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Taking account of accountability: academics, transition economics, and Russia

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The performativity of ideas implies accountability: to what extent are academics who create ideas responsible for the consequences? The authors assess academic accountability by analyzing three domains (academics, international financial institutions, and Russian policy makers) in the case of transition economics and Russian mass privatization. Through a citation analysis, they observe a cohesive economics community and an established international policy channel by which ideas are enacted. However, the chronology of events indicates that the academic ideas surrounding Russian mass privatization were strongly shaped by political considerations. A content analysis of World Bank field documents show that pragmatic policies gave away to an endorsement of mass privatization promoted by one set of reformers in Russia. Events legitimatized economics and economists, as much as economics legitimized policy. At the end, legal and political institutions enacted accountability, whereas academic accountability was lacking. The authors ask why.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://flora.insead.edu/fichiersti_wp/inseadwp2005/2005-62.pdf

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Copyright INSEAD. All rights reserved