Volume 63 Number 2 Abstracts

"Face-to-Face": The State, the Individual, and the Citizen in Russian Taxation, 1863-1917

Yanni Kotsonis

From the 1860s to 1917, direct taxation provides a window onto the paradoxes of reform in late imperial Russia. The new systems of assessment that culminated in the income tax of 1916 aimed to individualize government in a regime still ordered by legal estate and collective identity; to recognize the autonomy of the individual while disassembling and reintegrating the person by way of comprehensive assessment; and to promote a sense of citizenship, participation, and individual responsibility while still defending autocracy. Yanni Kotsonis suggests that these tensions were borrowed, along with the new techniques of taxation and of government, from European and transatlantic practice, but Kotsonis also locates the distinctiveness of the Russian case in the historical context and the set of ideological premises into which the practices were introduced.

Did Russia's Emancipated Serfs Really Pay Too Much for Too Little Land? Statistical Anomalies and Long-Tailed Distributions

Steven L. Hoch

According to the widely accepted view, under the terms of emancipation and land reform, Russian peasants received inadequate allotments of land for which they had to pay a disproportionately high purchase price. The data used to support the standard interpretation and the statistical methods underlying it are seriously flawed, however. Steven L. Hoch provides a detailed critique of these data and the methods of analysis, and he concludes that the price Russia's former serfs paid was fair, if not below the market price, for a viable subsistence plot. Overall, Hoch believes that the land reform settlement was a reasonable state policy producing a desirable economic outcome.

"The Literary Organ of Politics": Tomáš Masaryk and Political Journalism, 1925-1929

Andrea Orzoff

Tomáš Masaryk, the founder and first president (1918-1935) of interwar Czechoslovakia, devoted considerable time to founding, tracking, and attempting to take over newspapers and journals. In this article, Andrea Orzoff argues that journalism possessed central importance in interwar Czechoslovak political culture. Every party had its own press apparatus, making newsrooms into logical extensions of the usual arenas of political contention. But especially for Masaryk and his longtime collaborator Eduard Beneš, newspapers were a means of communicating directly with the electorate, thus subverting or evading the constraints of parliamentary politics. Orzoff offers various examples of Masaryk's successful and unsuccessful attempts to meddle in the affairs of the interwar press. She concludes that print culture helps scholars understand interwar Czechoslovak democracy and its closeness to Austro-Hungarian political culture. Particularly, the history of interwar journalism helps clarify the activities and opinions, long mythologized, of the Czechoslovak "freelancer president."

Equality through Protection: The Politics of Women's Employment in Postwar Poland, 1945-1956

Malgorzata Fidelis

In this article, Malgorzata Fidelis analyzes the role of gender in postwar Polish employment policies and shop floor culture and casts a new light on east European Stalinism and de-Stalinization. Focusing on the reconstruction and implementation of protective labor legislation for women, Fidelis argues that the communist definition of gender was a recast version of the western liberal notion of immutable sexual difference positioned in the body. At the same time, Polish society participated in defining gender at the site of production, most visibly in the de-Stalinization backlash against women, who had entered male-dominated skilled jobs in heavy industry under Stalinism. The party-state's use of women's reproductive function as a justification to remove women from men's jobs suggests that east European de-Stalinization needs to be reexamined in light of its different meaning for women and men.

From Higher Party Schools to Academies of State Service: The Marketization of Bureaucratic Training in Russia

Eugene Huskey

What does a postcommunist regime do with its bureaucratic inheritance? Without a replacement bureaucracy at hand, the political leadership in Russia had no choice but to govern through state employees whose values and patterns of behavior were instilled in the Soviet era. Given this reality, one might have expected Russian reformers--and their overseas supporters--to have developed an aggressive and comprehensive policy on retraining officials of state. But instead of a coordinated effort to educate new and existing personnel in a spirit of public, rather than state, service, one finds only a gradual and haphazard reform of bureaucratic training. In this article, Eugene Huskey argues that the driving force behind such training has been the market in higher and continuing education and not a conscious and consistent policy emanating from the presidency or other central institutions of state. The major player in that market is the system of state service academies, which inherited many of their faculty and facilities from the old Higher Party Schools of the communist era. But the market, taken together with the fragmentation of state power, has consistently undermined attempts by the academies to serve as the sole purveyors of training to the bureaucracy. What is as yet unclear is whether the marketization of bureaucratic education and re-education, which discourages the emergence of a coherent national approach to remaking the bureaucracy, is facilitating or impeding the modernization and liberalization of Russian officialdom.

The State of Socialism: A Note on Terminology

Andrew Roberts

Scholars use a variety of terms to refer to the regimes of the former Soviet bloc. Some prefer communist, while others use socialist or state socialist. In this article, Andrew Roberts argues that communism is the better choice. Using socialism or state socialism to refer to these regimes stretches the concept unnecessarily, making one label refer to two regimes with little in common. This conceptual stretching has two negative consequences. First, it impedes efficient scholarly communication. Second, it impoverishes political debate by diminishing the achievements of democratic socialists. A solution to this problem is to use the term communist to refer to Soviet-style regimes.

The Chechen Wars in Historical Perspective: New Work on Contemporary Russian-Chechen Relations

Austin Jersild

The contemporary global preoccupation with "terror" and the destructive Chechen wars of the past decade should encourage politicians and commentators to examine the historical background to contemporary Russian-Chechen relations. In this review essay, Austin Jersild explores a series of issues posed by recent writers, such as the policies and attitudes of Vladimir Putin, Chechen identity and memory, Russian representations of Chechens, American foreign policy, human rights and international law, military tactics, and interethnic relations in Groznyi, within the broader context of Russia's historic conquest and incorporation of the north Caucasus during the nineteenth century.