This article examines the career of Yakov Kronrod, a Soviet economic theorist, in the context of the larger transformation of Soviet economics in the post-Stalin period. It argues that Kronrod’s debates with his rivals in the “Mathematical Economics” and “Moscow State University” approaches to economics open a window on how the changing relationship between the state and the profession of economics created new research agendas. The transformation of economics in the post-Stalin period into a “Cold War Science” from an “ideological science” made “policy relevance” increasingly important to Soviet economic practitioners and allowed once ideologically hostile ideas to become central to economics. This case study makes a larger intervention into the history of late Soviet society, arguing that seemingly arcane intellectual conflicts were, in fact, a reflection of extremely contentious political battles and that ideology remained a key site of politics deep into the Brezhnev era.

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