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Informal Economy as Rational Habit and State Criticism. An interview study on path dependence in and perceptions of Ukrainian and Belarusian petty corruption

Lennhag, Mi LU (2010) Informal Networks, Clientelism and Corruption in Politics, State Administration, Business and Society. Case Studies from Central and Eastern Europe In Changing Europe Summer School
Abstract
This paper examines the continuity, change and adaptation of blat – as a Soviet time, informal, economic transaction network, that existed as a response to a non-functional economy. The analysis is based on 33 in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 during a pilot field study in Ukraine and Belarus. The main focus is on individuals’ descriptions, justifications and explanations of their ongoing informal participation in today’s blat. Theories on informal institutions, path dependence and of the relationship between individuals and the post-Soviet state are elaborated to highlight the characteristics of today’s blat transactions.



A continuous presence of blat, as readapted to new socio-economic circumstances, is stressed.... (More)
This paper examines the continuity, change and adaptation of blat – as a Soviet time, informal, economic transaction network, that existed as a response to a non-functional economy. The analysis is based on 33 in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 during a pilot field study in Ukraine and Belarus. The main focus is on individuals’ descriptions, justifications and explanations of their ongoing informal participation in today’s blat. Theories on informal institutions, path dependence and of the relationship between individuals and the post-Soviet state are elaborated to highlight the characteristics of today’s blat transactions.



A continuous presence of blat, as readapted to new socio-economic circumstances, is stressed. Today’s blat constitutes a channel for giving bribes or to guarantee good social services. Blat involves more money and an increasing number of autonomous bribe collectors demanding bribes in the

contacts with civil servants. Individuals justify their participation in these informal activities by placing the blame on the existence of dysfunctional laws, heavy bureaucracy, lack of state control, illicit acts by other citizens or the state officials and on a low identification with the (immoral) state. Respondents also present an ongoing preference for informal solutions, as a better way of solving many everyday problems. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
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Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Changing Europe Summer School
publisher
Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
conference name
Informal Networks, Clientelism and Corruption in Politics, State Administration, Business and Society. Case Studies from Central and Eastern Europe
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3bcfa1e3-c709-4aea-8b87-85eb8d80d387 (old id 1689647)
alternative location
http://www.changing-europe.org/download/CESS2010/Lennhag.pdf
date added to LUP
2010-10-04 09:32:33
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:23:54
@inproceedings{3bcfa1e3-c709-4aea-8b87-85eb8d80d387,
  abstract     = {This paper examines the continuity, change and adaptation of blat – as a Soviet time, informal, economic transaction network, that existed as a response to a non-functional economy. The analysis is based on 33 in-depth interviews conducted in 2009 during a pilot field study in Ukraine and Belarus. The main focus is on individuals’ descriptions, justifications and explanations of their ongoing informal participation in today’s blat. Theories on informal institutions, path dependence and of the relationship between individuals and the post-Soviet state are elaborated to highlight the characteristics of today’s blat transactions. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
A continuous presence of blat, as readapted to new socio-economic circumstances, is stressed. Today’s blat constitutes a channel for giving bribes or to guarantee good social services. Blat involves more money and an increasing number of autonomous bribe collectors demanding bribes in the<br/><br>
contacts with civil servants. Individuals justify their participation in these informal activities by placing the blame on the existence of dysfunctional laws, heavy bureaucracy, lack of state control, illicit acts by other citizens or the state officials and on a low identification with the (immoral) state. Respondents also present an ongoing preference for informal solutions, as a better way of solving many everyday problems.},
  author       = {Lennhag, Mi},
  booktitle    = {Changing Europe Summer School},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic},
  title        = {Informal Economy as Rational Habit and State Criticism. An interview study on path dependence in and perceptions of Ukrainian and Belarusian petty corruption},
  year         = {2010},
}