The State as Investment Market: A Framework for Interpreting the Post-Soviet State in Eurasia



What type of state has emerged in post-Soviet Eurasia, and what kind of theoretical framework can help us understand its behavior and performance? This article argues that we can usefully understand the logic of political and administrative organization in terms of a kind of “investment market.” Access to the state is frequently determined by actual financial payment. Would-be officials invest in offices to obtain access to a stream of income associated with an office. This framework represents a novel perspective on the post-Soviet state, which has hitherto either been premised on modernization theory or emphasized a robustly personalistic logic of political organization.