Path: ICPP > ICPP1980 > Table of Contents > Essay on Party Politics > Party 671

Soviet Union Communist Party, 671
Variables and Codes for 1950-1962
1-- Institutionalization Variables

Year of Origin


Leadership Competition


Name Changes


Legislative Instability


Organizational Discontinuity


Electoral Instability

1.01 year of origin and 1.02 name changes
1898, AC7
4, AC9
There are three plausible dates for fixing the origin of the CPSU. One position fixes the origin at 1898, the year of the first congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party in Minsk. However, some authors have pointed out that the organizers of this meeting were arrested or otherwise unable to establish a lasting organization. An alternative date is 1903, the occasion of the second congress. A third possibility is 1912, when the Bolshevik Party was officially constituted. We have selected 1898 as most consistent with our scoring of party origins in other countries. Originally formed as the Russian Social Democratic Party, its name was changed in 1918 to the Russian Communist Party and changed again in 1925 to the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks. Its name was changed once more in 1952 to the familiar Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
1.03 organizational discontinuity
0, AC9
The CPSU did not undergo any splits or mergers during the period 1950-1962.
1.04 leadership competition
12, AC9
After Stalin`s death in 1953, Malenkov resigned as First Secretary of the CPSU to head the Council of Ministers. His resignation was approved by the Central Committee, which subsequently elected Khrushchev to the post of First Secretary of the CPSU in September 1953--a post which he held until his removal in 1964.
1.05 legislative instability
Instability is undefined
There is little hard information available about the party composition of the Supreme Soviet, which does not function as a legislative institution in the western sense of the term. During our time period, the proportion of Communists among the deputies to the Supreme Soviet of the Union declined steadily from 86 percent to 75 percent of the approximately 700 members, depending on the session. (Rigby, p. 475.)
1.06 electoral instability
Instability is .00, AC9
Elections for the Supreme Soviet were held in 1950, 1954, 1958, and 1962. Although no parties were allowed to form to contest the candidates of the CPSU, there were occasional non-party candidates, as reflected in the composition of the chamber.