chapter  4
Social networks in Russian politics
ByNicolas Hayoz, Victor Sergeyev
Pages 15

This chapter explores power relations in Russia and the corresponding structures of personalized trust on the basis of an analysis of three different types of distinctions and relations: state (capacity) versus society, institutionalized power versus personalized power networks and institutional structures of trust versus personalized networks of trust. As the case of Russia shows, personal networks of power can be presented as a compensation for the absence of strong institutions or institutionalized structures of trust. Moreover, in ‘low trust societies’ such as Russia, highly personalized power systems are not necessarily expressing only illegal or semi-legal structures of trust; in an environment without institutionalized social capital forms, they can also be the engine for reform.