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Ledeneva, Alena (ED.)

The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 3

A hitchhiker’s guide to informal problem-solving in human life

UCL Press, London, 2024

666 p.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.9781800086142

For a post-human hitchhiker, human life – with its anxiety, ageing, illness and constant need for problem-solving – may look unviable. Yet, for humans, the life struggle is softened by human touch, human emotion and human cooperation.
The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 3 continues the journey of the two previous volumes into the world’s open secrets, unwritten rules and hidden practices. It focuses on issues of emotional ambivalence and pressures of the digital age. The informal practices presented in this volume demonstrate the urgency of alleviating tensions between continuity and all-too-rapid change and the need to tackle the central problem of modern societies – uncertainty.
The volume takes a reader on a ‘biographical’ journey through elusive, taken-for-granted or banal ways of getting things done from over 70 countries and world regions. It offers innovative understanding of the significance of fringes, and challenges the assumption that informality is associated exclusively with poverty, underdevelopment, the Global South, oppressive regimes or the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It also maps the patterns of informality around the globe; identifies specific informal practices in a context-sensitive way; and documents their ambivalent impact on people engaged in problem-solving, on societies in which these problems arise, and on humanity overall.

Contributions from ZMO
Olma, Nikolaos : Taksovanie (Uzbekistan)
Olma, Nikolaos : Stacze kolejkowi (Poland)