Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Scapegoating One's Comrades in the USSR, 1934-1937

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

This article examines two cases of scapegoating—that of Ludwig Magyar in December 1934, and that of Gevork Alikhanov in June 1937—and applies theories of group identity and behavior to explore what motivated people to scapegoat their comrades, why the groups selected particular people for scapegoating, and what these incidences reveal about the groups that engaged in this ritual. Within political groups, such behaviors are obviously inseparable from the politics of the moment. The cases examined here illustrate some key political shifts in Stalinist party policy between late 1934 and mid-1937, as manifest in a single party organization. The changes affected its members' behavior, which offers insights into intra-party fractures. The essay confines its focus to two meetings of the party organization of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI). Whereas in December 1934 the members of the party organization unanimously voted to expel Magyar from their ranks, in June 1937 rank-and-file members of the organization re-directed efforts by the party organization's leaders to scapegoat Alikhanov and attacked the party organization's leaders. Examining how this group of Stalinists behaved allows one to view scapegoating as both a Stalinist and universal social behavior. Appreciating the prominence of universal social behavior within a Stalinist political context is essential to moving beyond many scholars' unwarranted obsession with Soviet and Stalinist exceptionalism.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Russian History — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation