Second Secretary of the Central Committee of a Soviet republic does not sound a very important position, but as this book shows it was an extremely important role, one that helped hold the Soviet Union together and helped to keep it going for so long. The key was that Second Secretaries were both members of a Soviet republic’s ruling body and at the same time members of the All-Union ruling elite - they were often characterised as Moscow’s governor generals. This book examines how the position of Second Secretary was established by Khrushchev in the 1950s, explores how it took on increasingly important political functions representing Moscow’s interests in the republics and the republics’ interests in Moscow, and discusses how the conflicts, inherent in the role, developed. The book also provides biographical details of the people who held the position and argues that the role was extremely effective in managing what could otherwise have been very difficult relationships between centre and periphery.
Table of Contents
Introduction I. The Origin of the Political Institution of Second Secretaries The Pre-war Legacy and the Baltic Factor Institutions of the Representative of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Bureau II. The Department of Organisational Party Work of the Central Committee of the CPSU The Department The Sector Instructors of the Department ‘Birds of a Feather’ III. The Establishment of the Political Institution of the Second Secretary The Establishment of the Institution of Second Secretaries: Circumstances and Reasons The Contract between the Central and the Local Nomenklatura and the Birth of the institution of the Second Secretary Second Secretaries Arrive in Central Asia, Moldavia, Estonia and Armenia IV. A Collective Biography of Second Secretaries V. A Representative of the Centre in a National Republic: Behavioural Contexts and the Strategies of the Second Secretary Nationalism An Intermediary in Ethnic Conflicts ‘Local Peculiarities’ and Language: Nationalism for the Second Secretaries Nikolai Belukha’s Understanding of Nationalism The Second Secretary’s Communication with the Centre Behavioural Strategies of the Second Secretary The Perception of Time and the Behaviour of the Second Secretary The System of Second Persons The Second Secretary and Party Discourse VI. Being the Second in a Republic: Concord and Conflicts with the First Secretary The All-Union Level The First ‘Chooses’ the Second The Role of the Second in Appointing the First The Second’s Opportunities to Eliminate the First The First Dismisses the Second The Internal Level Conflicts between the First and the Second Secretaries Family and Neighbourhood Conclusion
Saulius Grybkauskas is a Senior Research Fellow and Deputy Director for Research at the Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius, Lithuania