Deformalization of Rules:
Cause or Consequence of Institutional Traps?
The article contains analysis of the sources and mechanisms of deformalization of rules in post-Soviet Russia, as well as theoretical discussion of the question of relationship between deformalization of rules and institutional traps. On making analysis of the Russian instance, the author comes to the conclusion that it is incoordination between citizens’ milieux needs and the institutional structure intended for satisfying them that underlies the phenomenon of deformalization. Need for independently organized day-to-day life milieu regulated by unambiguous norms clear to citizens, contradicts dependence of this milieu on formal institutions making use of their commission for arbitrary regulation of civil rights. According to the author’s conclusion, the competitive mode of interaction between formal and informal institutions is today entirely determined by the patrimonial supremacy/subjection system which, while not being legal, remains legitimate in view of the high effectiveness of personal connections as an instrument of defending the rights declared by the RF Constitution and of obviating conflicts with the powers that be. Devaluation of practical significance of the norm of general reciprocity in the performance of public roles stimulates expansion of informal connections into the macro-milieu. The function of these latter consists in eliminating or lessening unilateral institutional dependence of Russians’ various micro-practices, which is conducive to the stabilization of the fragmentarily institutionalized and thus inefficient societal order.
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