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Diverging Roads from the Soviet Kolkhoz-Model: Estonia and Hungary - Inside and Outside the Soviet Union
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History.
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.
2016 (English)In: Humanities and Social Sciences Latvia, ISSN 1022-4483, Vol. 24, no 1, 4-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

After World War II, the large-scale Soviet agricultural production model was spread into the satellite states of CEE (Central and Eastern Europe). In spite of this, planned economic agricultural production was far from homogenous. This diversity – appearing inside and outside the Soviet Union – is worthwhile exploring, here represented by two of the most (in relative terms) productive agricultural regions of the Soviet bloc. The authors thus compare the agricultural development from the 1940s up to the 1980s in Post-War Estonia; a Soviet Republic, and Hungary; a Soviet satellite state. The authors’ methodology is commonly known as encompassing comparison. Estonia was forced to become an integral part of the Soviet Union and a planned economy already in 1940, while Hungary – in theory – was able to remain as an independent state. In both cases, however, trade was re-oriented towards the CMEA-market. After Stalin’s death, and especially from the late 1950s, the eased conditions enabled states to deviate from the initial Stalinist model. Hungary did so in a more formal way because of the national political development after the Revolution of 1956 while Estonia had to find other informal ways of rejecting the centralised orders. The investigation shows that the Estonian kolkhozes and the Hungarian co-operatives, representing two forms of deviation from the Soviet kolkhoz model, were able to deviate by means of specific measures such as the personal impact from national politicians, as well as the neglect of centralised orders. The authors conclude that the main explanation for this was due to specific national institutional legacies, such as the landed property relations, work ethics, and market economy experiences. Both the formal and informal political resistance that was exercised provided motives for new thinking in agrarian organisation and management. This had long-term effects on Soviet agricultural policy from the mid-1960s.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Riga: University of Latvia Press, 2016. Vol. 24, no 1, 4-37 p.
Keyword [en]
Socialist agriculture, Estonia, Hungary, Soviet Union, encompassing comparison, collectivization
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-123347OAI: diva2:945504
Available from: 2016-07-01 Created: 2016-07-01 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved

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Jörgensen, Hans
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