Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Sociology and Anthropology: Sociology

First Advisor

Thomas Burr


This project seeks to bring a deeper understanding of non-western, authoritarian economies to the Varieties of Capitalism (VoC) literature. Many of the most stunning practices of post-Soviet Russia, such as corporate takeovers, the virtual economy, and informal sector jobs find their roots in Soviet practices that were originally implemented to avoid an inefficient and overcontrolling centralized government. Culturally, some of these institutions have roots in historical institutions of patronage and self-interested giving. As such, Russia’s particular version of capitalism as it presents today makes sense historically when the evolution of its institutions are taken into account. Further, instead of characterizing Russia based on patrimonialism and state-ownership in the economy, this project suggests that Russia’s economy is more multi-polar, with individuals and businesses using the strategies available to them to navigate a familiar problem: an often inefficient and overcontrolling centralized government. Anthropological understandings of corruption lend further support to this argument, due to the history and nuance of the practices identified.


Imported from Elias_ilstu_0092N_12058.pdf


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