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The article analyzes post-Soviet economic policy in the light of the previous periods of the Russian economic history. The authors find a striking similarity between the measures proposed by modern Russian economic liberals – as well as their consequences – and the actions taken by the Russian authorities during much earlier periods. They explain these similarities with the fact that “Western” terms can mean something very different in the context of a non-Western culture, phenomena and institutions with the same names in different types of societies can differ fundamentally and perform different functions. Furthermore, “Westernization” can be a purely superficial process intended more for show than for substance.

By applying the methodology of substantivism which stresses the fundamental differences between economies based on gifts (reciprocity), redistribution, and exchange (market), they argue that Russia’s economy differs significantly from that of the countries of Western Europe and, in the typological sense, is closer to such European countries as Bulgaria, Albania, Romania, and Serbia. For this reason, similar measures of economic policy applied in Western Europe and Russia bring different results.

In: Russian History


This article examines the state and prospects of Russia’s policy toward China. We look at recent trends in the evolution of the world order, the history of Moscow-Beijing relations, and the changes in the balance of power between Russia and China to offer a forecast of Russia’s China policy in the near term. Special attention is paid to the role of the 2001 Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation. The authors conclude that, despite the Treaty’s significance, the international situation – and indeed the relative strengths of the two countries – have significantly changed over the past 20 years. The new conditions will inevitably compel Russia to adjust its policy toward China. Moscow, as always, will seek to develop its political and economic partnership with Beijing. However, it will likely move toward hedging against risks that excessive dependence on China could bring about.

In: Russian Politics