Российские адвокаты: становление профессионального сообщества в несовершенной институциональной среде
The Russian Law community is analyzed to evaluate its potential for collective action under imperfect institutional environment: joint activity to monitor compliance with professional ethics, quality of legal education, representing the interests of professional groups at the state level.
This research investigates how variation in sociality, or the degree to which one feels belonging to a group, affects the propensity for participation in collective action. By bringing together rich models of social behavior from social psychology with decision modeling techniques from economics, these mechanisms can ultimately foster cooperation in human societies. While variation in the level of sociality surely exists across groups, little is known about whether and how it changes behavior in the context of various economic games. Specifically, we found some socialization task makes minimal group members behavior resemble that of an established group. Consistent with social identity theory, we discovered that inducing this type of minimal sociality among participants who were previously unfamiliar with each other increased social identity, and sustained cooperation rates in the newly formed groups to the point that they were comparable to those in the already established groups. Our results demonstrate that there are relatively simple ways for individuals in a group to agree about appropriate social behavior, delineate new shared norms and identities.
In Building Business in Post-Communist Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia: Collective Goods, Selective Incentives, and Predatory States Dinissa Duvanova discusses a “theory of defensive organizations”. Duvanova proposes this theory as an alternative to the theory of interest groups by Olson, Stigler et al. The theory of defensive organizations arises from the critique of the view of business associations as lobbyists caring only for their own interests. Duvanova uses quantitative data from 27 countries in Eastern Europe and Eurasia and qualitative data about the situation in Russia, Ukraine, Croatia and Kazakhstan in order to show that the experience of post-communist countries does not correspond to the predictions of the theory of interest groups. The author sets out to examine and counter the following myths about business associations, including: (1) business associations are a consequence of good institutions; (2) they are not needed in countries with the high level of corruption; (3) they act as cartels seeking to price collusion; (4) compulsory membership in the business associations may solve the collective action problem. Duvanova concludes that business associations in Russia and in other countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia protect their members from a predatory state rather than from a free market. The review notes some limitations of the book: 1) a relatively short period of quantitative analysis (six-year period from 1999 to 2005); 2) an insufficient account of the differences within the countries; and 3) the excessive optimism of the theory. In general, Duvanova proposes a theory which has high explanatory potential, which will be useful for further empirical research. She consciously simplifies the explanatory scheme to offer a formal model that can be applied to problems beyond the scope of this book. Furthermore, the reviewer notes that the theory of defensive organizations does not contradict the theory of interest groups, rather it expands and complements this theory for countries with a recently developing business community.
Collective Management of Residential Housing in Russia: The Importance of Being Social Homeowners associations (HOAs) implement collective management in residential housing. We assess the performance of such associations in Russia by using the stochastic frontier technique. Cultural traits enabling tenants to make proper use of the HOA decision-making procedures are essential for resolving the collective action problem and ensure accountability of governing bodies and outside contractors. Such “technical civic competence” has a stronger impact on HOA performance than more conventional forms of social capital which rise in their significance when HOA governance breaks down and informal grassroots alternatives are mobilized instead. Massive and indiscriminate “supplyled” introduction of collective management in residential housing without matching cultural and institutional prerequisites could be counterproductive. Flexibility, freedom of choice, and market development are required to avert the failures of HOAs commonly observed in Russia.