Professor of Economics Vladimir Kontorovich
Where Did the Sputnik Come From?
Recent literature routinely describes the Soviet economy as a “war economy”. Such statements represent a revolution in the characterization of the subject. While Sovietology (Western academic study of the Soviet economy) grew as a response to the perceived national security threat, its publications largely neglected the military aspects of the Soviet economy. This paper, drawn from a larger study, documents the near-absence of the military sector from the published output of Sovietology. It considers whether Soviet secrecy on military matters prevented Sovietologists from giving this sector its due and rejects this explanation. Alternative explanations for the literature’s neglect of the economy’s most important sector are briefly reviewed.