Under the Soviet system, the Tuvan ASSR had a Supreme Soviet (legislature) of 130 members, and a Council of Ministers, both guided by the Communist party of the Soviet Union's Regional Party Committee. With the disintegration of the USSR, attempts are being made to strengthen the legal and political rights of citizens and to make government responsive to the people's will.
Under Soviet rule the social structure in Tuva was artificially simplified from its traditional form. After the collectivization of herding and agriculture, people were assigned various categories of work; nevertheless, there were several thousand unemployed persons, especially in towns. Tuvan society is now guided by an intelligentsia that includes scientists, educators, technicians, and artists.