Book chapters

GuilhotDecisionist

The Unlikely Revolutionaries: Soviet OR and Systems Analysis

In this chapter I examine the development of Soviet decision sciences as an intellectual and institutional field where a new governmental epistemology emerged in the 1960s-1980s. This chapter is based on a study of archives of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and interviews with ex-Soviet scholars who were involved in the development of systems analysis in the Soviet Union. Outlining the history of OR and systems analysis as a framework for decision making in the Soviet planning process, I trace their impact on a) conceptualization of governance, b) institutional design, and c) governmental practices, mainly economic planning. OR and systems analysis were part of the de-Stalinization process, distributing decision-making power among new, heterogeneous actors, such as decision scientists and professionally trained managers; this phenomenon is described as a rise of Soviet technocracy, a process which was shaped by East-West transfer where the elite Soviet scientists and highly positioned policy-makers learned from Western, predominantly US experience. Soviet decision sciences were initially adopted in military-industrial sector as an advanced but strictly technical instrument to improve decision making in industry and policy. However, in the 1960s, Soviet decision sciences developed an ambitious agenda, in effect becoming an alternative social science, formulating non-ideologically constricted explanations of social order and change. Decision-making was conceptualised as a de-personalised, adaptive process, one which at least conceptually permitted zones of autonomy and what was described as ‘degrees of freedom’. I propose that the history of early Soviet decision-science, therefore, is a story of a relative liberalisation of an authoritarian political regime, a process that addressed the same concerns as in the West (irrationality and mass participation in government) and also foregrounded later spread of neoliberal economic models.

To be published in The Decisionist Imagination, edited by Nicolas Guilhot and Daniel Bessner (Oxford: Berghnan Press, 2018).

 

 

cold war europe

“Internal Transfer of Cybernetics and Informality in the Soviet Union: The Case of Lithuania”.

Autio-Sarasmo, S. & Miklossy, K.(eds) Reassessing Cold War Europe. London & New York: Routledge, 2011, pp.119-137.

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ceu press

This is a revised and updated version of a chapter that was published by the Lithuanian Literature Institute Publishing in 2012. It asks, what is the use of macro categories, such as elites, for the understanding of the politics behind the uses of the past in cultural heritage  institutions. The answer is, it depends.
Rindzeviciute, Egle (2018) Hegemony or Grassroots Movement? The Musealization of Soviet Deportations. In Narratives of Exile and Identity: Soviet Deportation Memoirs from the Baltic States, edited by Violeta Davoliute and Tomas Balkelis. Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 147-174.

 

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*routledge

Introduction: Toward a New History of the Future

In Andersson, J. & Rindzeviciute, E. eds., Forging the Future: The Struggle for the Long-Term in Transnational Science and Politics (London & New York: Routledge, 2015), 1-15 [with Jenny Andersson]

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routledge

Toward a Joint Future beyond the Iron Curtain: East-West Politics of Global Modelling

In Andersson, J. & Rindzeviciute, E. eds., Forging the Future: The Struggle for the Long-Term in Transnational Science and Politics (London & New York: Routledge, 2015), 115-143.

Full text available here.

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cold war europe

“Internal Transfer of Cybernetics and Informality in the Soviet Union: The Case of Lithuania”.

Autio-Sarasmo, S. & Miklossy, K.(eds) Reassessing Cold War Europe. London & New York: Routledge, 2011, pp.119-137.

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