2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 December 2013
Ledeneva's subject is difficult to assess because it concerns the invisible power networks at play in Russian politics and society. She has excellent contacts from within the system - as it is so known - who lift the lid on the subtleties of how these informal influences work. Her conclusions are not just relevant for in the Russian context but applies to any system with weak formal networks: law, governance, institutions etc...and how 'personal' relationships are used to compensate for this lack but also crucially undermine it. Her ambivalence to the merits of 'systema' articulates the difficulty of thinking outside this structure and illustrates how difficult it will be for Russia to adopt transparent European market mechanisms.