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Working paper

Теневая экономика и теневая политика: механизм сращивания

The research project ‘Merging of Shadow Economy and Shadow Politics’ was implemented in 2004—2005 with financial support from the State University — Higher School of Economics. We examine the interrelation between shadow economy and shadow politics focusing on the example of political projects. The latter include federal and local election campaigns and everyday political parties’ activities. The study is based on in#depth interviews with participants of these political projects. The shadow economy and shadow politics are closely interrelated in modern Russia. They reproduce each other. Economic actors «shadow» politics through purchasing positions in the power hierarchy, promoting their candidates in elections, and financing political parties. In their turn, political actors «shadow» economy as well using it as a financial source for political projects. It is about mutual determination of shadow economy and shadow politics, rather than their merging as two negative but autonomous phenomena. The shadow economy and shadow politics do not exist separately in Russia; they represent two dimensions of one process — that of the reconstruction of the power hierarchy as a major principle of the distribution of economic opportunities.