In " New Perspectives on Country Email List Stalinism , " an article published in The Russian Review in 1986, you argued, in line with your criticism of the model proposed by the school of totalitarianism, that it was possible to think of Stalinism " from Country Email List down » . Then, effectively, it was what you yourself did and reflected in your book Daily life during Stalinism. What specific modifications did this study of Stalinism imply in order to Country Email List understand the forms of the regime? What issues came to light that had not been addressed before? As a historian, I always doubt models.
Therefore, what I intended was Country Email List not to develop an alternative to totalitarianism, but to highlight and account for those aspects that this approach did not allow us to see. In that sense, I also did not express my ideas and my analyzes Country Email List about the functioning of Soviet politics in model terms. In addressing the question of the functioning of society, the image I offered was that of a vast institutional structure created and Country Email List controlled by the state, and of individuals operating not only within that structure, but in its interstices.
In other words, I wanted to Country Email List reflect that in order to get what they needed for life, people had to take into account that official structure and use it voluntarily or involuntarily. For all kinds of things they needed that structure: to obtain Country Email List consumer goods, to ensure that children receive a proper education, etc. There they operated in the interstices through personalistic connections. It is important to stress the importance of the Soviet term ' blat' . Blat is a system of reciprocal exchange of favors: I have the opportunity to do Country Email List certain things for you because of my position.