Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, School of Advanced International Relations and Area Studies, East China Normal University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2006
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Political Science, University of California / Los Angeles
Where Do the “Rules of the Game” Come From? State and Corporate Property Rights in Post-Privatization Russia

Mass privatization resulted in an extremely chaotic corporate property rights regime (CPRR) in Russia, where everyone seemed to prey on everyone else in the scramble for redistribution. However, since the late 1990s, there was an increasing demand for rule of law and public protection of property rights among Russian businessmen. Even the most notorious oligarchs are transforming themselves into proponents of investor protection and good corporate governance. Envisioning the process as a choice made solely by societal actors, three explanations claim that "end of privatization", or "insider consolidation", or "pressure from international capital" drove the transformation. In contrast, I offer a state-centric theory and argue that the change in CPRR is leading corporations' reaction to both their decreasing political influence over the state and the reassertion of state control in the Russian economy since the late 1990s. Moreover, rather than a general phenomenon, there are significant differences in the conflicts over three different dimensions of the CPRR: corporations' internal rules, formal public laws, and the implementation and interpretation of these rules. Agents involved in property rights conflicts always refer to certain aspect of these rules selectively so as to further their own agenda. The project will combine both quantitative and qualitative research strategies to adjudicate between rival hypotheses. Statistical analysis will be conducted to test the implications for all four hypotheses, while comparative case studies, detailed narratives with information collected through media study and interviews during my field research will be employed to further complete those causal mechanisms that cannot be fully established by quantitative studies.