Cover: The Operational Code of the Politburo

The Operational Code of the Politburo

Posted on rand.org Oct 9, 2007

by Nathan Constantin Leites

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Theoretical frameworks that examine a political actor’s personal characteristics and how they affect the foreign policies of their respective states are useful tools for analysts, researchers, and historians. One of the most widely used frameworks has been operational code analysis, introduced by Nathan Leites in this seminal RAND Corporation volume, The Operational Code of the Politburo. Originally published by McGraw-Hill in 1951, it was the inaugural publication in what was then called “The RAND Series” and later became known as RAND’s commercial books series, a collection of monographs which aimed to make RAND’s groundbreaking research available to the public. In that spirit, and to celebrate RAND’s 60th Anniversary, RAND is proud to bring this classic work back into print in paperback and digital formats. The Operational Code of the Politburo was part of a major effort at RAND to provide insight into the political leadership and foreign policy in the Soviet Union and other communist states; the development of Soviet military strategy and doctrine; and the organization and operation of the Soviet economy. This immense body of research has had an influence and impact beyond U.S. national security, as the techniques and methodological tools have been refined and extended to new analytic challenges.

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