Meaning of GLASNOST NOUN (POLITICS) in English

A policy of freedom of information and publicly accountable, consultative government introduced in the Soviet Union in 1985. Etymology: A direct borrowing from Russian glasnost', literally 'publicness', which in turn is formed from glasnyy 'public, open' (of courts, proceedings, etc.) and -nost' '-ness'. History and Usage: The word has been used in Russian for several centuries, but only acquired its more specialized political meaning in the Soviet period. It was used in the context of freedom of information by Lenin, and by the dissident writer Solzhenitsyn in an open letter to the Writers' Union in November 1969. Glasnost did not become the subject of serious public debate even within the Soviet Union until January 1985, when an editorial in the state newspaper Izvestiya requested letters on the subject. Many were published, most lamenting the lack of basic information--from bus timetables to the reasons for bureaucratic actions--in Soviet society. When Mikhail Gorbachev used the word in his speech accepting the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party in March 1985, glasnost became one of the keywords taken up by the international press to describe his reforming regime. He said We are committed to expand glasnost in the work of Party, Soviet, State, and public organizations. V. I. Lenin said that the State is made strong through the awareness of the masses; our practice has fully confirmed this conclusion. At first, journalists attempted to translate the Russian word, using 'publicity' or 'openness'. Soon, though, it became clear that no single English word could sum up the full significance of the Russian meaning, and the Russian word itself became one of the most-used political words of 1986-7. It was not long before it came to be applied to public accountability in general and to the relaxation of political regimes in other parts of the world, acquiring in English a rather broader meaning than in its original language, where the emphasis is still very much on the 'right to know' of the Soviet public. It has quickly established its place in English, generating a number of derivatives, some jocular (glasnostrum, glasnostalgia), some more serious (glasnostian, glasnostic, glasnostified), while others remain true to its Russian roots (glasnostnik). Exposes of corruption, shortages and economic problems appear virtually daily in the [Soviet] press. It is a change that became evident after Mikhail S. Gorbachev came to office last March and called for more 'glasnost', or openness, in covering domestic affairs. New York Times 22 Feb. 1986, section 1, p. 2 Life is still hard under glasnost, Vietnamese-style. headline in Los Angeles Times 30 May 1987, section 1, p. 4 Such recognition of an author [Alexander Solzhenitsyn] once officially scorned as an enemy of the people is a significant marker of the glasnostian literary thaw. Daily Telegraph 4 Aug. 1988, p. 1 See also perestroika

English colloquial dictionary, new words.      Английский разговорный словарь - новые слова.