Can Russia Modernise? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance

ISBN-10: 0521125634

ISBN-13: 9780521125635

Edition: 2013

Authors: Alena V. Ledeneva

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Description:

In this original, bottom-up account of the evolution of contemporary Russia, Alena Ledeneva seeks to reveal and decode 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 businesses 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.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 2/14/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 327
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Alena V. Ledeneva is a Reader in Russian Politics and Society at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London. She is the author of Russia's Economy of Favours: Blat, Networking, and Informal Exchange and the coeditor of Economic Crime in Russia and Bribery and Blat in Russia .

Introduction
What is sistema?
Putin's sistema: svoi on the top
The inner workings of sistema: from blat to otkat
Sistema's material culture: from vertushka to vertu
'Telephone justice' in the global age: from commands to signals
'Werewolves in epaulets': from doublethink to doubledeed
From dealership to leadership: sistema and informal governance
Conclusion
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