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Globalization in Russia: The challenge of the transition to the world economy

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  1. From transition to crisis: the difficult adaptation to the global economy
    1. The evolution of Russian economy in the 1990s
    2. The 1998 financial crisis and the ambiguous role of the IMF: how globalisation failed in Russia
    3. Globalisation's costs
  2. The post-crisis growth : how globalisation is building Russian power
    1. Russia's economic transformation
    2. Moscow, the birth of a global city
    3. Russian success in the world economy
  3. Current Russian ambiguities as regards globalisation
    1. From WTO to Gazprom monopoly : Russia's contradictory globalization path
    2. Russian inclination to anti-globalisation populism
    3. The shadow of Russian globalisation fears
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

Fifteen years ago, the Soviet Union was a socialist authoritative country, tightly isolated from capitalist countries. Nowadays, its direct heir, Russia, is one of the most quickly growing markets of the world, strongly open on the global economy. During the 1990s, Russia underwent an extraordinary transformation from a communist dictatorship to a multi-party democracy, from a centrally planned system to a market economy, and from a belligerent enemy of the West to a cooperative partner. This change was as unexpected as exceptional: two decades ago, only an idealist would have imagined the ?evil empire? to transform so quickly and peacefully into a democratic and capitalist ally of the West. The unprecedented nature of this switch raises the question of the role of globalisation in Russian transition to market economy. The process of globalisation can be understood as the interplay of technological, economic, and political changes, leading to new patterns of trade and investment in the world. As the British-born sociologist Michael Mann puts it, ?the term of ?globalisation' refers to the extension of social and economic relations over the globe?. The whole planet becomes embroiled in a single set of social and economic relations. How globalisation fastened the transformation of Russian economic system? What have been the consequences of this process? What relationship has Russia today with global economy? These are the main issues of this study. After sixty years of self-sustaining socialism, the Russian entry to this global phenomenon was doubtlessly difficult. The post communist transition transformed not only the country's economic and political systems but also the state-society articulation at large. If the disappointing economic results of the first decade of transformation are often understood as results of Russia's opening in the context of globalisation, it also seems that it is globalisation itself which enabled the Russian recent growth. Beyond this debate, the current Russian position as regards the global system has also raised to a major issue.

[...] The first decade of reform saw the nation losing 54 percent of is gross domestic product and 60 percent of its industrial capacity, more than twice the loss that the USSR suffered in World War II. Moreover, it will take Russia's economy at least a decade to get back to where it was when communism collapsed. Russia has been integrated into global capitalism as a kind of neo-colony, producing cheap fuels and raw materials and importing manufactured goods and foodstuffs while domestic production languished, unable to compete with its archaic technology. [...]

[...] The 1998 financial crisis witnessed the difficulty of the integration to the world economy after seven decades of self-sufficiency. But this crisis also enabled to clear Russian economy from its growing pains. Some globalisation effects like international trade and especially the high demand of raw materials on the world market gave the opportunity to Russia to build a strong growth. Since this reversal, Russian participation in globalisation is deepening at an impressive rate. Its recent accession to WTO, the active Russian invests abroad, and its new role of major international energy supply let imagine that Russian role on the international scene is set to grow significantly. [...]

[...] Russia, in contrast, does not allow foreign companies access to its vast network of pipelines and has refused to ratify the EU's energy charter, which, if implemented, would create some degree of reciprocity in the energy market between Europe and Russia. This ambiguous position underlines the limits of Russian good will in integrating global economy. Russian inclination to anti-globalisation populism Some controversial positions backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin show his equivocal feeling toward globalisation. Actually,some Russian policies have sought to wrestle power from multinational corporations, multilateral institutions, and the global economic system they promote. [...]

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