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perestroika(pər`ĕstroy`kə), Soviet economic and social policy of the late 1980s. Perestroika [restructuring] was the term attached to the attempts (1985–91) by Mikhail GorbachevGorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich
, 1931–, Soviet political leader. Born in the agricultural region of Stavropol, Gorbachev studied law at Moscow State Univ., where in 1953 he married a philosophy student, Raisa Maksimovna Titorenko (1932?–99).
..... Click the link for more information. to transform the stagnant, inefficient command economy of the Soviet Union into a decentralized market-oriented economy. Industrial managers and local government and party officials were granted greater autonomy, and open elections were introduced in an attempt to democratize the Communist party organization. By 1991, perestroika was on the wane, and after the failed August CoupAugust Coup,
attempted coup (Aug. 18–22, 1991) against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. On the eve of the signing ceremony for a new union treaty for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, members of the Politburo and the heads of the Soviet military and security
..... Click the link for more information. of 1991 was eclipsed by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the establishment of the Russian Federation, and other dramatic political, legal, and economic changes.
See M. Gorbachev, Perestroika (1988); E. A. Hewett and V. H. Winston, ed., Milestones in Glasnost and Perestroyka (1991).
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perestroikaa Russian term meaning reconstruction. The term was adopted by GORBACHEV in the USSR from 1985 to 1989, to characterize the changes in the economy and society which he, and others, saw as necessary after two decades of slow economic growth. The precise policies were slow in being clarified, but in general involved reform of the state-planning system originated by STALIN, greater autonomy of individual enterprises, an increasing role for the market, increased freedom for family businesses and cooperatives and greater opening to foreign trade and foreign firms. Gorbachev also used the term alongside that of GLASNOST as a rallying call to the Soviet people to re-examine all aspects of their lives and to revitalize their motivation and their commitment to SOCIALISM. Even though Gorbachev at first thought that perestroika would be achieved rapidly, by 1990 the Soviet economy was still stagnating and Gorbachev was ousted from power in 1991.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000