We are saddened to announce the passing of a beloved friend, colleague, and scholar, Professor Fyodor Burlatsky.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Burlatsky (January 4, 1927, Kiev – February 26, 2014, Moscow) was a prominent political scientist who was instrumental in consolidating political science in Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.
He graduated from Tashkent Law Institute in 1947 and then was a post-graduate student in the Institute of State and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He was awarded PhD in Law in 1951.
As a young scholar he worked in the Academy of Sciences and journal “Kommunist”.
In 1960 he joined staff of the Central Committee of the CPSU as a research adviser. Soon he became a speechwriter for Khrushchev. He was one of the authors of a new party programme and drafted ‘Moral Code of Communism-Builder”. Already then he was a leading member of a group of reformers during the liberalized period known as “the thaw”. Burlatsky was very instrumental in promoting ideas of peaceful co-existence, socialist democracy and ‘all-peoples state’ to replace ‘dictatorpip of proletariat. In fact he got his habilitation degree for a dissertation on the concept of all-people state. His impressions of the period were described in ‘Khrushchev and the First Russian Thaw: As Witnessed by an Advisor’, published in the United States, Britain, Germany, and other countries.
It was then in the early 60s that he joined a team of young intellectuals including Georgy Shachnazatov, Vladimir Tumanov and others who worked to consolidate Soviet political science association. In 1964 that he published an article in “Pravda” calling for development of political science as a distinct research field and an academic discipline.
Soon after Khrushchev demise Fyodor Burlatsky lost his nomenklatura position as a punishment for his and his co-author Len Karpinsky criticism of censorship in ‘Komsomolskaia Pravda’ newspaper.
Since 1967 Burlatsky joined Russian Academy of Sciences again. His academic career was marked by ups and down. He promoted development of political sociology as a deputy-director of the Institute of sociological field studies in 1969-1972 but was ousted when the institute turned ‘too liberal’.
Burlatsky was very active in Soviet political science association as its long-time vice-president and close ally of Georgy Shachnazarov. Burlatsky played important role in organizing World Political Science Congress in Moscow in 1979.
Burlatsky was involved in Perestroika. In the Gorbachev times he was elected Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. He also chaired the Committee for Academic and Humanitarian Cooperation and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Literaturnaya Gazeta weekly.
Until his very late age Fyodor Burlatsky continued to chair a coordinating committee on political research in Russian Academy of Sciences and maintained close links with Russian political science association.