The Origins of the Stalinist Political System offers new and challenging perspectives on Soviet political development from October 1917 until the outbreak of war in June 1941. Explanations of the emergence of a Stalinist political system have hitherto concentrated upon either impersonal factors, such as economic backwardness and the process of bureaucratisation, or Stalin the political actor and the intricacies of elite conflict. Graeme Gill examines the relationship between institutional structures and the conventions, which are created to shape the activities of individuals and considers centre/periphery relations. He divides this period into four sequential but distinct political systems and examines how the patterns of these relationships shaped the course of development to 1941. This book incorporates a great deal of new material. It will become essential reading for specialists in, and students of Soviet history with special reference to politics under Stalin, the 1920s and the 1930s.