Russia's Economy of Favours: Blat, Networking and Informal Exchange

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This book examines the little-known phenomenon of blat - the use of informal contacts and personal networks to obtain good and services under the rationing which pervaded Soviet Russia. Alena Ledeneva analyses the historical, socio-economic and cultural aspects of blat, and explores its implications for post-Soviet Russia. The political and economic reforms introduced since the collapse of the Soviet Union have radically affected everyday practices, but an understanding of blat remains crucial for interpreting the social, economic and criminal problems which affect the development of a market economy in post-Soviet Russia.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book represents a significant new stage in research by scholars trained in Russia." Michael Paul Sacks, The Russian Review

"Ledeneva's analysis is careful, well-presented, subtle, and intelligent." Slavic Review

"Russia's Economy of Favours makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of the late Soviet period, of the informal side of Soviet society, and of the social effects of the collapse of the Soviet union." Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

Table of Contents

List of cartoons
List of figures and tables
Introduction 1
1 Blat: the unknown commonplace 11
2 Understanding blat 39
3 The Soviet order: a view from within 73
4 The use of personal networks 104
5 Blat as a form of exchange: between gift and commodity 139
6 Networking in the post-Soviet period 175
Appendix 1: list of respondents 215
Appendix 2: interview topics 219
Bibliography 222
Index 232
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