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

Tracking Public Opinion Under Authoritarianism

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

The Case of the Soviet Union During the Brezhnev Era

image of Russian History

Can autocracies obtain accurate information on popular opinion? This article approaches this question by focusing on the Soviet Union during the Brezhnev period. Based on Soviet archival materials (primarily Fond 89, the Volkogonov papers, and the Rubinov collection), the article argues that the Soviet regime relied on three main channels to track popular preferences: the kgb, opinion polling, and the analysis of citizen complaint letters. Each of these channels provided a different type of information: the kgb tracked levels of political dissent; opinion polling assessed general levels of satisfaction with the regime; and citizen complaints produced detailed information on the redistributive preferences of the population. Individually, none of these channels provided sufficient information on public opinion. However, when taken as a whole, they supplied the leadership with surprisingly nuanced information on popular preferences.

Affiliations: 1: Tulane University,


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