Alessandro Stanziani

Istituzioni, informazione e crescita economica: il caso russo, 1861-1930

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Using new archival sources and new metodological approaches (historical semantic analysis of Russian sources and statistical-economic categories, economic theories of information, contracts and agencies) the paper tries to offer a new interpretation of the Russian economic history between 1861 and 1930. Analogies and differences between the tsarist and the soviet regimes are re-evaluated and a new periodization is elaborated (1861-1905; 1905-1922; 1922-1930). The first part of the paper focuses on the organization and the evolution of administrative bureaucracy and in particular of its "economic" branches (ministries of agriculture, finance, central statistical board, statistical bureaus of local administration). The complexe relationships between the rising experts and the top level bureaucrats are analyzed as well as their impact on the constitution and trasmission of economic information. For both tsarist and soviet regimes the links between economic and police information are discussed. The second part of the paper investigates the evolution of the peasant society. Once again, the traditional historiographical interpretations are by-passed. A continuous economic growth is enregistred from the emancipation act up to the oubreak of war. The rate of growth is related to the peasant family life-cycle, as well as to the peculiarities of labor and credit markets in Russia. As a consequence peasant unrests during the war and the revolution find a new explication. The ensuing evolution of the peasant family throughout the civil war throws a new light on the peculiar dynamics of the 20s and the final issue in the 30s. The last part of the paper clarifies the mutual links between the peasantry and the state and summarizes the global dynamics of the Russian system on the ground of the previous results.

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