How Russia Really Works

How Russia Really Works

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During the Soviet era, blata€”the use of personal networks for obtaining goods and services in short supply and for circumventing formal proceduresa€”was necessary to compensate for the inefficiencies of socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union produced a new generation of informal practices. In How Russia Really Works, Alena V. Ledeneva explores practices in politics, business, media, and the legal sphere in Russia in the 1990sa€”from the hiring of firms to create negative publicity about one's competitors, to inventing novel schemes of tax evasion and engaging in qalternativeq techniques of contract and law enforcement. Ledeneva discovers ingenuity, wit, and vigor in these activities and argues that they simultaneously support and subvert formal institutions. They enable corporations, the media, politicians, and businessmen to operate in the post-Soviet labyrinth of legal and practical constraints but consistently undermine the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. The qknow-howq Ledeneva describes in this book continues to operate today and is crucial to understanding contemporary Russia.As Helmke and Levitsky put it in their discussion of informal institutions, the term appears in the context of aquot;a dizzying array ... activities taking place outside the formal economy (and regulated by social norms such as exchange of do-it- yourselfanbsp;...

Title:How Russia Really Works
Author:Alena V. Ledeneva
Publisher:Cornell University Press - 2013-09-30


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