The end of transition? The role of informal economies in the post-Soviet space

Colin C. Williams, John Round, Peter Rodgers

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book


This book challenges the accepted notion that the transition from the command economy to market based systems is complete across the post-Soviet space. While it is noted that different political economies have developed in such states, such as Russia’s ‘managed democracy’, events such as Ukraine gaining ‘market economy status’ by the European Union and acceding to the World Trade Organisation in 2008 are taken as evidence that the reform period is over. Such thinking is based on numerous assumptions; specifically that economic transition has defined start and end points, that the formal economy now has primacy over other forms of economic practices and that national economic growth leads to the ‘trickle down’ of wealth to those marginalised by the transition process. Based on extensive ethnographic and quantitative research, conducted in Ukraine and Russia between 2004 - 2007, this book questions these assumptions by stating that the economies that operate across post-Soviet spaces are far from the textbook idea of a market economy. Through this the whole notion of ‘transition’ is problematised and the importance of informal economies to everyday life is demonstrated. Using case studies of various sectors, such as entrepreneurial behaviour and the higher education system, it is also shown how corruption has invaded almost all sectors of the post-Soviet every day.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages244
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2013

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in the Modern World Economy


  • transition
  • command economy
  • market based systems
  • post-Soviet space
  • political economies
  • Ukraine
  • European
  • World Trade Organisation
  • reform period
  • economic transition
  • national economic growth
  • wealth
  • ethnographic and quantitative research
  • Russia
  • entrepreneurial behaviour
  • higher education system
  • corruption


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