State, Markets, and Fields in Russian History

  • Viktor Ryazanov


This chapter explores how Russian market institutions and practices owed much of their existence to state policies. In Russia more than in England, Karl Polanyi’s dictum rings true—market economies require market societies. However, even in Russia, the state could be subjected to elite pressures, and one important contradiction was that agrarian elites profiting from serfdom managed to maintain support for those institutions despite the fact that it retarded the development of market institutions and growth that state elites desired for the country (for geopolitical purposes). Even state elites did have their eye on innovation and reform; elites and actors of other fields and institutions could stand in the way, not only with opposing interests but also with opposing practices.

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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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