Standards As Boundaries: the Abortive Efforts of Soviet Europe (the Eastern Bloc and Standards)
Standards As Boundaries: the Abortive Efforts of Soviet Europe (the Eastern Bloc and Standards)
Publication type
Samuel Volfson 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
The paper is dedicated to the study on the history of the formation and the development of uniform standards for the production and export in Soviet Europe. The transformation of Eastern Europe into a trading bloc was initially established and maintained by military and political measures, not consumerist inducements. Analyzing the example of the Eastern bloc, the author comes to the conclusion that the standardization system influenced the specialization, which established grades of excellence for type standards. Bloc leaders understood well that bloc standardization could actually contribute toward isolating the community and at the same time increase internal efficiency. By the 1970s the weakness of standards in the East was shown, and the necessity for a major effort to move to world standards. However, the bloc was insistent on its fundamental self-sufficiency and its regional integration, sometimes bringing the political control of imports to a rejection of the necessary goods (for example, medicines not produced in the Eastern bloc). The author also asks the question of the possibility of developing a system of common standards in the future, based on the failed experience of the Eastern bloc.
Standards, Eastern Europe, Warsaw pact, Comecon, Cold War, USSR
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