By Alena V. Ledeneva
During this unique, bottom-up account of the evolution of latest Russia, Alena Ledeneva seeks to bare how casual energy operates. targeting Vladimir Putin's process of governance - often called sistema - she identifies 4 key sorts of networks: his internal circle, important buddies, middle contacts and extra diffuse ties and connections. those networks serve sistema but additionally serve themselves. Reliance on networks allows leaders to mobilise and to manage, but additionally they lock politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen into casual offers, mediated pursuits and personalized loyalty. this can be the 'modernisation capture of informality': one can't use the potential for casual networks with no triggering their detrimental long term outcomes for institutional improvement. Ledeneva's point of view on casual strength is predicated on in-depth interviews with sistema insiders and improved via proof of its workings delivered to gentle in proceedings, permitting her to attract large conclusions concerning the customers for Russia's political associations.
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Extra info for Can Russia Modernise?: Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance
Defining the contours of sistema Sistema is an elusive term. Among its many meanings featured in the glossary (pp. 277–8), I am most intrigued by the one meant to allude to common, yet not articulated, perceptions of power and the system of government in Russia. My research is based on collecting such perceptions and exploring sistema’s open secrets (Ledeneva 2011a). The term is appropriately ambivalent to embrace sistema’s strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and pressures, as well as to refer to their origins as systemic, pointing everywhere but nowhere in particular.
In her empirical study of Soviet and post-Soviet political elites, Olga Kryshtanovskaya (2005) has suggested that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev de-stabilised sistema, thus making its trends much more difficult to delineate. Boris Yeltsin’s period was remembered as nightmarish by officials. Putin’s ‘vertical of power’ therefore became known for re-introducing the stability of cadres. Most analysts and respondents agree that Putin ‘does not betray his own people’ (ne sdayot svoikh). htm, and the discussion of the qualities that a public servant is supposed to have in V.
Boris Yeltsin’s period was remembered as nightmarish by officials. Putin’s ‘vertical of power’ therefore became known for re-introducing the stability of cadres. Most analysts and respondents agree that Putin ‘does not betray his own people’ (ne sdayot svoikh). htm, and the discussion of the qualities that a public servant is supposed to have in V. Khokhlovskaya and E. ’, Profil’, April 2007. 26 What is sistema? is also some continuity with the ‘administrative-command’ system of governance of late socialism: the use of administrative methods that served the post-Soviet masters in ‘mobilising cadres’ and ‘distributing resources’ according to their new targets and priorities.