Informations and abstract
The present essays, rejecting the simplified narrative of the transition from "plan" to "market" which underpinned "shock therapy" reforms models proposed by Western economists, conceptualises the institutional changes under way in Russian economy as a process of transformation whose results are initially indeterminate and proposes a preliminary exploration of which such results could be. In particular, applying the perspective of the social and political embeddedness of economic action, the authors analyses the process of conglomeration between financial, commercial and industrial capital currently underway in post-Soviet Russia and which has given birth to new economic institutions called in Russia "Financial-Industrial Groups" (henceforth FIG). Using the empirical material coming from previous and ongoing research on Russian economic elite and institution, the essay shows how FIG have originated since 1992 thanks to the "institution-builder" role played by "old" and "new" economic elites with results in contradiction with the official goals declared by radical pro-market reformers. On the there hand, it is shown that since 1994 the government has abandoned the ideology of free market and looks more favourable towards the role of both big conglomerates and the state as the relevant actors of the economy. The hypothesis presented is that through the current process of change Russian economy will be transformed from an ideological and actually non governed planned economy to a market system where however the presence and control of the state will remain substantial but indirect and not ideological using precisely big conglomerates as the institutional mechanism of governance.