Steering role of the party towards administration

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

This page is a translated version of the page Kierownicza rola partii wobec administracji and the translation is 100% complete.

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STEERING ROLE OF THE PARTY TOWARDS ADMINISTRATION – the theorists of the Communist Party distinguished the following forms of implementation of the steering role of the party in relation to the administration (the state): 1. outlining by the party the programme of action for the state; 2. designating party members to managerial state positions; 3. political control of the party over the activities of the state, including through parallel party structures (departments of the central committee, voivodship committee, etc.); 4. party leadership in the state representative bodies (clubs, party teams in the parliament, national councils); 5. functioning of party organisations in public administration offices. The culmination of the steering role was the so-called constitutionalisation of the party’s leadership role in the constitutions of the former Soviet bloc states beginning in the 1960s (e.g. in the Polish People’s Republic (PPR) in 1976, in the USSR in 1977). These theoretical assumptions were not much different from the practice, even the party textbooks admitted, referring to Lenin’s theory of the state and explaining it as representation by the party of the most progressive social class in history, i.e. the working class, and from the 1970s – the concept of the party as representation of the general public in the conditions of the disappearance of class contradictions. From the 1960s/1970s one can observe the merger of the highest party function (“gensek”) with the function of the head of state (president, chairman of the supreme council/state, etc. – e.g., Leonid Breżniew, Gustaw Husak, Wojciech Jaruzelski). The importance of the party’s steering role towards administration is well illustrated by the example of ministries in communist countries, for example in the offices of ministries in the PPR the first secretary of the basic party organisation had the status of a deputy minister. (→ Soviet model of administration) [D. Długosz]

Literature: R.J. Hill, P. Frank, Soviet Communist Party, 3rd ed., London 1986 ■ A. Łopatka, Kierownicza rola partii komunistycznej w stosunku do państwa socjalistycznego [The steering role of the Communist Party in relation to the socialist state], Poznań 1963 ■ PZPR jako machina władzy [The Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) as a machine of power], ed. D. Stola, K. Persak, Warszawa 2012.