In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2018. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 93–109.
This article focuses on the development of the Party Control Committee (KPK) between (late) Stalinism and the post-Stalinist ‘thaw’. Based on the committee’s archival files, the author argues that the KPK can be seen as an institutional mirror for the change of political culture which started in 1952 with Khrushchev’s reform of party revivalism. By highlighting three themes taken from the KPK’s investigative fields (hooliganism, abuse of party position and rehabilitation) the article shows how the system of internal party discipline within the Communist Party changed after Stalin’s death. The KPK reverted to its original purpose of controlling party members’ behaviour, sanctioning line-crossing and misbehaviour, and making decisions on the expulsion and rehabilitation of party members. In doing so, the article seeks to figure out how the Soviet dictatorship could change so massively while still being a dictatorship, but a dictatorship of a complete different kind.