Informality ‘in spite of’ or ‘beyond’ the state: some evidence from Hungary and Romania

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.20, No.2, 2018, p207-235
Publication Date April 2018
ISSN 1461-6696
Content Type


Framed in the growing body of research on informality, this article attempts to define a distinction between informality performed ‘in spite of’ and ‘beyond’ the state. ‘In spite of’ the state refers to the case where state institutions already regulate a given situation, but citizens decide that state governance is not enough (or not appropriate, effective). ‘Beyond’ the state refers to the case where state institutions do not regulate a particular exchange and interaction so that citizens organize in response to make up for this deficiency.

We support our claims through the use of two case studies built on in-depth interview material with Romanian parents and Hungarian private citizens from diverse walks of life to bring to light how individuals may understand and narrate the informal practices they engage in a positive light. By doing this, we investigate the possible conflict between individual and state morality, documenting and conceptually refining how they do not necessarily overlap, informal activities being a locus through which mismatch between them can best be explored.

Source Link
Subject Categories
Countries / Regions ,
Record URL