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On the web since fall 2000

Journal of Economic Sociology is indexed by Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) from Web of Science™ Core Collection

Funded by the National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2007.

2014. Vol. 15. No. 4

Full text of the journal

Vadim Radaev
Editor’s Foreword
P. 9–10


Arne Kalleberg

Growing Job Insecurity and Inequality between Good Jobs and Bad Jobs: An Interview with Arne Kalleberg

P. 11–19

New Texts

Svetlana Barsukova, Anastasia Korobkova

Russia’s Accession to the WTO in the Mirror of Russian Print Media

P. 20–44

The debate about the risks and potential gains from WTO accession for Russia has been going on for a long time, both in the mass media and in the scientific community. Politicians, businessmen and experts community expressed their opinion on this issue active and emotionally. Each of these parties expected different effects from Russia’s entering to the WTO and used different arguments in the debate. The method of our study is content analysis of articles in the leading Russian periodical publications.
In this paper we analyze the dynamics of the intensity of the debate on this issue and make an assumption about the possible causes of these fluctuations. We showed that the intensity of the debate on this issue depended on various factors such as the passage of diverse stages of the negotiations, the interests of supporters and opponents of joining the WTO, the presence of competing (more interesting for the mass media and the people) topics.
We pay particular attention to the arguments of discussion and analyze the main points of proponents and opponents of entering the WTO. We consider the basis of their arguments: on the terms of Russia’s accession to this organization or on the fact of entering. Proceeding from this, it is concluded that there are weighty arguments or that they are abstract and theoretical. We also consider the differences in the arguments used by businessmen, politicians, experts and journalists.
If we look at the dynamic aspect, it should be noted that in the period after the entry debate has become less emotional. There was also a decline in optimism about the prospects of membership in the organization. In part, this may be due to decreased activity of politicians as participants of discussions, which were the most active supporters of accession to the WTO.

Beyond Borders

Pascal Salin

Returning to Capitalism in order to Escape Crises (an excerpt)

P. 45–52

In the book “Returning to Capitalism in order to Escape Crises” (“Revenir au capitalisme pour éviter les crises”) P. Salin, professor of Economics at University Paris-Douphine, provides his analysis of the 2007–2009 financial crisis with the purpose to develop general conceptualization of financial and economic crises. The author aims to convince the readers that economists have all necessary and reliable theoretical tools to deal with economic crises in the contemporary world. His main argument is that the state interventionism brought out the financial crisis. That’s why a solution should be sought in the proper functioning of markets.
Journal of Economic Sociology publishes the book’s “Conclusion. What is ‘moral’?” It discusses a breach of moral principles resulting in crises of capitalistic systems. For better understanding this, Salin considers different types of ethics, discusses issues of morality of capitalism per se, and conceptualizes whether it is adequate to claim that the 2007–2009 financial crisis was rooted into ethical one. In addition, the author concludes that the state interventionism appears to be the main resource for amorality.

Professional Reviews

Anna Almakaeva, Veronika Kostenko

Portability of Pension Rights in the EurAsEC Countries and the European Union

P. 53–67

National pension systems in EurAsEC countries differ significantly in their structure, pension age and social taxes. At the same time, dramatically increasing migration flows raise the issue of proper coordination of various schemes and portability of pension rights. The current study gives an overview of the existing law regulations and identifies two major schemes of portability — geographical and proportional. Geographical portability established in 1992 calculates the pension provision according to the laws of the country of residence. It prevails in EurAsEC and regulates the relations between Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It does rather poor taking into account unequal migration flows, multi-pillar and heterogeneous pension systems. Proportional portability established in 2007 regulates the relation between Russia and Belorussia and calculates pension provision according to the laws of the country where a pensioner worked. It has been used in the European Union for decades and ensures effectively from labor mobility loses. The study puts a strong argument in favor of proportional system and emphasizes the need of expanding its regulatory power for all EurAsEC countries.


XVI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, Moscow, Russia, April 7−10, 2015

P. 68–70

Supplements (in English)

Arne Kalleberg

Growing Job Insecurity and Inequality between Good Jobs and Bad Jobs: An Interview with Arne Kalleberg

P. 71–75

Arne Kalleberg was interviewed by Tatiana Karabchuk and Andrey Shevchuk, senior fellows at the Higher School of Economics. This interview was conducted during the international conference “Embeddedness and Beyond: Do Sociological Theories Meet Economic Realities?” (Moscow, 25–28 October 2012), where Prof. Kalleberg presented his new research “The Growth of Precarious Work: A Challenge for Economic Sociology”.
In the interview Arne Kalleberg clarified the difference between job security and job stability and explained why it is better to draw a distinction between job security and employment security instead. Additionally, Prof. Kalleberg accounted for the growth of nonstandard employment and put this concept into historical context. Prof. Kalleberg stressed consequences of this tendency for both individuals and organizations. As a contribution to existing theoretical debate on this theme, Prof. Kalleberg suggested his own notion of “flexicurity”. Flexicurity is a meta-policy, combining greater flexibility for employers and protections for workers.
Moreover, Prof. Kalleberg discussed his recent book “Good Jobs, Bad Jobs”, which addresses the problem of growing inequality and polarization in both economic and non-economic job characteristics. Prof. Kalleberg also shared with us his future research plans. His next research direction deals with the idea of precarious work and focuses on international comparisons. Finally, Prof. Kalleberg recommended some of the most relevant and interesting books in this research field.

Olga Gurova

Institutionalization of the Sociology of Consumption in Russia

P. 76–106

This article explores the process by which a subfield of sociology, the sociology of consumption, became institutionalized in Russia. By “institutionalization” is meant the process of its establishment as an autonomous field of scientific knowledge, university-level discipline and academic community of scholars. Drawing on data from document analysis and expert interviews, the article reviews the evolution of the sociology of consumption— its topics, methodologies and approaches — in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. We look at its emergence and functioning as a subject in university curricula and the formation of a community of scholars self-identifying as belonging to this field. The main observations are the following: while the institutionalization of the sociology of consumption accelerated in the 1990s, its origins can be traced to the beginning of the 20th century. The subfield continues to be in the process of formation in Russia. Currently, two major approaches can be discerned: the socio-economic and socio-cultural approaches. Since the 1990’s, Sociology of Consumption was included in university curricula as an elective course for students preparing themselves for a professional career in sociology. On one hand, this provoked a certain standardization. At the same time, scholars in Russia remain free to manipulate the content of a particular course. In terms of community, the experts we interviewed noted the lack of a “strong promoter” or “charismatic leader” but emphasized the existence of “growing points,” namely, places across the country where scholars at various universities play a particularly key role in developing the subfield and contributing to its further institutionalization.

Alexander Kurakin

Explaining Economic Growth in China: Testing Sociological Tools for Validity. Book Review: Nee V., Opper S. (2012) Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

P. 107–114

Today it makes little sense to ask why social scholars would be interested in China’s economy insofar as the answer is obvious. The growth rate of the Chinese economy and the duration of its growth period are stunning. It is likely that in the near future China will outrun the US in terms of GDP and will become the largest economy in the world. Moreover, China has made huge progress in GDP per capita. But this is not the only reason to be interested in China. Notably, the communist party is still in power there, and by the standards of Western democracies, China remains an authoritarian state. Taken together, these characteristics form a paradox: How could communists produce such huge economic growth? The recent history of socialist countries seems to show that this is impossible. Although the Soviet Union sometimes demonstrated rapid growth, it could not sustain the pace in the long run. In the Chinese case, we face a more fundamental phenomenon than just the mobilization of a country to achieve vital objectives (usually with high costs).
"Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China" by Victor Nee and Sonja Opper suggests the answer to this question.

Lili Di Puppo

The International Summer School on “The Role of Informality in Socio-Economic Transition Environments”

P. 115–117

The International Summer School on “The Role of Informality in Socio-Economic Transition Environments”, organized by the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE) in cooperation with Freie Universität (FU) Berlin, was held from 30 June to 6 July, 2014 at the Moscow campus of HSE. The Summer School brought together 20 students from both of the sponsoring institutions, as well as from other European universities, around a rich programme of lectures given by HSE and FU Berlin faculty. The lectures covered various aspects of informality such as informal entrepreneurial activity, corruption in transition societies, informal political action and social networks, as well as methods for their study, ranging from ethnographic methods to lab experiments on police corruption. The students were organized into three working groups to study informality in more depth. Each working group focused on one of the following topics: corruption in (higher) education, informality in the labor market and violent pressure on businesses. The working groups met with experts at HSE Moscow research centers, and at the conclusion of the Summer School made a presentation of their findings. The Summer School shows how a rich research agenda can emerge from bringing together perspectives from Russia and Germany as well as other West European countries on the field of informality.

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