Mass Political Culture Under Stalinism

Popular Discussion of the Soviet Constitution of 1936

  • Olga Velikanova

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Olga Velikanova
    Pages 1-14
  3. Olga Velikanova
    Pages 15-25
  4. Government Goals for the Constitution Revision and National Discussion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 29-36
    3. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 37-47
    4. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 49-70
    5. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 71-98
    6. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 99-108
  5. Popular Perceptions of the Constitution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 109-109
    2. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 111-122
    3. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 123-162
    4. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 163-203
    5. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 205-220
    6. Olga Velikanova
      Pages 245-250
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 251-260

About this book


This book is the first full-length study of the Soviet Constitution of 1936, exploring Soviet citizens’ views of constitutional democratic principles and their problematic relationship to the reality of Stalinism. Drawing on archival materials, the book offers an insight into the mass political culture of the mid-1930s in the USSR and thus contributes to wider research on Russian political culture. Popular comments about the constitution show how liberal, democratic and conciliatory discourse co-existed in society with illiberal, confrontational and intolerant views.


The study also covers the government’s goals for the constitution’s revision and the national discussion, and its disappointment with the results. Outcomes of the discussion convinced Stalin that society was not sufficiently Sovietized. Stalin's re-evaluation of society's condition is a new element in the historical picture explaining why politics shifted from the relaxation of 1933-36 to the Great Terror, and why repressions expanded from former oppositionists to the officials and finally to the wider population.


State-sponsored Democracy, democratic Stalin Political culture 1930s Revolutionary, confrontational Liberal Consensus Soviet Russia Popular opinion, everyday life

Authors and affiliations

  • Olga Velikanova
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-78442-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-78443-4
  • Buy this book on publisher's site