Advertisement

Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1483–1506 | Cite as

Power, ideas and culture in the ‘longue durée’ of institutional evolution: theory and application on the revolutions of property rights in Russia

  • Carsten Herrmann-PillathEmail author
Regular Article

Abstract

North et al. (2009) have presented a new theory of economic institutions which explains property rights in ‘limited access orders’ as outcome of intra-elite political conflict. Property rights are explained as a means of governing violence in society via the distribution of rents among elites. However, this theory does not establish systematic linkages to North’s earlier theoretical contributions on the role of informal institutions and cognition in explaining institutions. I suggest that a synthesis can be built by referring to central notions in Foucault’s work on power, the state, and knowledge, especially, the concepts of biopolitics and of governmentality as a pattern of informal institutions. The paper sketches this synthesis and applies the theory on the evolution of property rights in Russia from Catherine the Great to Putin.

Keywords

North Foucault Russia Property Governmentality Biopolitics State capacity Limited access orders 

JEL classification

B52 N43 N44 P26 

Notes

Acknowledgements

My analysis of the Russian developments (without the theoretical framework) was first presented at the Berlin meeting of the German Association of East European Studies devoted to the centenary of the Russian revolution of 1917, published as ‘Modernisierungsblockaden: Utopische Eigentumsrevolutionen in Russland, 1917-2017’ in: Osteuropa 68. Jg., 6–8/2017, pp. 133–143 and now translated into Russian, published in ‘Teleskop No 1, 2018’ by the Institute of Economics at the Russian Academy of Sciences. I received a lot of inspiration from the Volker Weichsel’s editorial comments and discussions with the panel and the audience, especially Alexander Libman and Roland Götz. The expanded version including the theoretical framework was presented at the annual meeting of the Evolutionary Economics group in Marburg in 2017, where the discussant, Gerhard Wegner, provided me with important insights. Four anonymous reviewers of JEE presented very productive criticism that motivated major improvements, yet remaining faults are my responsibility.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Acemoglu D, Robinson JA (2009) Persistence of power, elites, and institutions. Am Econ Rev 98(1):276–293Google Scholar
  2. Alesina A, Giuliano P (2015) Culture and institutions. J Econ Lit 53(4):898–944Google Scholar
  3. Åslund A (2013) Sergey Glazyev and the revival of soviet economics. Post-Soviet Affairs 29(5):375–386Google Scholar
  4. Balzer H (2005) The Putin thesis and Russian energy policy. Post-Soviet Affairs 21(3):210–225Google Scholar
  5. Beugelsdijk S, Maseland R (2010) Culture in economics. History, methodological reflections, and contemporary applications. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  6. Blyth M (2011) Ideas, uncertainty, and evolution, in Bèland, D., Cox, RH (ed) Ideas and politics in social science research. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 83–103Google Scholar
  7. Boldyrev, I and Kirtchik, O (2013) General equilibrium theory behind the Iron curtain: the case of victor Polterovich (February 21, 2013). Higher School of Economics research paper no. WP BPR 14/HUM/2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2221794
  8. Brown JD, Earle JS, Gehlbach S (2013) Privatization. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy, vol 2013. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixit AK (2004) Lawlessness and Economics. Alternative Modes of Governance. Princeton University Press, Princeton und OxfordGoogle Scholar
  10. Enikolopov R, Stepanov S (2013) Corporate governance in Russia. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  11. Ericson RE (2013) Command economy and its legacy. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  12. Foucault M (1997) “Il faut defendre la société”. Cours au Collège de France. Seuil, Paris, p 1976Google Scholar
  13. Foucault M (2004a) Sécurité, territoire, population. Cours au Collège de France, 1977–1978. Seuil, ParisGoogle Scholar
  14. Foucault M (2004b) Naissance de la biopolitique. Cours au Collège de France, 1978–1979. Seuil, ParisGoogle Scholar
  15. Frye T (2006) Original sin, good works, and property rights in Russia. World Polit 58(4):479–504Google Scholar
  16. Frye T, Yakovlev A (2016) Elections and property rights: a natural experiment from Russia. Comp Pol Stud 49(4):499–528Google Scholar
  17. Fukuyama F (2013) What is governance? Governance 26(3):347–368Google Scholar
  18. Gaddy CG, Ickes BW (2013) Russia’s dependence on Ressources. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  19. Gel’man V (2015) Authoritarian Russia: analyzing post-soviet regime changes. Pitt series in Russian and east European studies. University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, p 2015Google Scholar
  20. Gel’man V (2016) The vicious circle of post-soviet neopatrimonialism in Russia. Post-Soviet Affairs 32(5):455–473Google Scholar
  21. Gel’man V, Starodubtsev A (2016) Opportunities and constraints of authoritarian modernisation: Russian policy reforms in the 2000s. Eur Asia Stud 68(1):97–117Google Scholar
  22. Herrmann-Pillath C (1991) Systemtransformation als ökonomisches Problem, Außenpolitik, 2/1991, pp 171–181Google Scholar
  23. Herrmann-Pillath C (2013) Performativity of economic systems: approaches and implications for taxonomy. J Econ Methodol 20(2):139–163Google Scholar
  24. Herrmann-Pillath C (2017) China’s economic culture: the ritual order of state and markets. Routledge, AbingdonGoogle Scholar
  25. Hirshleifer J (2001) The dark side of the force. In: Economic foundations of conflict theory. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  26. Hodgson, GH (2014), The economics of property rights is about neither property nor rights, http://econweb.umd.edu/~davis/eventpapers/HodgsonRights.pdf
  27. Kolev S, Zweynert J (2015) Transformationsökonomische Ansätze. In: Kollmorgen R, Merkel W, Wagener J (eds) Handbuch Transformationsforschung. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, pp 151–160Google Scholar
  28. Laruelle M (2016) The Izborsky Club, or the new conservative Avant-Garde in Russia. Russ Rev 75:626–644Google Scholar
  29. Ledeneva AV (2013) Can Russia modernise?: Sistema, power networks and informal governance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  30. Levin MJ, Satarov GA (2013) Russian corruption. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  31. Libman A, Kozlov V, Schultz A (2012) Roving bandits in action: outside option and governmental predation in autocracies. Kyklos 65(4):526–562Google Scholar
  32. Maslovskiy M (2016) The Imperial dimension of Russian modernisation: a multiple Modernities perspective. Eur Asia Stud 68(1):20–37Google Scholar
  33. Mau V, Dobryshevskaya T (2013) Modernization and the Russian economy: three hundred years of catching up. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  34. Melnik, D and Ananyin O (2018) Fighting dogma, rescuing doctrine: toward a history of ownership debates in Soviet economic literature, in Kovács JM (ed) Populating no man's land: economic concepts of ownership under communism, Lanham: Lexington, pp 231-260Google Scholar
  35. Naughton B (2009) Market Economy, Hierarchy and Single-Party Rule. In: Kornai J, Qian Y (eds) Market and socialism in the light of the experiences of China and Vietnam, International Economic Association conference volume 146. Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp 135–161Google Scholar
  36. North DC (1981) Structure and change in economic history. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  37. North DC (1990) Institutions, institutional change, and economic performance. Canbridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  38. North DC (2005) Understanding the Process of Economic Change. Princeton University Press, Princeton und OxfordGoogle Scholar
  39. North DC, Wallis JJ, Weingast BR (2009) Violence and social orders. A conceptual framework for interpreting recorded human history. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  40. North DC, Wallis JJ, Webb SB, Weingast BR e (2013) In the shadow of violence: politics, economics, and the problem of development. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  41. Orenstein MA (2011) Three models of contemporary capitalism. In: Birdsall N, Fukuyama F (eds) New ideas on development after the financial crisis. John Hopkins University Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  42. Osterhammel J (2009) Die Verwandlung der Welt: eine Geschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts. Beck, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  43. Pipes R (1997) Russia under the old regime, 2nd edn. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  44. Polanyi K (1944) The great transformation: the political and economic origins of our time. 2nd Beacon Paperback ed. Beacon Press, Boston, p 2001Google Scholar
  45. Polishchuk L (2013) Institutional performance. In: Alexeev MV, Weber S (eds) The Oxford handbook of the Russian economy. Oxford University Press, New York, p 2013Google Scholar
  46. Popitz H (1985) Phänomene der Macht. Mohr Siebeck, TübingenGoogle Scholar
  47. Pravilova EA (2014) A public empire: property and the quest for the common good in Imperial Russia. Princeton. Princeton University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  48. Rochlitz M (2014) Corporate raiding and the role of the state in Russia. Post-Soviet Affairs 30(2–3):89–114Google Scholar
  49. Shleifer, A and Treisman D (2014) Normal countries: the east 25 years after communism, Foreign Affairs Nov/Dec issue 2014Google Scholar
  50. Skocpol T (1979) States and social revolutions. A comparative analysis of France, Russia and China. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  51. Sonin K (2003) Why the rich may favor poor protection of property rights. J Comp Econ 31(4):715–731Google Scholar
  52. Sutela P (2012) The political economy of Putin’s Russia. London. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  53. Tabellini G (2008) Institutions and culture. J Eur Econ Assoc 6(2–3):255–294Google Scholar
  54. Treisman, D (2010) Loans for Shares Revisited, Post-Soviet Affairs, 26, 3, July–September 2010, 207–27Google Scholar
  55. Wegner G (2015) Capitalist transformation without political participation: German capitalism in the first half of the nineteenth century. Constit Polit Econ 26:61–86Google Scholar
  56. Yakovlev A (2013) Is there a ‘new deal’ in state-business relations in Russia? BOFIT Online 2013(7)Google Scholar
  57. Yakovlev A (2014) Russian modernization: between the need for new players and the fear of losing control of rent sources. J Eurasian Stud 5(1):10–20Google Scholar
  58. Zweynert J (2011) Shock therapy and the transfer of institutions: the new debate and some lessons from the post-1806 reforms in Prussia and in southwestern Germany. Constit Polit Econ 22(2):122–140Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social StudiesErfurt UniversityErfurtGermany

Personalised recommendations