|Perestroika was a political movement for reformation within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the 1980s, widely associated with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his glasnost (meaning "openness") policy reform. The literal meaning of perestroika is "restructuring", referring to the restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system.
Perestroika is sometimes argued to be a cause of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe, and the end of the Cold War.
Perestroika allowed more independent actions from various ministries and introduced some market-like reforms. The goal of the perestroika, however, was not to end the command economy but rather to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet the needs of Soviet consumers. The process of implementing perestroika arguably exacerbated already existing political, social, and economic tensions within the Soviet Union and no doubt helped to further nationalism in the constituent republics. Perestroika and resistance to it are often cited as major catalysts leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In May 1985, Gorbachev gave a speech in Leningrad in which he admitted the slowing down of the economic development and inadequate living standards. This was the first time in Soviet history that a Soviet leader had done so.
The program was furthered at the 27th Congress of the Communist Party in Gorbachev's report to the congress, in which he spoke about "perestroika", "uskoreniye", "human factor", "glasnost", and "expansion of the khozraschyot" (commercialization).
During the initial period (1985-87) of Mikhail Gorbachev's time in power, he talked about modifying central planning but did not make any truly fundamental changes (uskoreniye; "acceleration"). Gorbachev and his team of economic advisors then introduced more fundamental reforms, which became known as perestroika (economic restructuring).