Working Paper 189

Resources and Their Re/valuation in Times of Political-Economic Reform


Deema Kaneff

Abteilung ‚Resilienz und Transformation in Eurasien’

Jahr der Veröffentlichung


Working Paper 189

Resources are essential building blocks of society. All societies need resources of a wide kind and have mechanisms for their allocation, distribution, management, use and exchange. Resources are also at the centre of social struggles and to this extent particularly instructive when exploring the theme of social change in the context of postsocialist Europe. In this paper my aim is to contribute to a conceptualisation of resources in two ways: first, by advocating a return to a pre-WW2 position that considers natural resources alongside social resources; and second, to explore the re/valuation of resources through use and exchange. My focus on these two themes is driven by a concern to explain on-going tensions in a rural community in Ukraine during the last two decades. This paper is not an ethnographic account of these processes (although examples are drawn from the ethnography); rather, it is an attempt to highlight the analytical importance of resource re/valuation in understanding social change. Further, such a focus enables a better understanding of aspects of the reforms, often masked under terminology of ‘privatisation’.

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