Project B 11:

Supplications as a form and medium of political communication in the USSR

Staff· Abstract

This project analyzes processes of political communication in the USSR after World War II. It explores supplications and petitions, which were submitted to different local and central addresses as well as to the mass media. The mutual reaction of television, press and supplications is of special interest. From the point of view of the Soviet Regime the issue of consumption, which remained the central topic of most supplications, mainly legitimized the system after Stalin's death in 1953. In the context of restricted participation in politics and the mass media, the regime and society negotiated their cohabitation particularly through supplications. It should be clarified who structured this field through which modi of communication, strategies, topics and claims of participation.
The project also asks how the supplicants interpreted the "political" and to what extent they introduced new topics into the communicative space of the political, thereby modifying it. How could the interplay between supplications, the Soviet Regime, which could uncover topics as well as turn them into taboos, and the mass media be characterized? Did Soviet citizens only repeat the patterns set by the discourses of ideology and the mass media? To what extent have subversively appropriated semantics influenced official discourses? Did the regime successfully entangle a whole society in negotiations by eagerly answering every supplication so that problems of consumption became substitutes for a general debate about the system per se, thus diverting both pressure and popular attention?


zur SFB-Abschlusstagung "Writing Political History Today" (01.-03.12.2011)


Neu erschienen in der Reihe "Historische Politikforschung":
Susanne Schregel, Der Atomkrieg vor der Wohnungstür

Reihe "Das Politische als Kommunikation"

Reihe "Historische Politikforschung"

Weitere Publikationen


Flyer (PDF)

Flyer 2. Phase (PDF)

Flyer 1. Phase (PDF)