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The Emergence of the Muscovite Model (Service State)

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  • severe backwardness places a serious constraint on the ability of the state to face external threats
  • as a result, forced resource extraction is introduced, including serfdom and the suppression of all rights for the boyars, as a way of surmounting the constraint of poverty
  • the state becomes the only engine of growth
  • the role of the Orthodox Church as a provider of ideology that rationalises the demand for major sacrifices

Durable Principles of the Muscovite Institutional Matrix

  • unaccountable government (autocracy)
  • a suppression of rights to private property (to enable the autocrat to mobilise resources at will); conditional property rights
  • the tradition of law serving as an instrument in the hands of those in power (the state is not willing to assume the role and responsibility of an impartial third party enforcer)
  • rent granting by the autocrat (would-be entrepreneurs are reduced to playing influence games at and around the court)
  • the introduction of an ideology to underpin the state (driving home to the faithful that autocracy was pleasing to God and that subordination to the autocrat was hence a religious duty)
  • the state (the autocracy) was the only force that could initiate change or focus economic activity
  • development through forced extraction of resources from above (as distinct from market-driven entrepreneurship)
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