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Title: Minding their own business : an ethnographic study of entrepreneurship in Putin's Russia
Author: Kennedy, John
ISNI:       0000 0004 6063 1437
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Russian entrepreneurs have long faced considerable difficulties. While much is known about what these difficulties are, less is known about how entrepreneurs respond to them, what it is like to be an entrepreneur under these circumstances and why they bother in the first place. In this thesis I address these questions by conducting a multi-sited ethnography within three small Siberian enterprises, observing the directors as they conduct their everyday business. I find that these entrepreneurs all resent their vulnerable position in the political economy but that they have developed a capacity to survive or thrive in spite of the obstacles and threats they encounter. This capacity, I argue, is less a consequence of their commercial acumen than their understanding of what can be achieved given their particular circumstances, their knowledge that business-state relations take an informal, personalised form, and their preparedness to resist predatory outsiders. This leads me to reconsider the meaning of entrepreneurship in the Russian context. Furthermore, my informants’ agency presents a challenge to the idea in predominant political economic theories that the Russian state dominates the private sector. I therefore reconceptualise business-state relations using Douglass C. North et al’s Limited Access Order theory in combination with my empirical materials. This provides a more accurate theory that accepts the pre-eminent role of the state in the political economy while accommodating the agency displayed by my informants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HT Communities. Classes. Races ; HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism ; JN Political institutions (Europe) ; PG Slavic ; Baltic ; Albanian languages and literature