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SPP 227

Author: Richard Rose, CSPP
Description: To understand how Russians are getting by we need to adopt a bottom up perspective to complement the top down perspective of macro-analysis. This is particular true, given that contemporary Russia is not a modern society, in which large-scale institutions effectively represent and direct activities of individuals and households. It is a stressful system, in which people must learn to get by without (or in spite of) government. The contrast between modern and a stressful systems are set out in the first part of the paper. The second presents 1994 survey data about everyday economic activities of Russians. The freedoms that individual Russians gain are described in the third section, which also shows how this handicaps government action. The concluding section presents empirical survey evidence answering two classic questions: Who is to blame? What is to be done? It shows that Russians are realistic and patient on both these counts.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland