‘Russian merchant’ legacies in post-Soviet trade with China: Moral economy, economic success and business innovation in Yiwu

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

This article focuses on Russian traders operating in China, particularly in Yiwu, the major commercial hub for the ‘small commodity’ trade, and explores the idea of the ‘Russian merchant’ prevalent in Russia today. Rather than examining the new commercial culture from the perspective of global neoliberalism, it deals with Russia’s pre-Soviet merchant estate (soslovie) and its present-day political-ideological evocations. While there is no direct cultural-professional continuity between pre-Soviet and post-Soviet merchants, some similarities have come to the fore and have been encouraged by the state and the Church. This is due to the promotion of a particular moral economy wherein the ‘Russian merchant’ figures as a positive category. Using a case study of a Russian trader in Yiwu, the article illustrates the new ways in which mistrust as well as ‘traditional’ merchant attributes such as patriotism and patriarchal authority, have been harnessed to create a successful Russian transnational business.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHistory and Anthropology
Issue numbersup.1
Pages (from-to)S48-S66
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and www.ku.dk

No data available

ID: 204160855