Revived Archaic: “Scattered Manufactories” in Provincial Russia
The authors discover and describe a new economic phenomenon in modern Russia, which they term “scattered (or dispersed) manufactories”. In provincial Russian towns people engage in cooperative economic activities, which in their form and substance are strikingly similar to pre-industrial manufacturing in Europe and Russia in the 14–18th centuries. Such "scattered manufactories" are a post-archaic economic institution, in which industrial relations have a similar organization to guilds in Europe and artels in Russia. Such manufactories in five towns are described and analyzed in this article. The qualitative sociological methodology was used: the main methods are focused in-deep interview and observation the all stages of production and market processes in each craft merchandises. In a comparative context, including a description of all stages of the production chain, four types of manufactories are described. The main features of modern "scattered manufactories" are revealed, that making them similar to the ancient pre-capitalist and pre-industrial manufactories in Europe. The author's concept of the emergence of scattered manufactories de-novo in Russia is proposed. The concept is based on the uniqueness of the local resource and / or local technology. This makes such production competitive in the context of the prevalence of cheap mass production of goods. The authors argue that "scattered manufactories" are very common nowadays, and are highly likely to be found in other local communities, particularly in ones that enjoy accessing to unique natural resources and / or having a specific tradition in craft. All of "scattered entrepreneurships" represent the informal sector of local economies and exist outside the legal framework and outside the official local economy, controlled by state authority. The roots of their informal nature are traced back to the economic crisis of the 1990s, the general underdevelopment of local labor markets, and a generally high tolerance to rule evasion and informal relations in Russia. Another reason is the currently excessive state regulatory impact and fiscal pressure targeting small entrepreneurship and self-employment in Russia.
The article is about formal and informal resourses used by actors in local politicsof city. The analysis is based on in depth interviews with local authorities, politicians, businessmen party activists and regional experts in two small towns of the Perm regioncities of the Perm region.
The monograph focuses on economic agents that substitute or complement the official healthcare system in modern Russia by serving alternative health maintenance practices. A detailed description of their activities is provided on the basis of an analysis of nationwide secondary data (public statistics, mass media, laws and regulations), as well as observations and interviews from the field research in the Perm region in 2013. The book consists of two parts. The first – introductory – chapter contains some generalizations and reflections on the subject matter in general. The following chapters are a series of independent sociographic essays that focus on selected "informal healthcare" phenomena classified by the principal product offered to the customers: goods, gifts of nature, diagnostic and treatment services, ideas/beliefs, or information. Among others, we consider direct selling of health products and itinerant trade in them; latent social functions of pharmacies; services of healers and doctors of alternative medicine; gathering and production of healing gifts of nature by private households; healing practices of religious organizations; and dissemination of self-treatment information in the mass media. The publication targets a wide audience, including professionals in healthcare management, social scientists, and everyone interested in health protection and the informal economy in Russia.
This article presents an empirical study of the economic activity of the population. appearing in the form of craft s, that is the entrepreneur’s self-supporting activity aimed at household subsistence. Primary forms of such activity are self-employment, individual entrepreneurship and hiring. Th e purpose of this article is to describe the relationship between archaic and modern types of craft s in the local communities. As a result, the author elaborates the concept of the craft evolution. Th e craft s were diff erentiated into archaic (traditional) and modern. Archaic craft s exist for a long time (centuries and millennia) almost unchanged; they use natural and agricultural resources, and are oriented to old markets. Modern craft s have recently emerged; they use new resources, and are oriented to new markets. Th e fi eldwork was carried out in local communities in the south of Russia (Krasnodar region, Taman peninsula and Anapa district), where in 11 settlements (the town of Temryuk, 7 stanitsas (rural settlements), and 3 small urban settlements), materials were collected on all types of informal and formal occupations of the population. Th ey are gathered by methods of direct observation and non-formalized focused interview. In most local communities craft activity is diverse. Everywhere there are from one to three or more dozens of craft s. Most craft smen practice informal employment. In every local community there are both archaic (traditional) and modern craft s. Estimating the prevalence of household activities and the relationship between archaic and modern craft s allows us to identify three contrast groups of local communities: (1) communities with the prevalence of archaic craft s; (2) communities with an equally large number of both archaic and modern types of craft s; (3) communities with a reduction in craft activity, in which the population reoriented to modern craft s, which are organized on the basis of abundant resources from tourists. Th e comparison of the number of craft s with self-assessment of the population life quality shows that labor-consuming and not fully resourced archaic (traditional) craft s contribute to maintaining the high resilience of local communities against negative external infl uences. Th e reorientation of households to modern (usually abundant) resources with simultaneous abandonment of archaic economic practices and the reduction of the total number of craft s in the local community is accompanied (or leads) to a decrease in community’s stability. It is manifested in the assessment of the quality of relations between people, and in the criminalization of the local community (the growth of crime, drug addiction, prostitution). Th e author proposes a model of the craft s development the basis of which is the ratio of archaic (traditional) and modern types of craft s in the economic behavior of the population. Th e model allows predicting the dependence of the types of craft s in the local communities on the nature and features of the available resource base. It also allows assessing the development trends of the household’s craft activity, external threats, and the risks to the stability of local cocieties.
The chapter is based on the outcomes on empirical study in 5 small Russian towns. The process of building coalitions between municipal and business elites is discussed. Several types of coalitions are singled out and analyzed: coalitions with "our people", coalitions with "non-local", electoral coalitions, coalitions for personal gain, coalitions for the sake of the public good.
The transition from Soviet state-planned economy to post-Soviet market economy has been marked by fundamental economic, political and social change in big Russian cities, including Saint Petersburg, including the impetuous transfer of state-owned urban lands into the commercial sector (Tev 2006) and increasing commercialisation of city spaces (Vorobyev and Campbell 2008). Following the logics of neoliberalisation (Harvey 2003), urban spaces progressively turn into investment mediums: the business elites deposit accumulated capital surplus in a growing number of new urban settings,thus making additional profits and coping with financial risks. This leads to a decrease in the proportion of industrial sectors in city economies in favour of the intensifying circulation of capital in real estate operations (Soja 1989).
The article’s authors describe their experiences organizing and conducting field research training of National Research University–Higher School of Economics students over the course of 10 years. Field expeditions are defined by the exposure they give (metropolitan) students to the phenomenology of provincial everyday life. The methodology used is grounded in the principals of qualitative social research. Methods used for the direct (“naive”) observation and description of the features of local public life include case studies, unstructured interviews, and situational conversations with local people. The authors describe five kinds of field expedition practices that they have developed for students: (1) visiting training seminars in addition to the authorized course; (2) field research incorporated into academic study practices; (3) retreats as part of research seminars; (4) summer school expeditions; and (5) sociological research expeditions.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.