The pattern of discussion of problems in intra-party functioning in the republican press is clear. Throughout the whole period there was a continuing current of criticism of the performance of lower-level leaders, but during most of this time that criticism was standardised and did not portend a threat to lower-level incumbents generally. However, there were two periods when the level and vigour of criticism were sharply raised and the sense of threat became more tangible. In the initial years of the Khrushchev period up until 1959, the discussion was couched in more moderate language, suggesting administrative sloppiness and mistakes rather than crimes. From 1959 into 1962, the language was more vigorous and the symbolism reflected a more serious malaise within the party; problems were due less to mistakes than to the conscious decisions of personnel, with crime rather than error being at the heart. Following Khrushchev’s ouster, the language and symbolism were once again moderated, with less emphasis upon abuse of position and power and more on personnel oversight and administrative mistakes. The harsh critical tone returned with Andropov, and was escalated under Gorbachev.1
KeywordsParty Member Leadership Change Party Organ Leadership Succession Party Committee
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