The Power of Horizontal

Special Report: Neither War nor Peace
Law, Force, and Information in the Implementation of Legal Decisions in Russia
By Gilles Favarel-Garrigues

The role of violent entrepreneurs in the making of Russian capitalism is well documented ; yet, its evolution during the 2000s is far less known. Though a trend towards the legalization of conflicts has been observed since the late 1990s, does this mean that violence is less or no longer used ? This paper deals with the way law and force are used and articulated when solving economic conflicts, by focusing on the execution of decisions by commercial courts during the late 2000s. The analysis of the work of bailiffs in Yekaterinburg shows that they collaborate with private firms staffed with former law-enforcement agents. Known as debt-collection agencies, these private firms contribute to the development of new forms of governmentality in Russia, in the shadow of governmental efforts to build a “power vertical”.

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