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Publication Detail
Introduction: Gaps between Formal and Informal Practices in Southeast European States
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Gordy E
  • Publisher:
    Institute of Russian Studies (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    3, 7
  • Journal:
    Region: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Article number:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
The analyses in this selection shed light on some of the central characteristics of informality in Southeast Europe, while also intersecting with some basic theoretical discussions in the study of informality generally. Some of the central characteristics of Southeast European states that make them especially interesting as sites for the study of informality include: frequently low levels of institutional density, repeated experience of "fundamental" structural change inspired from outside and imposed from above, and complex interaction between formal institutions that are consolidated to varying degrees and requirements for reform generated through external processes (in particular, through pursuit of the goal of integration with the European Union). It might be said that these states are seeking, and partially succeeding, in establishing democratic systems, having emerged from a period in which they pursued, with partial success, the establishment of socialist systems. The gaps left by ambitious efforts to construct society-transforming political systems left ample space for the development of compensatory informal practices, some of which developed into stable forms of corruption, while others made it possible for everyday needs to be met in dysfunctional institutional environments. Additionally, as some of the states of the region are new states which have recently experienced violent conflict, the issues of institutional functionality and trust in institutions become more prominent.
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