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restructuring, rebuilding

Perestroika (Russian: перестройка [pʲɪrʲɪˈstrojkə]  ( listen))[1] was a political movement within the Communist Party of Soviet Union widely associated with the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Its literal meaning is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.

Perestroika is often argued to be one reason for the fall of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and for the end of the Cold War.[2]



Perestroika refers to major changes initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev to the structure and function of both the political and economic control of the Soviet Union allowing more independent actions from the various ministries and eventually to the dismantling of the Soviet-era planned economy and its replacement with a market economy. However, the process arguably exacerbated already existing social and economic tensions within the Soviet Union, and no doubt helped to further nationalism among the constituent republics, as well as social fragmentation.

Political reforms

After Mikhail Gorbachev took the office of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, he began a series of political reforms that were resisted by many established members of the communist party. However, Gorbachev appealed over the heads of the party to the people and called for demokratizatsiya (democratization). For Gorbachev, demokratizatsiya originally meant the introduction of multi-candidate (but not multiparty) elections for local Communist Party (CPSU) positions and Soviets. In this way, he hoped to rejuvenate the party with progressive personnel who would carry out his institutional and policy reforms. The CPSU would retain sole custody of the ballot box.[citation needed]

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