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What is the role of ideas in modernization in general and in post-Soviet modernization in particular? There is no consensus among experts on the contribution of ideas to the building of new institutions and practices in various countries in various historical periods. They answer differently the question of whether ideas cause transformations or the other way around. However, when it comes to political, economic and social transformations in post-Soviet Russia, the prevailing view is that ideas were secondary to the interests of key players.