Whistleblowers, Managers and the State

  • Nicholas Lampert
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series


The cases described in the previous chapter give some idea of the problems that critics are likely to encounter if they blow the whistle. In the discussion that follows I shall explore these problems further and shall try to answer a number of questions that arise from an examination of such material. First, who are the whistleblowers, what practices are they complaining about, and why do they decide to lodge complaints about abuse of office? Second, how do managements typically react to such behaviour, and what resources do they have within the organisation to tackle their critics? Third, how do the agencies of appeal, especially the party organs and the press, respond to this sort of initiative? In addressing these questions one can throw more light on the tension between law and illegality, on the sources of protection, and on the relationship between central and local political power. At the same time, some conclusions can be drawn about the significance of the complaints procedure within the law enforcement process, and within a wider political context. I shall be relying throughout the chapter on a sample of 70 stories of the kind translated in Chapter 3. They were all taken from the national press, mainly from Pravda, in the years 1979–83. These stories have been supplemented by other press material, and by discussions with people who have participated in such dramas in one way or another.


Local Official Central Committee Party Committee Party Secretary Critical Letter 
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Notes and References

  1. 14.
    A. Gel’man, ‘Protokol odnogo zasedaniya’, Teatr, 1976, 2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicholas Lampert 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Lampert

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