Fields in Flux: Post-socialist Reorganization of Property and Power

  • Jeffrey K. Hass


This chapter explores how institutional shocks in the last years of Soviet socialism opened up the environment of institutional fields to reconstruction. This opened the door for confusion and contention over what the operative logics of organizational strategies and structures, the nature of property, and the basis of authority should be. Key actors’ Soviet experiences and knowledge (embedded in habitus) shaped how different actors perceived risks and a normal economy; this provided some path dependency. However, the Soviet experience was not uniform and from that past came three competing “new classes”: Soviet-era managers (Red Directors), financial entrepreneurs (paradoxically), and state cadres, especially form the massive security apparatus. As these classes set about organizing and defending field rules and boundaries, they came into conflict over whose conceptions of normality would predominate. That conflict was at the heart of the drama of the 1990s and the rise of Vladimir Putin.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey K. Hass
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology & AnthropologyUniversity of RichmondRichmondUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics, Department of Economic TheorySt. Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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