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Communications and media in the USSR and Eastern Europe

Kristin Roth‑Ey et Larissa Zakharova
p. 273-289

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Communications in socialist Europe have long been associated first and foremost with propaganda. The USSR—the world’s first “propaganda state,” to use Peter Kenez’s term— established a radical new communications order that would be widely emulated. “The Bolshevik regime,” wrote Kenez in an influential 1985 study, “was the first not merely to set itself propaganda goals but also through political education to aim to create a new humanity suitable for living in a new society.” Propaganda, in this sense, had no strictly delimited “political” sphere of operation in the Soviet/socialist context ; on the contrary, it was embedded in all aspects of cultural, social, and economic life. Propaganda was also, it bears emphasizing, devoid of dismissive (“mere propaganda”) and negative (propaganda‑as‑brainwashing) connotations in the new lexicon—at least when applied to the socialist context. Propaganda in socialist hands was celebrated as an essential, progressive tool of socialist modernity. C...

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Kristin Roth‑Ey et Larissa Zakharova, « Communications and media in the USSR and Eastern Europe », Cahiers du monde russe [En ligne], 56/2-3 | 2015, mis en ligne le 17 novembre 2019, Consulté le 14 décembre 2017. URL :

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Kristin Roth‑Ey

University College, Londres

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Larissa Zakharova

Cercec – EHESS, Paris

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© École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris.

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