Reindustrialized socialism : expanding steel cities and second world interconnections

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Utilizing interlinked urban histories of three key industrial cities -- Kryvyi Rih (Soviet Ukraine), Dąbrowa Górnicza (Poland), and Staryi Oskol (Russian Soviet Republic), this dissertation argues that a particular, Socialist Bloc approach to planning and development from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s wrought momentous transformation of production networks, social structures, urban space, and individual lives. Challenging the normalization of a painful, parallel transition to 'post-industrial society' which has helped reinforce oversimplified diagnoses of political and economic 'stagnation' under state socialism, this study explores the impetus for and impact of a conscious recommitment to heavy industry. East European leaders embraced perceived opportunities based on access to natural resources, increased integration into systems of regional and global exchange, and an extended social contract with the urban working class. The uneven results of this vision were inscribed in the cityscape, environment, and external economic relationships of these three iron and steel industry hubs, leaving evidence crucial to understanding state socialism and its legacies. Ground-level inquiry at each of these three sites also reveals their interconnection as nodes of a shared economic, professional, and social geography. Expanded extraction of iron ore at Kryvyi Rih was a key condition for the USSR's Polish partners to build a gargantuan new plant in Dąbrowa Górnicza. This and other Eastern Bloc demands for steel industry inputs justified development of a new mining and enrichment hub around Staryi Oskol. Looking beyond narrowly national frameworks common in post-socialist successor states, this study points to infrastructures of interdependence constructed alongside these cities. Whether trade networks, a specially-built rail line, or strategies for coping with supply shortfalls, these were practices and physical structures that -- in some cases -- both conditioned and outlasted the collapse of the system that created them.


Type of resource text
Form electronic resource; remote; computer; online resource
Extent 1 online resource.
Place California
Place [Stanford, California]
Publisher [Stanford University]
Copyright date 2022; ©2022
Publication date 2022; 2022
Issuance monographic
Language English


Author Levy, Nicholas Cameron
Degree supervisor Weiner, Amir, 1961-
Thesis advisor Weiner, Amir, 1961-
Thesis advisor Holloway, David
Thesis advisor Naimark, Norman M
Degree committee member Holloway, David
Degree committee member Naimark, Norman M
Associated with Stanford University, Department of History


Genre Theses
Genre Text

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Nicholas Cameron Levy.
Note Submitted to the Department of History.
Thesis Thesis Ph.D. Stanford University 2022.

Access conditions

© 2022 by Nicholas Cameron Levy
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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