Understanding Russia's Statist-Patrimonial Capitalist Model through the Analysis of State-Business Power Relations

Friday, 3 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
TW1.1.04 (Tower One)
Alexandra Vasileva, Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Russia's economic recovery after the economic crisis of 2008/09 was largely due to the bouncing back
of the oil price, rather than growth-promoting policies. Today, with global commodity prices declining
and the EU and US economic sanctions taking effect, grim prospects for growth reveal the weakness
of Russia's model of capitalism. This paper argues that Russia's capitalism, having de-liberalised in the
decade that preceded the crisis, is characterised by a distinct mixture of statism and patrimonialism.
The latter is expressed in the prominence of state interventions in the economy on the basis of
particularistic gains and is characterised by clientelism and corruption. This paper seeks to
understand the specificity of the Russian patrimonial-statist model through the analysis of power
relations underlying the state-economy nexus. In particular, it explores the power resources that
enable the Russian bureaucrats to interfere with private business for personal enrichment, thus
rendering property rights insecure and ultimately undermining economic growth.