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Post-Soviet SocialNeoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics$
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Stephen J. Collier

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691148304

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691148304.001.0001

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The Birth of Soviet Biopolitics

The Birth of Soviet Biopolitics

(p.39) Chapter Two The Birth of Soviet Biopolitics
Post-Soviet Social

Stephen J. Collier

Princeton University Press

This chapter outlines the developments against which one can understand the emergence of Soviet city-building—painting a picture of successive formations of government from Petrine absolutism to Soviet total planning. In the Soviet period, the city emerges precisely as that space in which large-scale readjustments of the population's distribution and way of life can be governmentally managed. The chapter then traces the articulation and subsequent redeployment of two critical instruments of government—budgets and infrastructures. Initially developed in the state-building and modernizing projects of the Russian absolutist state, these instruments were turned—first in the late tsarist period, then in the Soviet period—to various subsequent tasks of development and social welfare, and embedded in the mechanisms of Soviet planning. Their present significance lies, in part, in the fact that they were identified as critical targets of neoliberal reform after Soviet breakup, and will thus be crucial for assessing the postsocialist fate of Soviet social modernity.

Keywords:   Soviet city-building, Petrine absolutism, Soviet planning, budgets, infrastructures, Russian absolutist state, neoliberal reform, Soviet social modernity

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