This presentation analyses the development of academic debates surrounding post-communist economic reforms and capitalist institutions since the early 1990s. Whilst acknowledging the complexity and diversity of research in this field, the presentation identifies three generations of research on this topic over the past 25 years. It shows that these generations correspond to distinctive research programmes and explores how they relate to broader research traditions in economics, sociology and political science. It shows that each of these research programmes partly reflects key challenges associated with the post-communist reform at specific times. It analyses the main theoretical contributions and blind spots of these research programmes and assesses their empirical usefulness in relation to Russia and some Central and East European economies. The presentation concludes with some reflections on the broader significance of these debates about post-communist capitalism.
Magnus Feldmann is a lecturer in politics at the University of Bristol, UK and is visiting UCRS from 6 February until 6 March 2017. His research interests include a variety of topics related to political economy and Russian, Eurasian and East European politics, and he is particularly interested in post-communist capitalism and institutions. While at UCRS he is working on a survey article that analyses different approaches to post-communist capitalism as well as a longer-term project on the Russian political economy.