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Article

Soviet People’s Commissariats and Decentralization of Management of the Economy during the Great Patriotic War

Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 2020. Vol. 90. No. 5. P. 537-547.

The little-studied phenomenon of the combination of centralization and decentralization in the management of the Soviet economy during the Great Patriotic War is analyzed. Decentralization of management is considered as a mechanism to adjust contradictions between centralized planning and the expansion of producers’ independence. The problem is investigated using the example of the operational activities of the Soviet people’s commissariats and their interaction with each other and with the top leadership of the Soviet Union. The focus is on two interrelated processes. The first is the stabilization of the corps of economic managers and their authorization with additional formal powers. The second is the informal and unauthorized practices of decentralization used by the leaders of the people’s commissariats to achieve the goals posed before them. This article is based on the study of a complex of archival documents, primarily resolutions of the USSR State Defense Committee.