The Genealogy of <i>Krugovaya Poruka:</i> Forced Trust as a Feature of Russian Political Culture

Alena Ledeneva

in Trust and Democratic Transition in Post-Communist Europe

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263136
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734922 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Genealogy of Krugovaya Poruka: Forced Trust as a Feature of Russian Political Culture

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Russia is characterized by a high degree of interpersonal trust, reflected in the fundamental divide between us/insiders (svoi) and them/outsiders (chuzhie), with a consequent gap in ethical standards. If the lack of an impersonal system of trust in post-Communist Russia is often explained by the imperfection of newly built institutions that are not trusted for a good reason, the prevalence of strong interpersonal ties is normally linked to Russia's political culture. This chapter argues that imposed forms of cooperation, whether within a peasant community, work collective, or personal network, have produced a form of interpersonal trust associated with a rather compelling form of solidarity–krugovaya poruka–which is most commonly associated with the peasant communes of pre-revolutionary Russia. This chapter examines the origins of krugovaya poruka, taxation and krugovaya poruka, legislation on krugovaya poruka, the abolition of krugovaya poruka, Soviet bureaucracy and krugovaya poruka, and krugovaya poruka in the post-Soviet context.

Keywords: Russia; interpersonal trust; krugovaya poruka; political culture; solidarity; peasant communes; taxation; legislation; bureaucracy

Chapter.  9810 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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