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The Architecture of Illegal MarketsTowards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy$
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Jens Beckert and Matías Dewey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198794974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198794974.001.0001

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A Crooked Mirror

A Crooked Mirror

The Evolution of Illegal Alcohol Markets in Russia since the Late Socialist Period

Chapter:
(p.218) 12 A Crooked Mirror
Source:
The Architecture of Illegal Markets
Author(s):

Vadim Radaev

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198794974.003.0012

The study examines the evolution of heterogeneous illegal markets, including markets for homemade alcohol, counterfeit alcohol, and illegally manufactured alcohol in Russia. A variety of statistical sources and survey data is used to demonstrate that the compositions of these markets have come through four different stages since late socialism, depending on the constellation of political, legislative, and economic factors. At each stage, some of these markets prevail, whereas others remain undeveloped. Overall, illegal alcohol markets tend to grow in periods of exogenous political or economic shocks and shrink in periods of economic growth. Changes in the structure of illegal markets are backed by a continuous requalification of products, organizations, and transactions contesting the boundaries between legality and illegality. Some illegal activities retain their legitimacy due to the ignorance or tolerance of enforcement agencies and final consumers.

Keywords:   economic sociology, consumer markets, illegal markets, alcohol consumption, legality and legitimacy, Russia

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