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Paths and problems of the integration of post-communist Russia into the global economy - Manuel Castells

Paths and problems of the integration of post-communist Russia into the global economy - Manuel Castells

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Published by Giorgio Bertini
The transformation of Russia, and of its geopolitical sphere of
influence, to a market economy is a fundamental process that will
reshape the European economy, and the global economy as well, in
the years to come. Granted, because of the devastating industrial
crisis during the transition period, Russia’s GDP appears to be only
slightly above South Korea’s, and because of the rigors of adjustment
policies, the impoverishment of the large majority of Russians translates
into a very narrow solvent market in the short term. Yet, the
preeminent position of Russia in energy, natural resources, rare and
precious metals, its scientific potential, its educated population, its
unabated geopolitical significance, and the promise of a potential
300-million-person consumer market in the lands of the ex-Soviet
Union, still gravitating around Russia, are factors that lead to consideration of the gradual integration of Russia into the global market
economy as one of the defining features of the future European economic
area. This paper explores the uncertain paths and serious
problems faced by this process of integration as of mid-1997. It also
reflects on potential assets and strategies to ensure integration in favorable conditions, for both Russia and the rest of Europe. It is a
concept paper because while illustrating the analysis with some empirical
observations, it does not pretend to provide a quantified assessment
of the evolution of the Russian economy in its international
environment. My purpose here is to build an argument on the specificity
of linkages between Russia and the global economy, relying on
trends observed in the 1990s. I will base my analysis on the studies
I directed and the field work I conducted in Moscow, Szelenograd,
St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Tyumen’, Nizhnivartovsk, Khabarovsk,
and Sakhalin, in several research programs in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1995, and 1996. In addition, I will use a number of statistical
sources and reports published in Russian newspapers and journals,
as well as in the international business press.
The transformation of Russia, and of its geopolitical sphere of
influence, to a market economy is a fundamental process that will
reshape the European economy, and the global economy as well, in
the years to come. Granted, because of the devastating industrial
crisis during the transition period, Russia’s GDP appears to be only
slightly above South Korea’s, and because of the rigors of adjustment
policies, the impoverishment of the large majority of Russians translates
into a very narrow solvent market in the short term. Yet, the
preeminent position of Russia in energy, natural resources, rare and
precious metals, its scientific potential, its educated population, its
unabated geopolitical significance, and the promise of a potential
300-million-person consumer market in the lands of the ex-Soviet
Union, still gravitating around Russia, are factors that lead to consideration of the gradual integration of Russia into the global market
economy as one of the defining features of the future European economic
area. This paper explores the uncertain paths and serious
problems faced by this process of integration as of mid-1997. It also
reflects on potential assets and strategies to ensure integration in favorable conditions, for both Russia and the rest of Europe. It is a
concept paper because while illustrating the analysis with some empirical
observations, it does not pretend to provide a quantified assessment
of the evolution of the Russian economy in its international
environment. My purpose here is to build an argument on the specificity
of linkages between Russia and the global economy, relying on
trends observed in the 1990s. I will base my analysis on the studies
I directed and the field work I conducted in Moscow, Szelenograd,
St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Tyumen’, Nizhnivartovsk, Khabarovsk,
and Sakhalin, in several research programs in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992,
1993, 1995, and 1996. In addition, I will use a number of statistical
sources and reports published in Russian newspapers and journals,
as well as in the international business press.

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Published by: Giorgio Bertini on Nov 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/01/2013

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