Recently there has been a renewed focus on analyzing post-communist memory, including the revitalization of debate on contemporary public perceptions of Josef Stalin. How do Russians and Georgians judge Stalin in the post-Soviet present? What individual characteristics are the best indicators of how someone evaluates Stalin? Scholars have offered various insights into the apparent resurgence of appreciation for the late Soviet leader, including nostalgia for the Soviet period, socio-spatial variables, and political attitudes, but no comparative research on attitudes and their explanations has been attempted. Using nationally representative survey data, this study compares the perceptions of Stalin in contemporary Russia and contrasts it with how people view the Soviet dictator in Georgia, his home country. We conclude that Stalin is alive in the minds of many, both in Georgia and Russia, although for different reasons. If in Georgia the admiration of Stalin is largely explained by socio-demographic and socio-spatial variables, in Russia it is more closely related to ideological and political context.

Stalin, Russia, Georgia, collective memory, public opinion,
International Journal of Sociology

Gugushvili, A, & Kabachnik, P. (2019). Stalin on Their Minds: A Comparative analysis of Public Perceptions of the Soviet Dictator in Russia and Georgia. International Journal of Sociology, 1–25. doi:10.1080/00207659.2019.1661559