Cover Osteuropa 5-6/2013

In Osteuropa 5-6/2013

From Privatized State to Nationalized Market?
Property in the Soviet Union and Russia

Roland Götz

Deutsche Fassung


In the Soviet Union, there was a hierarchically structured planned economy with state ownership only on paper. There was also an extensive underground economy and informal networks of relationships. However, the “red managers” had not appropriated the enterprises they ran. Only during Perestroika did the privatisation of state property get underway. In most cases, state property fell to enterprise insiders. In the early 1990s, the entire population was to be made owners of the enterprises by means of voucher privatization. But, again, the privileged with their good contacts to the bureaucracy asserted themselves. The representatives of large capital groups, who became infamously known as “oligarchs”, bought into large enterprise at bargain prices. State property was rapidly and extensively distributed, albeit extremely unequally. Only in the energy and defence sectors was privatization stopped. The full protection of private property is still pending, because the country’s power structure persecutes many small and medium enterprises with false allegations.

(Osteuropa 5-6/2013, pp. 315–332)