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From Prefix Capitalism to Neoliberal Economism: Russia as a Laboratory in Capitalist Realism

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This exploratory and review essay views Russia as a particular state-capital
accommodation-assemblage characterized by neoliberal subjectivization
of the population in a particularly stark manner. This argument is a departure
from perspectives on Russia as a semi-periphery, instead proposing
its thorough incorporation into the current moment of global capitalism.
While ‘state capitalism’ has analytical purchase, ‘authoritarian neoliberalism’
is proposed as a more sharply focussed lens in examining Russia in
the global context. This is important too in reorienting political economy
to accommodate more grounded methodologies, including ethnography
and other empirically subjective accounts. While beyond the scope of the
essay, existing ethnographic accounts and empirical materials — particularly
relating to Special Economic Zones in Russia are incorporated in the
argument. In making its argument, the essay reviews the contribution
of Foucauldian approaches to neoliberalism and neomarxian political
economy. Then it reviews the varieties of capitalism approaches and their
critics as well as the debates on state capitalism pertaining to Russia by
Ilya Matveev, and as pertaining to state capitalism in general. Further the
essay reviews recent work on Eastern Europe as providing examples of vanguard
authoritarian neoliberal governance. Finally, this approach allows
the essay to argue that Russia is not only a ‘normal country’, but that it
anticipates contemporary developments towards more post-democratic
capitalist futures, along with their counter-currents.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftСоциология власти
Vol/bind33
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)193-221
Antal sider29
ISSN2074-0492
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2021

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