Post-Soviet informality: towards theory-building

Huseyn Aliyev (Department of Politics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 7 April 2015



The purpose of this paper is to suggest that informal practices and institutions of post-Soviet countries differ from informality in other post-socialist regions and, therefore, proposes categorizing it as “post-Soviet informality” – a composite definition that extends beyond the concept of “informal economy” and encompasses, along with economic activities, social and political spheres.


The arguments of the paper are based on a comprehensive analysis of secondary sources.


This paper shows that, owing to the effects of antecedent regime’s legacies and the problems of post-communist transition, for the proper analysis of informality in post-Soviet countries it needs to be based on an own concept.


This study, in contrast to the existing literature on informality in post-communist spaces, specifically focuses on the informal sphere of post-Soviet countries, suggesting that the informal institutions and practices thriving across the vast post-Soviet space not only differ from the informal spheres elsewhere in the world, but also from informality in other post-communist regions.



Aliyev, H. (2015), "Post-Soviet informality: towards theory-building", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 35 No. 3/4, pp. 182-198.

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