chapter  1
30 Pages

Power-culture, practice, and economic change: outlines of a framework

Post-Soviet change was a Kuhnian-style paradigm shift and search for new narratives and practices of normality in enterprises, exchange, and property.1 What are fundamental processes and variables of economic change and variation in trajectories and outcomes? How do contingent power-culture processes create innovation and stasis? How and why do past practices persist or combine with new practices? For answers, I propose an outline to a framework on economic change drawing on different dimensions of culture and power and their interaction. To note a parallel to chemistry: organic chemistry works on the principle that electrons move from spaces of high to low density. Yet something deeper creates electron movement: electrostatic attraction, weak and strong forces, strings. Political economy, economics, and economic sociology follow surface rules. Let us dive beneath to look for strings that make these rules operative-there is order in the seeming chaos of post-Soviet change, and now we set out to find it.