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Transfer of Institutions: Actors and Constraints - The Russian Case in a Global Context

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  • Oleinik, Anton

Abstract

Modernity is usually thought as a complex society with clearly differentiated spheres of everyday life. It means, in particular, that economic rules do not interfere with the norms structuring political, social, scientific and other interactions. The complex, differentiated society sharply contrasts with a ?small? and homogeneous ?pre-modern? society. The process of modernization, i.e. differentiation of the spheres of everyday life, can take various forms. In an advanced country it relies on internal forces. Modernization in this context looks like an evolutionary, ?bottom-up? development. In a backward country (Russia and Germany in the first half of the 20th century), modernization requires a strong governmental (from the top to the bottom) intervention. Invidious comparison with more advanced and successful countries makes the state officials in backward countries accept the way of reforms. Due to the lack of the internal forces leading to an evolutionary rise of modernity, the state officials refer to the Western experience and know-how. Consequently, a ?catch-up? modernization naturally transforms into ?Westernization?, the transfer of Western institutions to backward countries. As the title suggests, the paper deals with the institutional problems of such a transfer of institutions, and with the constraints, imposed on the key actors of this process, the political elite. It will be argued, that a decisive problem of political and economic modernization in Russia is that bureaucrats face soft external and internal constraints. An absolute imperative consists in institutional congruence, or the ?elective affinity?, between the models of power relationships on which imported and traditional institutions are based. Only a passive role in carrying out reforms is reserved for non-governmental actors, which transforms their mental models into a hard constraint of reforms and prevent them from putting limits on the rulers? discretion. Consequently, there is a high risk of the transformation of modernization policies into a mechanism of the reproduction of imposed power.

Suggested Citation

  • Oleinik, Anton, 2005. "Transfer of Institutions: Actors and Constraints - The Russian Case in a Global Context," HWWA Discussion Papers 320, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:hwwadp:26333
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    Cited by:

    1. Zweynert, Joachim, 2007. "How can the History of Economic thought Contribute to an Understanding of Institutional Change?," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 29(02), pages 189-211, June.
    2. Polterovich, Victor & Starkov, Oleg, 2007. "Стратегия Формирования Ипотечного Рынка В России
      [A Strategy for Building Mortgage Market in Russia]
      ," MPRA Paper 22044, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Libman, Alexander, 2006. "Zum Spannungsfeld zwischen staatlicher und privater Wirtschaft am Beispiel der postsowjetischen Staaten
      [On the interaction of public and private businesses: Example of the post-Soviet space]
      ," MPRA Paper 10941, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Libman, Alexander, 2006. "Different paths of the second transition in the post-Soviet world: a political-economic analysis," MPRA Paper 11781, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Zweynert, Joachim & Goldschmidt, Nils, 2005. "The Two Transitions in Central and Eastern Europe and the Relation between Path Dependent and Politically Implemented Institutional Change," Freiburg Discussion Papers on Constitutional Economics 05/3, Walter Eucken Institut e.V..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    state bureaucracy; economic backwardness; catch-up modernization; conservative modernization; opportunism; institutional constraints; power;

    JEL classification:

    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P37 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Legal
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • B25 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary; Austrian; Stockholm School
    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • H83 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Public Administration

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