Chapter 8: Regional Retreat: The Reaction of Russian Institutions to Liberalising Reform
Richard E. Ericson INTRODUCTION Integration into the global economy poses particularly sharp diﬃculties for Russia, as it is also coping with a radical transformation of its economic system. The Russian economy is emerging from a system thoroughly incompatible with the modern market economy that is now emerging at the global level. Processes of globalisation stand in sharp contradiction to the inherited, and still struggling new, institutions of the Russian economic system. This had led much of the economy to resist, and even reject, changes required to allow eﬀective integration into the world economic system. This resistance has been particularly strong and visible at the regional level and outside the cosmopolitan centres. Despite increasing pressure toward globalisation from the Russian federal government, domestic institutions are resisting change with the idea of protecting the Russian people, even though that implies growing isolation and an increasing gap between world and Russian average standards of living. To integrate eﬀectively into the global economy, to ‘globalise’ politically, economically and socially, Russia has to move much further, undergo far greater change, than any other country with a developed industrial base. Russia ﬁnds itself in this position as the largest remnant, the core, of the former Soviet Union, struggling to emerge from the structures and constraints of that system. As the prototype and canonical example of the only complete, and one time functioning, industrial alternative to modern market capitalism, the Soviet Union developed an extensive and coherent system of institutions, political and economic agents,...
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