Various arguments have been put forward to explain the social stability of the post-Stalin era, in particular theories of a “social contract”, “incorporation” or “atomisation”. This article argues that all these theories have been cast into serious doubt by the response of workers to the reforms of the post-communist era and proposes an alternative view of the integration of workers which centres on the social organisation of the traditional Soviet enterprise. It goes on to show the way in which the form of workers' relation to the labour collective has structured their behaviour during the transition era.

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