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Soviet Union

Policy Making

The formulation of scientific and technological policy in 1989 was centered in the highest CPSU components, the Politburo and the Secretariat (see Politburo; Secretariat , ch. 7). As the party's top decision-making body, the Politburo defined priorities and the broad policies needed to meet them. Its decisions were reflected in policy deliberations and in decrees issued by the Council of Ministers. Day-to-day decisions on science and technology matters were the responsibility of the Secretariat, the party's chief executive body.

Despite their responsibilities, individual members of the Politburo and the Secretariat did not have the scientific and technical expertise needed to make policy decisions without assistance. They relied on experts working in subordinate party organs and in the governmental apparatus. The Science and Education Institutions Department was the key technical unit within the CPSU Central Committee. It functioned as a high-level advisory staff to the Politburo and as an overseer of policy implementation. The department also was responsible for monitoring the work of the Academy of Sciences and of education institutions. Other Central Committee departments contributed to policy making for their particular branches.

Advice also was provided by personnel working in GKNT, the Academy of Sciences, and the Council of Ministers. In addition, party authorities relied on advice from special commissions composed of leading scientists and technical experts. These commissions, created by the Council of Ministers, have advised on particularly important science and technology policy matters affecting key sectors of the economy.

Data as of May 1989