Informal Practices of Big Business in the Post-Soviet Period: From Oligarchs To "Kings of State Orders"
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 27, Number 1, Winter 2019
- pp. 31-49
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- Additional Information
This article traces the transformation of informal relations between the government and big business due to the changing financial and administrative capabilities of the state, comparing the situations in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. The oligarchic capitalism of the 1990s arose when a weak state was forced to seek the help of those with financial capital in exchange for political rights. Economic development in the 2000s, the budget surplus, and Putin's policies changed the situation: "milking" the country's budget and arranging "payoffs" became the main forms of informal cooperation between the government and business. However, the economic difficulties of the 2010s sharply aggravated competition for access to budget resources. Under the slogans of legalizing the economy and fighting corruption, the administration found new informal ways to manage and control big business, assigning the "kings of government contracts" to implement projects as a marker of loyalty to the President's administration and a precondition for continued business success.