- Change, continuity and power in the Russian political economy in comparative BRICs perspective
- Award date
- 19 October 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article-based dissertation explores the development of the Russian political economy over the past 25 years in comparative BRICs perspective.
The first half of the thesis describes (article 1) and compares (article 2) the evolution of the macro-configuration of Russia's political economy (state-business and capital-labour relations) in the framework of Comparative Capitalism approach. The main finding is that Russia de-liberalised in the 2000s and increased its patrimonialism, understood as a form of socio-economic organisation strongly based on clientelism and patronage. All other BRIC countries developed in the opposite direction.
The second half of the dissertation examines the functioning (article 3) and origins (article 4) of Russia's current type of capitalism, characterised by insecure property rights and dubbed 'statist-patrimonial'. The focus of analysis is placed on small firms and their daily interactions with state officials. Based on in-depth interviews, the articles examine the drivers of widespread informal - and sometimes corrupt - business strategies and reveal the mechanism of 'informality trap': small firms that behave informally get locked in the vicious circle of informality, thus inadvertently undermining the security of their property. As a result, small businesses are not only victims of state predation but also have actively contributed to the functioning and emergence of Russia's form of capitalism.
In summary, by examining patrimonialism and the mechanism of 'informality trap' the dissertation provides a better understanding of the Russian case and enables the refinement of social science tools to analyse political economies beyond the industrialised countries.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 19 October 2019)
Chapter 4: Digging their own graves: How small Russian companies contributed to the emergence of Russia's statistpatrimonial political economy (Embargo up to and including 19 October 2019)
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