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Resolving Problems Among Neighbors in Post-Soviet Russia: Uncovering the Law of the Pod"ezd

34 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2009  

Kathryn Hendley

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School; University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science

Date Written: September 28, 2009

Abstract

The article explores how Russians react when flooded by their neighbors. Details of 57 incidents that are drawn from focus group discussions and interviews suggest that neighbors are guided by an informal norm in favor of working together to resolve these problems. When culpable neighbors refuse to engage with victims, the result is to "lump" the problem or to turn to third-parties for assistance. Such outcomes are more likely when the culpable neighbors are newcomers to the pod"ezd (entryway to the apartment building). The research shows that those with preexisting relationships were less likely to turn to third-parties, thereby confirming the findings of the classic studies of disputing among neighbors, albeit in a remarkably different institutional and cultural setting. Other factors, such as age, location, and seriousness of the damage, are less significant. The research provides a window into the commitment to fundamental fairness that underlies Russians' legal consciousness.

Keywords: Russia, Informal Norms, Dispute Resolution, Relationships, Neighbors

JEL Classification: K41,O17, P25, P37

Suggested Citation

Hendley, Kathryn, Resolving Problems Among Neighbors in Post-Soviet Russia: Uncovering the Law of the Pod"ezd (September 28, 2009). University of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1097. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1479558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1479558

Kathryn Hendley (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School ( email )

975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
301-405-3476 (Phone)
301-405-3542 (Fax)

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Political Science ( email )

1050 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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