Adam is studying transformations in economic knowledge production in Moscow. The end of the Soviet Union meant the end of the ideological master code (Marxist-Leninism) governing uneasily co-existing strands of economic knowledge, the social system in which these knowledges formed, and the institutional regime within which they had been the means of social action. The community of economists in Moscow now constitutes a fractured field. Moving within it, Adam’s work speaks to different moments in economic knowledge development: from 1960s "market socialist" reformism and the dream of optimal planning, to the birth of the Gaidar team and their microeconomic critique of the Soviet state, to the international assembly of the think tank world, to the implantation of Western economics, to the constitution of "transition economics" as a subfield and its subsequent dissolution into a new comparative political economy of development. Adam tacks back and forth between underlying political imaginaries, ideologies of objectivity, and the everyday practices of economists working in different institutional locales. He asks: what are the meanings of capitalism, liberalism, and democracy today? how are they related? how do they, don't they, or should they operate in Russia? and, of course, what is to be done?
Photo caption: Yegor Gaidar, the chief architect of Russia's transition to market, and now among the most hated symbols of those years, died two years ago. On this anniversary of his death, his former comrades in struggle, the so-called "young reformers" or "Russian neoliberals", met early in the morning on the last day of a major conference in his honor, gathering for an hour of complete silence at Novodeviche cemetery, the final resting place for state heroes and saints. Several former and current ministers, former students and disciples, some Polish reformers, and family members are present.