nor do they seem to be in any way disadvantaged.

The data for Perm in Tables B1 and B2 are consistent with what has been documented for Russia and other post‐Communist societies, namely that the majority of the former Party cadres have joined the local economic elite, while the old Soviet economic elite is still, to a great extent, in place.6 Though the data are far from satisfactory, they support the conclusion that the old nomenklatura forms a portion of the new economic elite.

Notes:

(1.) The survey was commissioned by Dr Mary McAuley of Oxford University and the data were collected in 1994 by Dr Oleg Podvintsev of Perm University. Dr Oleg Podvintsev has supplied me with the raw, handwritten papers where he recorded the data. I have coded the data (see Table B1), and constructed the mobility table (see Table B2). On mobility tables as a tool for the study of social mobility, see Hout (1983).

(2.) The nomenklatura in the Soviet Union was a detailed list of posts. Such lists defined those Party, Government, and other posts to which individuals may not be appointed without personal interview and prior approval by the offices of a Party committee (Rigby, 1990: 94). Each Communist Party committee had its nomenklatura and was responsible for the recruitment of suitable candidates. The nomenklaturnaya sistema was institutionalized in the 1920s. In 1922 the first list of positions requiring such approval appeared. Over time, the nomenklatura system became more elaborate, with Communist Party committees at all levels—from republican and regional to city and district—being involved in the recruitment of the nomenklatura posts (Hanley, Yershova and Anderson, 1995).

(3.) Lentini, 1991: 70; see also Hill, 1972.

(4.) It should be noted that roughly half the university professors in our list were teaching ideologically charged subjects, such as History of the Communist Party of the USSR and Marxism–Lenininsm. Their chairs have been renamed as Chairs of Political Science, International Relations, and Sociology. The other half were Heads of Departments in technological or medical faculties. Humanities and historians of non‐Soviet subjects were not represented in the gorkom and obkom.

(5.) These findings appear to contradict the ‘circulation of elites’ thesis advanced by Nee (1989). Nee offered a radical circulation of elite hypothesis in reference to China, arguing that market reform benefits new economic actors and former cadres lose out (1989; see also 1991). He predicted that ‘not only are the direct controllers of the redistributive mechanism likely to experience a relative loss, but the value of their political capital (p.257) accumulated through prior experience as cadre is likely to diminish as well’ (1989: 671). Cadres are relatively disadvantaged, as they have ‘little or no net advantage in entering into private entrepreneurship’ (ibid.).

(6.) See e.g. Róna‐Tass, 1994, Szelényi and Szelényi, 1995; Hanley, Yershova, and Anderson, 1995.