Russian Bureaucracy

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The growth of the Russian bureaucracy from the Imperial to Soviet era is overwhelming. According to Alekinskii, in 1897, 435,000 civilians worked for the public bureaucratic sector. This means for every 292 members of the populous there would be one public servant plied for representation (Alekinskii, 178). By 1897, the bureaucracy in Russia was no older than sixty years. Prior to the 1830s state bureaucrats did not truly exist; shortly thereafter, seniority dictated which workers would progress upwards in the public institutions in which he or she worked (John Le Dunne). This could be interpreted as the first sign of the development of bureaucracy in Imperial Russia. Russian bureaucracy, at least in the Soviet and Imperial sense, does not mimic the traditionally accepted Weberian notion of bureaucracy and bureaucratic development. Some scholars feel Russia could be portrayed as the true birthplace of a pure bureaucratic system. In other countries, such as the United States or Norway, the bureaucracy gained power slowly in an already stable political and social environment. This is not the case in Russia. According to Hollander, a major difference in the Imperial and Soviet bureaucracies from prescribed Western norms surrounds politicization (Hollander, 305). The bureaucracy developed through class oppression and political upheaval over centuries. It can be said that a truly stable political and social environment in Russia is only about twenty years old; in spite of this, the Russian bureaucracy existed and thrived for centuries prior to the social awakening.

How did Russia often express itself during times of censorship and control? Literature. Despite being written during the times of Tsars and Imperialists, works like Nik...

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