HIS 1120 Study Guide - Final Guide: Glasnost, Perestroika
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general secretary of Soviet Party
installs “glasnost” openness freedom of speech, freedom of press, creating accountability
we as leaders aren’t acting responsibility
restructuring of the soviet economy
returning of private industry
allows people to purchase things now
poor quality of what they had was exposed
sites of Protest and Resistance –Jeans and Rock&Roll
his plans succeed
but it creates all kinds of other problems
housing problems, widespread alcoholism, etc.
Glasnost ( lit. "publicity") was a policy that called for increased openness and transparency in government institutions and
activities in the Soviet Union. Introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s, Glasnost is often paired
with Perestroika (literally: Restructuring), another reform instituted by Gorbachev at the same time. The word "glasnost" has
been used in Russian at least since the end of the 18th century.
The word was frequently used by Gorbachev to specify the policies he believed might help reduce the corruption at the top of
the Communist Party and the Soviet government and moderate the abuse of administrative power in the Central Committee.
Russian human rights activist and dissident Lyudmila Alexeyeva explained "glasnost" as a word that "had been in the Russian
language for centuries. It was in the dictionaries and lawbooks as long as there had been dictionaries and lawbooks. It was an
ordinary, hardworking, nondescript word that was used to refer to a process, any process of justice of governance, being
conducted in the open."
Glasnost can also refer to the specific period in the history of the USSR during the 1980s when there was less censorship and
greater freedom of information.
Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during
the 1980s (1986), widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning
"openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of
the Soviet political and economic system.
Perestroika is often argued to be the cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the revolutions of 1989 in
Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War.
Perestroika allowed more independent actions from various ministries and introduced some market-like reforms. The goal of the
perestroika, however, was not to end the command economy but rather to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet
the needs of Soviet consumers. The process of implementing perestroika arguably exacerbated already existing political, social
and economic tensions within the Soviet Union and no doubt helped to further nationalism in the constituent republics.
Perestroika and resistance to it are often cited as major catalysts leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
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