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Informality in Eastern Europe

Structures, Political Cultures and Social Practices


Christian Giordano and Nicolas Hayoz

This volume deals with different aspects of informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe. Its objectives are twofold. It aims at discovering whether or to what extent informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe have meanings, functions, forms and effects different from those that can be observed in the politics and societies of Western Europe. The authors of this volume – most of them are from the region – have been invited to discuss the scientific relevance of the distinction informal / formal in their respective field of research or discipline. This points to the second objective of this volume which is to encourage a more fruitful interaction between disciplines that often disregard each other and which, despite inevitable and essential epistemological differences, have significant shared interests such as the comparative analysis of political phenomena in terms of elementary forms of social organization. The relation between informality and formality in a more methodologically pluralist and ultimately holistic way can be analysed via regards croisés between the disciplines anthropology, political science and sociology. This allows the extension of this comparative and multidisciplinary approach to other themes and phenomena of mutual interests.
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Notes on Contributors


Maximos Aligisakis is Associate Professor at the European Institute, Geneva University and at the Department of Social Sciences, Fribourg University. His current research interests are the sociological aspects and intercultural relations associated with European integration, and political theory and comparison.

Adem Beha is Director of Programmes at the Kosovo Institute of Peace and a lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Prishtina. His research interests include conflict transformation, human security, state building and peace building, minority rights, and sustainable development. His academic work has been published in the following academic journals: Human Security Perspectives, Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, Journal on Peace, Conflict and Development, and Journal of Conflict Transformation and Security.

Tanya Chavdarova has been a professor in economic sociology at the Department of Sociology, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski” since 1994. Her research interests include the informal economy, small businesses and entrepreneurship in the postcommunist era, and theoretical developments in economic sociology. Recent publications include a chapter on informal self-employment and the perception of risk by urban youth in Sofia in Labour and Sustainable Development: North-South Perspectives edited by F. Garibaldo and Y. Dinghong (2012); Markets as Networks, edited jointly with P. Slavova and S. Stoeva (2010), and a chapter in Mobilität und Mobilisierung: Arbeit im sozioökonomischen, politischen und kulturellen Wandel edited by I. Götz et al. (2010).

Elena Denisova-Schmidt is a Russian scholar with professional experience in Russian industry. She has...

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