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Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe$
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Ivana Markova

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263136

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263136.001.0001

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The Genealogy of Krugovaya Poruka: Forced Trust as a Feature of Russian Political Culture

The Genealogy of Krugovaya Poruka: Forced Trust as a Feature of Russian Political Culture

(p.84) (p.85) 5 The Genealogy of Krugovaya Poruka: Forced Trust as a Feature of Russian Political Culture
Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe

Alena Ledeneva

British Academy

Russia is characterized by a high degree of interpersonal trust, reflected in the fundamental divide between us/insiders (svoi) and them/outsiders (chuzhie), with a consequent gap in ethical standards. If the lack of an impersonal system of trust in post-Communist Russia is often explained by the imperfection of newly built institutions that are not trusted for a good reason, the prevalence of strong interpersonal ties is normally linked to Russia's political culture. This chapter argues that imposed forms of cooperation, whether within a peasant community, work collective, or personal network, have produced a form of interpersonal trust associated with a rather compelling form of solidarity–krugovaya poruka–which is most commonly associated with the peasant communes of pre-revolutionary Russia. This chapter examines the origins of krugovaya poruka, taxation and krugovaya poruka, legislation on krugovaya poruka, the abolition of krugovaya poruka, Soviet bureaucracy and krugovaya poruka, and krugovaya poruka in the post-Soviet context.

Keywords:   Russia, interpersonal trust, krugovaya poruka, political culture, solidarity, peasant communes, taxation, legislation, bureaucracy

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