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The other road to serfdom: the rise of the rentier class in post-Soviet economies

Sanghera, Balihar, Satybaldieva, Elmira (2020) The other road to serfdom: the rise of the rentier class in post-Soviet economies. Social Science Information, 59 (3). pp. 505-536. ISSN 0539-0184. (doi:10.1177/0539018420943077) (KAR id:81371)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/10.1177/0539018420943077

Abstract

This article offers a moral economic critique of the transition to a market economy in the post-Soviet space. In a reversal of the classical ideal of a ‘free market’ (a market free from land rent, monopoly rent and interest), neoliberalism celebrates and promotes rent extraction, sometimes over wealth creation (Hudson 2017). In freeing markets from government regulation, neoliberalism enables powerful economic actors to extract income by mere virtue of property rights that entitle them to a stream of income from their ownership and control of scarce assets (Sayer 2015). Neoliberalism has created and expanded the role of rent and unearned income in post-Soviet economies (Mihalyi and Szelenyi 2017). The article will show the diversity and significance of rent in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan that go beyond natural resources and illicit public and private rent-seeking. Using three case studies on finance, real estate and the judiciary in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, this article will examine how property relations, rentier activities and unearned income have been morally justified and normalised. Despite its moral legitimation, rentiership has been harmful and damaging. It has produced social inequalities and suffering, and has resulted in plutocracy and corruption.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0539018420943077
Uncontrolled keywords: moral economy, neoliberalism, rentier, unearned income, post-socialism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Utopias. Anarchism
J Political Science
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions and public administrations (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Balihar Sanghera
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 09:54 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2021 09:17 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/81371 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Sanghera, Balihar: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9920-7375
Satybaldieva, Elmira: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4451-3030
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