Old Habits Die Hard? Communist-era Social Ties in Post-Communist Romania

Date: 
September 20, 2012 - 15:30 - 17:00
Building: 
Nador u. 9, Faculty Tower
Room: 
FT809
Event type: 
Event audience: 
Presenter(s): 
Catalin Augustin Stoica (NSPAS and CURS, Romania)
CEU host unit(s): 
Department of Political Science
Studies of communist societies have drawn attention to the pervasiveness of specific social ties, which intermingled with larger social structures and contributed to the very existence and survival of state socialist regimes. Terms like “blat” (in Russian), “guanxi” (in Chinese), “relatii” or “pile” (props or files, in Romanian) were employed to denote such communist-era social ties, which owed their very existence to conditions of shortages and a state-sanctioned system of privileges. Some scholars have claimed that the importance of communist-era ties such as “blat” or “relations” will decrease during transition. Others have provided evidence that the importance of such ties has increased in post-communism. Using recent survey data from a nationally representative sample of respondents aged 25 years and over, I examine the types of social ties that have survived communism in Romania.
Short bio: Catalin Augustin Stoica is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Bucharest, Romania, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Political Sciences, the National School for Political and Administrative Studies (Romania). He also is the General Manager of the Center for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS), a private Romanian firm for social and market research with over 15 years of experience in the field. Catalin got his Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University (2005) and is a CEU alumnus (MA in Sociology). His research interests center on communist and post-communist society, survey methods, stratification and inequality, economic sociology.Studies of communist societies have drawn attention to the pervasiveness of specific social ties, which intermingled with larger social structures and contributed to the very existence and survival of state socialist regimes. Terms like “blat” (in Russian), “guanxi” (in Chinese), “relatii” or “pile” (props or files, in Romanian) were employed to denote such communist-era social ties, which owed their very existence to conditions of shortages and a state-sanctioned system of privileges. Some scholars have claimed that the importance of communist-era ties such as “blat” or “relations” will decrease during transition. Others have provided evidence that the importance of such ties has increased in post-communism. Using recent survey data from a nationally representative sample of respondents aged 25 years and over, I examine the types of social ties that have survived communism in Romania.

Studies of communist societies have drawn attention to the pervasiveness of specific social ties, which intermingled with larger social structures and contributed to the very existence and survival of state socialist regimes. Terms like “blat” (in Russian), “guanxi” (in Chinese), “relatii” or “pile” (props or files, in Romanian) were employed to denote such communist-era social ties, which owed their very existence to conditions of shortages and a state-sanctioned system of privileges. Some scholars have claimed that the importance of communist-era ties such as “blat” or “relations” will decrease during transition. Others have provided evidence that the importance of such ties has increased in post-communism. Using recent survey data from a nationally representative sample of respondents aged 25 years and over, I examine the types of social ties that have survived communism in Romania. 

Short bio: Catalin Augustin Stoica is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Bucharest, Romania, and an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Faculty of Political Sciences, the National School for Political and Administrative Studies (Romania). He also is the General Manager of the Center for Urban and Regional Sociology (CURS), a private Romanian firm for social and market research with over 15 years of experience in the field. Catalin got his Ph.D. in Sociology at Stanford University (2005) and is a CEU alumnus (MA in Sociology). His research interests center on communist and post-communist society, survey methods, stratification and inequality, economic sociology.