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Regular version of the site

Article

Economic Policy in Post-Soviet Russia in Historical Context

Russian History. 2019. Vol. 46. No. 1. P. 53-83.
Lukin A., Lukin P.

The article analyzes post-Soviet economic policy in the light of the previous periods of the Russian economic history. The authors find a striking similarity between the measures proposed by modern Russian economic liberals – as well as their consequences – and the actions taken by the Russian authorities during much earlier periods. They explain these similarities with the fact that “Western” terms can mean something very different in the context of a non-Western culture, phenomena and institutions with the same names in different types of societies can differ fundamentally and perform different functions. Furthermore, “Westernization” can be a purely superficial process intended more for show than for substance. By applying the methodology of substantivism which stresses the fundamental differences between economies based on gifts (reciprocity), redistribution, and exchange (market), they argue that Russia’s economy differs significantly from that of the countries of Western Europe and, in the typological sense, is closer to such European countries as Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and Serbia. For this reason, similar measures of economic policy applied in Western Europe and Russia bring different results.