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Grant number: FT-260355-18

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James Warren Heinzen
Rowan University (Glassboro, NJ 08028-1702)

Underground Entrepreneurs and the Soviet Shadow Economy under Late Socialism, 1950s–1980s

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the Soviet shadow economy during the Krushchev and Brezhnev eras (1953-1985).

Supported by new archival material and newly located interviews, this book project exploring the social and cultural history of the Soviet black market advances three important and promising fields: everyday life under “mature” Soviet socialism; the vibrant history of crime and corruption (including ethnic networks); and the interplay of ideology and the hyper-centralized planned economy. The project makes connections between four levels of analysis: law and legal history; the social dynamics of entrepreneurial activity under an authoritarian socialist regime; the complexity of ethnic networks in a modern multinational empire; and the peculiar politics of anti-corruption in a corrupt party-state. This project thus lies at the intersection of the political, the criminal, and everyday life in the final decades of the Soviet empire. The aim of this project is to conduct deep archival research to shed light on major themes in Soviet history.

Project fields:
Russian History

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018