IICRR research fellow Dr Abel Polese has co-edited a book Post-socialist Informalities Power, agency and the construction of extra-legalities from Bosnia to China together with Lela Rekhviashvili, Borbála Kovács, Jeremy Morris . This book is a comprehensive collection of key scholarship on informality from the whole post-socialist region. From Bosnia to Central Asia, passing through Russia and Azerbaijan, the contributions to this volume illustrate the multi-faceted and complex nature of informality, while demonstrating the growing scholarly and policy debates that have developed around the understanding of informality.
In contrast to approaches which tend to classify informality as ‘bad’ or ‘transitional’ – meaning that modernity will make it disappear – this edited volume concentrates on dynamics and mechanisms to understand and explain informality, while also debating its relationship with the market and society.
The authors seek to explain informality beyond a mere monetaristic/economistic approach, rediscovering its interconnection with social phenomena to propose a more holistic interpretation of the meaning of informality and its influence in various spheres of life.
They do this by exploring the evolving role of informal practices in the post-socialist region, and by focusing on informality as a social organisation determinant but also looking at the way it reshapes emergent social resistance against symbolic and real political order(s).
This book was originally published as two special issues, of Caucasus Survey and the Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.