Can Russia Modernise?: Sistema, Power Networks and Informal by Alena V. Ledeneva

By Alena V. Ledeneva

During this unique, bottom-up account of the evolution of up to date Russia, Alena Ledeneva seeks to bare how casual strength operates. targeting Vladimir Putin's procedure of governance - often called sistema - she identifies 4 key kinds of networks: his internal circle, invaluable buddies, middle contacts and extra diffuse ties and connections. those networks serve sistema but in addition serve themselves. Reliance on networks allows leaders to mobilise and to manage, but in addition they lock politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen into casual offers, mediated pursuits and customized loyalty. this can be the 'modernisation seize of informality': one can't use the possibility of casual networks with out triggering their unfavourable long term effects for institutional improvement. Ledeneva's viewpoint on casual strength relies on in-depth interviews with sistema insiders and more advantageous through proof of its workings delivered to mild in lawsuits, allowing her to attract vast conclusions in regards to the customers for Russia's political associations.

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Extra resources for Can Russia Modernise?: Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance

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195, 19 October 2010: 1. Tatiana Zaslavskaya coined a term ‘cheating slave’ (lukavyi rab) that grasps this paradoxical feature of sistema. Dmitri Bykov, the author of Citizen-Poet poetry and columnist of Novaya gazeta, defines ‘our person’ (nash chelovek) as someone who does not fear anything or anyone in particular, but lives in generalised fear: fear is his most comfortable state. D. Bykov, ‘The end of the choir’, Profil´, 22 November 2010: 88. Changes and continuities of Putin’s sistema 25 the common good, low participation in civic action and opportunistic behaviour.

Where the literature tends to focus exclusively on political and economic aspects, the ‘informal’ perspective contributes insights into the social forces at play. The use of informal networks does not admit to quantitative analysis as readily as other phenomena, but it does provide explanatory tools for social scientists and analysts attempting to understand Informal networks: a problem or a solution? 13 Russian behaviour (Rose and Mishler 2007). It is time to look into the use of informal networks by the power elites.

Economic growth and political stability are prioritised over matters of governance, while the political will to tackle sistema dissolves into numerous, yet seemingly ineffective, administrative reforms. The limitations of the leadership ` vis-a-vis sistema are created by their own opportune use of sistema potential, even if driven by the best intentions. By relying on governmental technologies to ensure state domination (Darden 2001; Wilson 2005) and instruments of informal governance, the leader gets caught in the web of power networks, as discussed in Chapter 7.

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