Moonlighting Politicians in Russia: Defense Capacities of Businesspeople in Regional and Local Legislatures
- 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. 75-99
- Additional Information
Using qualitative data collected in two regions in 2012-2016, I determined the significance of political affiliation for small and medium-size entrepreneurs in the context of actual business threats in the new Russia. I view the presence of entrepreneurs in regional and local legislative bodies as an individual choice and rational response to the overregulated Russian state, one that allows these entrepreneurs to access a variety of protection tools, from mobilization of the law to networking. I find that politically connected entrepreneurs limit or avoid the negative effects of state regulation and pressure from authorities because they have access to resources that allow them to resist and successfully balance on the edge of the law.