Post-Soviet Social

Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics

Post-Soviet Social

The Soviet Union created a unique form of urban modernity, developing institutions of social provisioning for hundreds of millions of people in small and medium-sized industrial cities spread across a vast territory. After the collapse of socialism these institutions were profoundly shaken--casualties, in the eyes of many observers, of market-oriented reforms associated with neoliberalism and the Washington Consensus. In Post-Soviet Social, Stephen Collier examines reform in Russia beyond the Washington Consensus. He turns attention from the noisy battles over stabilization and privatization during the 1990s to subsequent reforms that grapple with the mundane details of pipes, wires, bureaucratic routines, and budgetary formulas that made up the Soviet social state. Drawing on Michel Foucault's lectures from the late 1970s, Post-Soviet Social uses the Russian case to examine neoliberalism as a central form of political rationality in contemporary societies. The book's basic finding--that neoliberal reforms provide a justification for redistribution and social welfare, and may work to preserve the norms and forms of social modernity--lays the groundwork for a critical revision of conventional understandings of these topics.

Social Capital and Social Cohesion in Post-Soviet Russia

Social Capital and Social Cohesion in Post-Soviet Russia

This work shows that the collapse of socialist employment and social service systems - and of the USSR itself - has had profoundly damaging effects, manifested in dislocation and homelessness, ethnic strife, family breakdown, declining life expectancy, and soaring rates of violence and crime.

Theorising Social Change in Post-Soviet Countries

Critical Approaches

Theorising Social Change in Post-Soviet Countries

The book traces three main approaches to the sociology of post-Soviet societies: studies guided by neoliberal theory and/or practice; work which may be termed neoconservative in orientation, and which is often a response to the first; and a third type of work that is considered both critical and reflexive, and which seeks to transcend the limitations of the other approaches. The book is divided into three parts, addressing polity, culture and economy. In each section, authors endeavour to transcend both neoliberalism and neoconservatism, and reach for a third approach, 'critical social science'. This is a broad movement, and the authors vary in their own explanatory and normative ideas as they carve out frameworks that will enable them to develop a more rigorous and at the same time more comprehensive and critical understanding of social change.

Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia

Everyday Islam in Post-Soviet Central Asia

Providing a wealth of empirical research on the everyday practise of Islam in post-Soviet Central Asia, this book gives a detailed account of how Islam is understood and practised among ordinary Muslims in the region, focusing in particular on Uzbekistan. It shows how individuals negotiate understandings of Islam as an important marker for identity, grounding for morality and as a tool for everyday problem-solving in the economically harsh, socially insecure and politically tense atmosphere of present-day Uzbekistan. Presenting a detailed case-study of the city of Bukhara that focuses upon the local forms of Sufism and saint veneration, the book shows how Islam facilitates the pursuit of more modest goals of agency and belonging, as opposed to the utopian illusions of fundamentalist Muslim doctrines.

The Role of Informal Economies in the Post-Soviet World

The End of Transition?

The Role of Informal Economies in the Post-Soviet World

Based on extensive ethnographic and quantitative research, conducted in Ukraine and Russia between 2004 and 2012, this book’s central argument is that for many people the informal economy, such as cash in hand work, subsistence production and the use of social networks, is of great importance to everyday life. Formal work is both a facilitator of such processes and is often supported by them, as people can only afford to undertake low paid formal work as a result of their informal incomes. By looking at the informal nature of formal work and practices, informal practices, gift giving, volunteer work and the economies of the household the book is one of the first to give an overview of the nature of the informal economy in all spheres of everyday practice.

A Researcher's Guide to Sources on Soviet Social History in the 1930s

A Researcher's Guide to Sources on Soviet Social History in the 1930s

The Stalin era has been less accessible to researchers than either the preceding decade or the postwar era. The basic problem is that during the Stalin years censorship restricted the collection and dissemination of information (and introduced bias and distortion into the statistics that were published), while in the post-Stalin years access to archives and libraries remained tightly controlled. Thus it is not surprising that one of the main manifestations of glasnost has been the effort to open up records of the 1930s. In this volume Western and Soviet specialists detail the untapped potential of sources on this period of Soviet social history and also the hidden traps that abound. The full range of sources is covered, from memoirs to official documents, from city directories to computerized data bases.

Nation-building and Identities in Post-Soviet Societies

New Challenges for Social Sciences

Nation-building and Identities in Post-Soviet Societies

Research by social scientists on multicultural and multilingual post-Soviet societies is manifold. However, there rarely exists a dialogue between academic fields, traditions and ideologies. This book critically reunites different academic generations and traditions, different disciplines, and different geographical and cultural backgrounds by keeping the plurality of the approaches. The contributions discuss the roles of ideologies, education, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious identities in the post-Soviet nation-building processes. The included case studies show continuities and discontinuities in the ideological and political aspects of nation-building and identity management in post-Soviet societies. (Series: Freiburg Studies in Social Anthropology / Freiburger Sozialanthropologische Studien, Vol. 47) [Subject: Social Anthropology, Sociology, Politics, Soviet Union]

The Post-Soviet Decline of Central Asia

Sustainable Development and Comprehensive Capital

The Post-Soviet Decline of Central Asia

Sievers draws on his experience of Central Asia to take on the task of explaining the remarkable economic declines of the post-Soviet Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) in the past decade, and the turn of these states towards despotism.

Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries

Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries

The increasing significance and visibility of relationships between religion and public arenas and institutions following the fall of communism in Europe provide the core focus of this fascinating book. Leading international scholars consider the religious and political role of Christian Orthodoxy in the Russian Federation, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine alongside the revival of old, indigenous religions, often referred to as 'shamanistic' and look at how, despite Islam’s long history and many adherents in the south, Islamophobic attitudes have increasingly been added to traditional anti-Semitic, anti-Western or anti-liberal elements of Russian nationalism. Contrasts between the church’s position in the post-communist nation building process of secular Estonia with its role in predominantly Catholic Poland are also explored. Religion, Politics and Nation-Building in Post-Communist Countries gives a broad overview of the political importance of religion in the Post-Soviet space but its interest and relevance extends far beyond the geographical focus, providing examples of the challenges in the spheres of public, religious and social policy for all transitional countries.