Why did the campaign for “trust in cadres” (doverie k kadram) come to be so emblematic of the Brezhnev era? In this article, Yoram Gorlizki argues that following the failure of Nikita Khrushchev's institutional experiments, Leonid Brezhnev turned to “trust”—ties grounded in ongoing personal relationships—as a means of lowering the Soviet system's high transaction costs. Focusing on in-depth studies of three regions, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kirov, and Krasnodar, Gorlizki suggests that the leadership system in each shifted towards a pattern marked by modest but stable institutional constraints on regional leaders, a carefully calibrated system of seniority, and a set of order-enhancing norms that are referred to as ”hierarchical ethics.“ Mirroring the new leadership arrangements in Moscow, this combination of regional institutional constraints and political norms was the most compatible with a pattern of informal devices for cooperation that would come under the label of “trust” (doverie). Gorlizki contends that while Soviet officials had always resorted to personal relationships in order to attain their official goals, the campaign for “trust in cadres” gave cover to such practices by in effect elevating them into a component part of the regime's ideology. Gorlizki concludes by describing the variety of dangers these arrangements carried with them.