Vadim Volkov

Rector, Head of the Research Institute for the Rule of Law
Academic degree:
Ph.D. in Sociology

Vadim Volkov at Google.Scholar


Courses Taught:



  • Received his PhD in sociology from Cambridge University in 1995 and his Doctor of Sciences degree in Sociology, specializing in economic sociology, in 2005. 
  • Taught as a visiting professor at the University of Chicago and UC Berkeley. Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin).
  • In 2006-2008, as Director of the “Technology of Development” Foundation, he conducted research and consulting projects on the development of Russian regions 
  • As dean and organizer, he participated in the creation of two departments: the EUSP Department of Political Sciences and Sociology (1995) and the Department of Sociology at the Higher School of Economics, SPb (2002). 
  • Presented at the Senate Readings in the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation with the report “Sudeiskoe soobshchestvo i sudebnaia vlast’ v Rossii: sotsiologicheskii analiz [The Judicial Community and Judicial Power in Russia: A Sociological Analysis]” (2011). 
  • Gave a public lecture at the “Transformations in the Russian Government after 2000” (2009).
  • Appeared on the list of the ten most influential sociologists and economists in Russia from 2000-2010 (“Russkii reporter”).
  • The most-cited Russian sociologist in foreign language publications according to the Web of Science (2003-2008). 
  • Author of various articles in the following journals: “Sotsiologicheskii zhurnal”, “Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya,” “Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial’noi antropologii”, “Voprosi Ekonomiki,” “Pro et Contra,” “Sotsiologicheskoe obozrenie,” “Demokratizatsiya,” Review of Central and East European Law,” “Europe-Asia Studies,” “Social Research,” “Politics and Society,” etc. 
  • Author of the “Vedomosti” column Extra Jus,
  • Author of the books “Silovoe predprinimatel’stvo [Violent Entrepreneurs]” (2002, 2005, 2012) and “Teoria praktik [Theory of Practice]” (2008). Academic editor of the following books from the Extra Jus series: “Pravo i primenenie v Rossii: mezhdistsiplinarnye issledovania [Law and Enforcement in Russia: Interdisciplinary Studies]” (2011) and “Kak sud’i prinimaiut resheniya: empiricheskie issledovaniya prava [How Courts Make Decisions: Empirical Studies of Law]” (2012).
  • The book “Silovoe predprinimatel’stvo XXI vek [Violent Entrepreneurs of the 21st Century]” was chosen by as one of the best examples of non-fiction work from 2011 (“Greatest Hits 2011”).
  • Cited in an interview with filmmaker David Cronenburg in which the director tells the story of making the film “Eastern Promises”:


“When we launched this project, I had read Vadim Volkov’s book “Violent Entrepreneurs.” A somewhat dry sociological analysis of Russia’s economic development after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the point is intriguing. In the smoldering ruins of communism, a ruthless, malicious, and aggressive form of capitalism arose. Here you start to better understand Marx, the ancestral ties of the initial phase of capitalism to criminal business". (Journal "Itogi", 2007)


Research interests: economic sociology, problems of government and violence, public and private security, comparative mafia studies


Selected Publications:

In Russian:

  • 2018 Gosudarstvo ili tsena poryadka [State or Price of Order], EUSP Press, 2018
  • 2008 Teoria praktik [Theory of Practice], EUSP Press, 2008 (co-authored with Oleg Kharkhordin).
  • 2002 Silovoe predprinimatel’stvo [Violent Entrepreneurs]. Moscow: Letnii sad, 2002 (first edition).
  • 2017 «Empiricheskaya sotsiologiya prrava v usloviyakh mezhdisciplinarnogo sinteza» [Empirical Sociology Of Law in Interdisciplinary Synthesis] // Sotsiologicheskie issledovanya 2017, № 4, P. 34-42
  • 2015 (co-authored with Arina Dmitrieva) Istochniki rekrutirovania, gender, i professional’nye subkul’tury v rossiiskoi sudebnoi sisteme [Recruitment Sources, Gender, and Professional Subcultures in the Russian Judicial System] // Sotsiologia vlasti, 2015, vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 94-134.
  • 2014 Vliyanie sotsial’nogo statusa podsudimogo na reshenie suda [The Influence of a Defendant’s Social Status on Court Ruling] // Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsial’noi antropologii, No. 4, pp. 62-85.
  • 2012 Rossiiskie sud’i kak professional’naya gruppa: sotsiologicheskoe issledovanie [Russian Judges as a Professional Group: Sociological Research]. SPB: Institute for the Rule of Law (co-authored with A. Dmitrieva, M. Pozdnyakov, and K. Titaev).
  • 2012 Kak sud’i prinimaiut resheniya: empiricheskie issledovaniya prava [How Judges Make Decisions: Empirical Studies of Law] / Ed. V. V. Volkov. Moscow: Statut, (“EXTRA JUS” Series).
  • 2011 Pravo i pravoprimenenie v Rossii: mezhdistsiplinarnye issledovania [Law and Law Enforcement in Russia: Interdisciplinary Studies] / Ed. V. V. Volkov. Moscow: Statut, (“EXTRA JUS” Series).
  • 2009Slova i postupki [Words and Deeds], Sotsiologicheskoe obozrenie, volume 8 (1).

In English:

  • 2016 “Legal and Extralegal Origins of Sentencing Disparities: Evidence from Russia's Criminal Courts.” Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, 2016, Vol. 13, Issue 4, P. 637-665. 
  • 2015 (in co-authorship with Aryna Dzmitryieva) “Recruitment patterns, gender, and professional subcultures of the judiciary in Russia.” International Journal of the Legal Profession. Vol.22. Issue 1, 2015. P. 1-27. 
  • 2008 Standard Oil and Yukos in the Contex of the Early Capitalism in USA and Russia. Demokratizatsiya, vol.16, No 3, p. 240-264.
  • 2004 The Selective Use of State Capacity in Russia's Economy: Property Disputes and Enterprise Takeovers, 1998-2002, in: Janos Kornai, Bo Rothstein, and Susan Rose-Ackerman, eds., Creating Social Trust: Problems of Post-Socialist Transition--II, New York: Palgrave.
  • 2004 Hostile Enterprise Takeovers: Russia’s Economy in 1998-2002. Review of Central and East European Law, No 4, p. 527-548.
  • 2002 Violent Entrepreneurs: The Use of Force in the Making of Russian Capitalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  • 2002 Security and Enforcement as Private Business: The Conversion of Russia's Power Ministries and Its Institutional Consequences. In V. Bonnell and T. Gold (Eds), The New Entrepreneurs of Europe and Asia, New York: M.E. Sharpe, pp. 83-103.
  • 2000 The Political Economy of Protection Rackets in the Past and the Present. Social Research, Vol. 67, # 3, pp. 709-744.
  • 2000 Between Society and the State: Private Security and Rule-Enforcement in Russia. Politics and Society, Vol. 28 No 4, pp. 483-501.
  • 2000 Patrimonialism versus Rational Bureaucracy: On the Historical Relativity of Corruption. In S. Lovell, A. Ledeneva, and A. Rogachevskii (Eds.) Bribery and Blat in Russia, London: MacMillan Press, pp. 35-47.
  • 2000 Organized Violence, Market Building, and State Formation in Post-Communist Russia. In A. Ledeneva and M. Kurkchiyan (Eds) Economic Crime in Russia, London: Kluwer, pp. 43-61.
  • 2000 Limits to Propaganda: Soviet Power and the Peasant Reader in the 1920s. In J. Raven (Ed.) Free Print and Non-Commercial Publishing Since 1700, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 177-193.
  • 2000 Limits to Propaganda: Soviet Power and the Peasant Reader in the 1920s. In J. Raven (Ed.) Free Print and Non-Commercial Publishing Since 1700, Aldershot: Ashgate, pp. 177-193.
  • 1999 Violent Entrepreneurship in Post-Communist Russia. Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 51 # 5, pp. 741-754.
  • 1999 The Concept of Kul'turnost': Notes on the Stalinist Civilizing Process. In S. Fitzpatrick (Ed) Stalinism: New Directions, London: Routledge, pp. 210-230.
  • 1999 Organized Violence, Market Building and State Formation in Post-Communist Russia. In A. Ledeneva (Ed) Economic Crime in Russia. London: Kluwer.