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The Soviet Economy, 1917-1991: Its Life and Afterlife

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The Soviet Economy, 1917-1991: Its Life and Afterlife

ESRC Festival of Social Science 

Professor Mark Harrison: Public Lecture

Echo Mark Harrison

Tuesday 7th November
6:00pm - 7:15pm (Networking reception from 7:15pm)
M1 Lecture Theatre, Warwick Business School

The evening lecture with Mark Harrison, Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick and a leading expert on the history of the Soviet economy and discussant Dr Claire Shaw, History Department at the University of Warwick.

The lecture, was part of this year's ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science, open to all staff, students and the general public.

In terms of economic development, Russia before and after the Soviet era was just an average economy. If the Soviet era is distinguished, it was not by economic growth or its contribution to human development, but by the use of the economy to build national power over many decades. In this respect, the Soviet economy was a success. It was also a tough and unequal environment in which to be born, live, and grow old. The Soviet focus on building national capabilities did improve opportunities for many citizens. Most important were the education of women and the increased survival of children. The Soviet economy was designed for the age of mass production and mass armies. That age has gone, but the idea of the Soviet economy lives on, fed by nostalgia and nationalism.

Mark Harrison is a professor of economics at the University of Warwick, a research associate at CAGE, and a senior research fellow at the Centre for Russian, European, and Eurasian Studies of the University of Birmingham. He was one of the first Western economists to work in the Russian archives following the fall of Soviet communism. His research has brought new knowledge about the Soviet economy into mainstream economics and international economic history, especially through projects on the two world wars. His work on Russia's historical national accounts in wartime was recognized by the Alec Nove Prize of the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (1998) and the Russian National Award for Applied Economics (2012). His current research is on state security and political policing in the Baltic under Soviet rule.

His latest book is One Day We Will Live Without Fear: Everyday Lives Under the Soviet Police State (2016).

 twitter@mark4harrison | CAGE@Warwick | #esrcfestival | @ESRC 

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