Informality is an umbrella concept to refer to the social and cultural complexity associated with non-transparency of social phenomena for the outsiders: unwritten rules, open secrets, and hidden practices.
The term ‘informality’ is often used to describe unplanned settlements as well as shadow, second and covert economies. Ordinally, informality is linked to poverty, underdevelopment, oppressive regimes, socialism and communism, but in fact informal practices are central for the functioning of every society. Old boy network, caffè sospeso, cash for access, astroturfing and kompromat are just a few examples of the various techniques and the geography of informality. The Global Encyclopedia of Informality consists of more than 200 entries from five continents.