Compulsion and Resistance: Origins of the Russian Research Tradition and Political Economy of the Special

  • Viktor Ryazanov


This chapter explores the evolution of economics as a form of research where the tension between foreign influence—as higher status and a source of skills and knowledge for Russia—and domestic political needs was central. Russian economics was torn between claims to universality (i.e. a method for seeking Truth outside historical experiences) and local historical experiences, both of which influences questions, methods, and aims. The creation of a “national school” of economics in Russia was driven by desires of state officials and intellectuals oriented to Russia itself (e.g. Slavophiles) to create a science to address Russia’s economic issues on its own terms, without subordinating Russian intellectual thought to foreign fields. The influence of German economics—not only as an intellectual for in itself, but also as concrete actors bringing their own ideas to Russia—was clear, but Russian economists applied new knowledge to their own context to an economics attuned to their own institutions and political culture. Russian economics, like Russian identity, has been torn between affinity with Europe and a sense of belonging to a European intellectual community, and a desire for status from uniqueness.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Viktor Ryazanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics, Department of Economic TheorySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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