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Theorising transformation : the role of international financial institutions in forming a new mode of social regulation in Russia

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posted on 15.12.2014, 10:38 by Alexandra. Wynn
International Financial Institutions and various national governments, via their respective bi-lateral donor programmes, have sought to assist in the transformation of the Russian economy since 1991. Initially, the main aim of development programmes was to try and nurture the emergence of a free market economy and democratic society. This thesis argues, however, that too little attention was paid to the necessary evolution of a new mode of social regulation (MSR) that would support an adherence to free market principles. There was an assumption that a new MSR, constituted by social practices/institutions, would emerge spontaneously in response to the changes in the way capital was accumulated. But, IFIs and other donors failed to recognise the embeddedness of social practices and the evolution of hybrid modes of social regulation.;Through an analysis of two case study regions, Leningrad and Sakhalin oblasts, and work at the federal level, the thesis demonstrates the importance of understanding the current and fragmented mode(s) of social regulation and processes of governance when trying to theorise about transformation in Russia, as well as in assessing the impact of IFIs and other donors. It is shown that IFIs and donors need to recognise the dominance of disincentives to change and processes of exclusion, which impede the (re)creation of so-called 'appropriate' institutions. Furthermore it is possible to discern as intensification of the process of uneven development as individual regions find their own way with coping with the exigencies of transformation. Explanations for these processes do not just lie in the regions' relationships with federal government, or on the industrial legacies of the Soviet era, but also on individuals, social networks and practices and the different geographies of regional economic regulation.


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University of Leicester

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