How Russia Really Works

Author: Alena V. Ledeneva
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801470056
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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During the Soviet era, blat—the use of personal networks for obtaining goods and services in short supply and for circumventing formal procedures—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 1990s—from the hiring of firms to create negative publicity about one's competitors, to inventing novel schemes of tax evasion and engaging in "alternative" 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 "know-how" Ledeneva describes in this book continues to operate today and is crucial to understanding contemporary Russia.

Russia s Economy of Favours

Author: Alena V. Ledeneva
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521627436
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The word blat refers to the system of informal contacts and personal networks which was used to obtain goods and services under the rationing which characterised Soviet Russia. Alena Ledeneva's book is the first to analyse blat in all its historical, socio-economic and cultural aspects, and to explore its implications for post-Soviet society. In a socialist distribution system which resulted in constant shortages, blat developed into an 'economy of favours' which shadowed an overcontrolling centre and represented the reaction of ordinary people to the social constraints they faced. In social and economic terms, blat exchanges became vital to the population, and to the functioning of the Soviet system. The book shows that the nature of the economic and political changes in contemporary Russia cannot be properly understood without attention to the powerful legacy of the blat economy.

Informality in Eastern Europe

Author: Christian Giordano
Publisher: Peter Lang Gmbh, Internationaler Verlag Der Wissenschaften
ISBN: 9783034314558
Format: PDF, ePub
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This volume explores informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe and whether these are different from informality which can be observed in Western Europe. The authors discuss the scientific relevance of the distinction informal/formal across different disciplines.

Rules Paper Status

Author: Anna Tuckett
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503606503
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Whether motivated by humanitarianism or concern over "porous" borders, dominant commentary on migration in Europe has consistently focused on clandestine border crossings. Much less, however, is known about the everyday workings of immigration law inside borders. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in Italy, one of Europe's biggest receiving countries, Rules, Paper, Status moves away from polarized depictions to reveal how migration processes actually play out on the ground. Anna Tuckett highlights the complex processes of inclusion and exclusion produced through encounters with immigration law. The statuses of "legal" or "illegal," which media and political accounts use as synonyms for "good" and "bad," "worthy" and "unworthy," are not created by practices of border-crossing, but rather through legal and bureaucratic processes within borders devised by governing states. Taking migrants' interactions with immigration regimes as its starting point, this book sheds light on the productive nature of legal and bureaucratic encounters and the unintended consequences they produce. Rules, Paper, Status argues that successfully navigating Italian immigration bureaucracy, which is situated in an immigration regime that is both exclusionary and flexible, requires and induces culturally specific modes of behavior. Exclusionary laws, however, can transform this social and cultural learning into the very thing that endangers migrants' right to live in the country.

The Depths of Russia

Author: Douglas Rogers
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501701568
Format: PDF, ePub
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Russia is among the world's leading oil producers, sitting atop the planet's eighth largest reserves. Like other oil-producing nations, it has been profoundly transformed by the oil industry. In The Depths of Russia, Douglas Rogers offers a nuanced and multifaceted analysis of oil's place in Soviet and Russian life, based on ethnographic fieldwork and archival research in the Perm region of the Urals. Moving beyond models of oil calibrated to capitalist centers and postcolonial "petrostates," Rogers traces the distinctive contours of the socialist—and then postsocialist—oil complex, showing how oil has figured in the making and remaking of space and time, state and corporation, exchange and money, and past and present. He pays special attention to the material properties and transformations of oil (from depth in subsoil deposits to toxicity in refining) and to the ways oil has echoed through a range of cultural registers. The Depths of Russia challenges the common focus on high politics and Kremlin intrigue by considering the role of oil in barter exchanges and surrogate currencies, industry-sponsored social and cultural development initiatives, and the city of Perm's campaign to become a European Capital of Culture. Rogers also situates Soviet and post-Soviet oil in global contexts, showing that many of the forms of state and corporate power that emerged in Russia after socialism are not outliers but very much part of a global family of state-corporate alliances gathered at the intersection of corporate social responsibility, cultural sponsorship, and the energy and extractive industries.

The Informal Post Socialist Economy

Author: Jeremy Morris
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135009295
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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From smugglers to entrepreneurs, blue-collar workers and taxi drivers, this book deals with the multitude of characters engaged in informal economic practices in the former socialist regions. Going beyond a conception of informality as opposed to the formal sector, its authors demonstrate the fluid nature of informal transactions straddling the crossroads between illegal, illicit, socially acceptable and symbolically meaningful practices. Their argument is informed by a wide range of case studies, from Central Europe to the Baltics and Central Asia, each of which is constructed around a single informant. Each chapter narrates the story of a composite person or household that was carefully selected or constructed by an author with long-standing ethnographic research experience in the given field site. Wide in geographical, empirical and theoretical scope, the book uses ethnographic narrative accounts of everyday life to make links between ‘ordinary’ meanings of informality. Challenging reductively economistic perspectives on cross-border trading, undeclared work and other informal activities, the authors illustrate the wide variety of interpretive meanings that people ascribe to such practices. Alongside ‘getting by’ and ‘getting ahead’ in recently marketised societies, these meanings relate to sociality, kinship-ties and solidarity, along with more surprising ‘political’ and moral reasonings.

Women s Health in Post Soviet Russia

Author: Michele R. Rivkin-Fish
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 9780253217677
Format: PDF, Docs
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"An unparalleled study of a transforming and privatizing Russian health care system, of the promises and perils of prescriptive programs for change, that points to the areas that need change in the change-makers themselves.... part of a larger story about the inherent dangers of current neoliberal economic transformations of fragile post-socialist social welfare arrangements.... "Rivkin-Fish takes the reader into a new understanding of the fragile and tense relations between state and market transitions, and into the deep and largely silent struggle for gender and health equity in Russia." —Adriana Petryna, author of Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl In the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, deteriorating public health indicators such as below-replacement fertility and high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, birth traumas, and maternal mortality raised acute anxieties about Russia's future. This study documents the efforts of global and local experts, and ordinary Russian women in St. Petersburg, to explain Russia's maternal health problems and devise reforms to solve them. Examining both official health projects and informal daily practices, Michele Rivkin-Fish draws ethnographic and theoretical insights about the contested processes of interpreting and managing neo-liberal transitions in Russia and explores the challenges of bringing anthropological insights to public health interventions for women's empowerment.

Human Resource Management in Russia

Author: Michel E. Domsch
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351156225
Format: PDF
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Investigating Human Resource Management issues in Russia, this volume looks at the current state of Human Resource practice within Russian enterprises; its various problems and possible solutions. Following a detailed introduction into the current economic developments taking place in Russia, the book examines the new role of the HR department in Russian enterprises, and the influence of national politics on HR practice. The book also discusses key HRM issues such as recruitment and selection, training and development, payment and compensation, before surveying the various HR problems encountered by multinational companies working in Russia.

Can Russia Modernise

Author: Alena V. Ledeneva
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107310431
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this original, bottom-up account of the evolution of contemporary Russia, Alena Ledeneva seeks to reveal how informal power operates. Concentrating on Vladimir Putin's system of governance - referred to as sistema - she identifies four key types of networks: his inner circle, useful friends, core contacts and more diffuse ties and connections. These networks serve sistema but also serve themselves. Reliance on networks enables leaders to mobilise and to control, yet they also lock politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen into informal deals, mediated interests and personalised loyalty. This is the 'modernisation trap of informality': one cannot use the potential of informal networks without triggering their negative long-term consequences for institutional development. Ledeneva's perspective on informal power is based on in-depth interviews with sistema insiders and enhanced by evidence of its workings brought to light in court cases, enabling her to draw broad conclusions about the prospects for Russia's political institutions.