Everyday Legality of Market Actors: Comparative Analysis of Politically Connected and Nonconnected Entrepreneurs in Russian Provinces

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

The project concerns a comparative study of politically connected and nonconnected entrepreneurs in order to investigate differences in
their perceptions and strategies of using law, coping with state agencies and officials. I focus on the entrepreneurs elected to regional
and local legislative bodies, because business activity is not forbidden for their members. The project focuses on two questions: (1)
How and why do entrepreneurs with and without political affiliation differ in perceptions of law and the state? (2) What strategies and
under what circumstances do ordinary and politically affiliated entrepreneurs apply in their practices of law’s uses? To what extend
these strategies influenced by available\unavailable resources and previous experiences? Theoretical foundation of the research
includes two keystones. Firstly, I use the approach of narrative stories developed by sociology of law to investigate how legal rules and
formal institutions are understood, estimated and operated by social actors and consequently influence their strategies in legal sphere.
Following their idea about strong interrelations between perceptions and practices, I view changeable, multiple and ambiguous Russian
law structured and navigated entrepreneurial activities in its complexity. The law could be a window for opportunities, a foundation to
resist, a reason to obey, an instrument to manipulate, a weapon to attack. Here is the second theoretical foundation about dual
consciousness and double standards of post-Soviet entrepreneurs.
The concept of everyday legality refers to meanings, perceptions and cultural practices that are commonly recognized by people as legal
in their everyday life. The basic material was obtained in 2013–2016 in the series of in-depth and expert interviews with different types
of informants made in Komi Republic. Interviews were conducted with former and current members of regional parliaments and city
councils, entrepreneurs and managers of enterprises with extensive business experience, lawyers and experts. Another set of qualitative
data includes observations and audio recordings at different public events with participation of businessmen, state officials, members of
business associations, and experts.

Layman's description

The project deals with how Russian entrepreneurs experience everyday law
Effective start/end date01/02/201931/12/2020

Fields of Science

  • 513 Law
  • entrepreneurs
  • everyday law
  • regulation
  • business law
  • Russia
  • 511 Economics
  • business
  • regulation