The Shallow and Uneven Diffusion of Capitalism in Everyday Life in Post-Soviet Moscow
Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 53-69, 2010
18 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013
Date Written: 2010
A small but rapidly growing body of scholars of contemporary economic development in both Eastern-Central Europe and beyond have begun to question the narrative of impending capitalist hegemony. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this emergent stream of thought by firstly developing a conceptual framework to map the incursion of capitalism and persistence of multiple economic practices in any economy and secondly, applying this to understanding the everyday economy of post-Soviet Moscow. Conceptualizing economic practices along a spectrum from market to non-market oriented practices, cross-cut by another spectrum from wholly monetised to wholly non-monetised practices, this reveals the shallow and uneven permeation of market practices in post-Soviet Moscow as well as how both work cultures and the nature of individual economic practices vary across Moscow’s urban landscape. The outcome is a call for not only greater recognition of the shallow and uneven penetration of capitalism and the feasibility of alternative economic futures beyond capitalist hegemony, but also the wider application of this conceptual lens that captures the diverse array of economic practices that permeate contemporary societies.
Keywords: informal economy, informal sector, capitalism, post-socialism, Eastern Europe, Russia, Moscow
JEL Classification: O17, H26, H31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation