politburo, the former central policy-making and governing body of the Communist party of the Soviet Union and, with minor variations, of other Communist parties. It was first created on the eve of the Bolshevik revolution in Russia in 1917, but it did not become fully functional until the Eighth Party Congress in Mar., 1919. Nominally elected by the central committee to direct the party between the committee's plenary sessions, the politburo, in reality, governed the country. The size of the politburo in the Soviet Union varied; from 1952 until 1966 it was called the presidium.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.