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Diary

Peter Pomerantsev: Sistema, 5 December 2013

... about sistema but the first person to pay it attention and try to define it academically is Alena Ledeneva in her book Can Russia Modernise? Towards the end, a sistema player recounts a formative experience:* I was about 12 and went to a sports camp. My friends were fishing near the camp and wanted to cook fish soup on the fire, so I went to the ...

First Person

Tony Wood: Putin’s Russia, 5 February 2015

‘Sistema’, Power Networks and Informal Governance 
by Alena Ledeneva.
Cambridge, 327 pp., £19.99, February 2013, 978 0 521 12563 5
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The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin 
by Masha Gessen.
Granta, 314 pp., £9.99, January 2013, 978 1 84708 423 1
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Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia? 
by Karen Dawisha.
Simon and Schuster, 464 pp., £11.50, September 2014, 978 1 4767 9519 5
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... Arutunyan’s The Putin Mystique (2014) – as well as analyses by academics and think-tankers: Alena Ledeneva’s Can Russia Modernise?, Fiona Hill and Clifford Gaddy’s Mr Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2013) and Richard Sakwa’s Putin Redux (2014). New Year’s Eve 1999 – when Yeltsin appeared on Russian TV screens to announce his resignation ...

Russia’s Managed Democracy

Perry Anderson: Why Putin?, 25 January 2007

... have given us striking ethnographic descriptions of some of them. In How Russia Really Works, Alena Ledeneva, who teaches in London, takes us through the dense thicket of ‘informal’ practices – some entirely new, like kompromat, others a mutation of traditional forms, like krugovaya poruka – that have sprung up in ...

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