Russia's Economy: Still at a Crossroads. Review of: Vercueil J. Économie politique de la Russie. 1918–2018. P.: Le Seuil (coll. Points économie), 2018. 432 p.

Semeko G.V.


The author reviews a monograph by a French scientist, an expert in the economy of Russia and post-Soviet states, which presents a large-scale retrospective of the transformation of the Russian economy over a hundred years – from the revolution of 1917 to the period of the fourth presidential mandate of Vladimir Putin. The analysis highlights the principles of the Soviet economy, the contradictions and problems that caused its inefficiency, and, ultimately, led to market reforms. The author believes that the Soviet heritage still affects the Russian economy and is the cause of many problems and imbalances. The book critically assesses the transition to capitalism carried out by means of the shock therapy method, identifies the drivers of growth during the «brilliant decade» (1999–2008) and the causes and consequences of the crises of 2008 and 2014–2016. The author sees the main structural weakness of today’s Russian economy in the dominance of the oil and gas sector, which is characterized by a high dependence on the world commodity market. Taking into account the slowdown in economic dynamics and the accumulation of structural problems in the Russian economy over the last decade, the author describes it as «a period of Russia's retreat in economic and social terms».


Russia; socialist economy; market economy; transformational transition; shock therapy; economic growth rates; economic structure; commodity dependence; external shocks; stagnation.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.04.15

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