- Tracy Dennison
- Published Online:
- 11 Jul 2012
- Volume/Issue No:
- Volume 66 Issue 3
Contract enforcement in Russian serf society, 1750–1860
This article examines questions about contract enforcement in the absence of formal legal institutions, using archival evidence for one particular rural society in pre‐emancipation Russia. The evidence presented indicates that enforcement services provided by the local landlord made it possible for Russians from different socioeconomic and legal strata to engage in a wide variety of contractual transactions. However, this system had significant drawbacks in that the poorest serfs could not afford these services and no serf had recourse beyond his local estate.
© Economic History Society 2012