Governing the local: Russian rural self-government in the changing institutional environment (2002-2012) Inna Kopoteva

Governing the local: Russian rural self-government in the changing institutional environment (2002-2012) Inna Kopoteva

ABSTRACT

Local government issues have been constantly discussed in Russia: the nature of local self-government, its role in the system of power relations, its legislation, implementation at the local level and problems associated with its conformity to the constitutional principles. These debates were initiated by the local self-government reform, which was not implementing in a societal vacuum. The reform was part of the general process of transformation where major political and economic changes had already taken place.

My interest in this topic was based on the fact that local self-government development in Russia was not considered a priority of the state policy. In addition, there was not much research done in this field. The majority of Russian experts’ studies focused on municipal rights and municipal economy; many studies preferred to explain institutional changes at the national level rather than at the local level. This study is an attempt to fill the research gap, i.e. the lack of reflections on the local level under the municipal reform. The aim of the research is to understand what role and place in the Russian political system and society were given to local self-government by the municipal reform, and how rural areas reacted to these changes.

The dissertation contains six chapters. After the introduction and theoretical framework the chapter on the Soviet times follows. It presents the background for the reform. The next chapter presents the institutional framework, which reveals major political and economic changes, which took place in Russia. Chapter 5, the empirical part of the dissertation, uncovers the reform’s main actors in Russian countryside, interactions among them, the challenges of reform at the local level, and socioeconomic and spatial outcomes of reform. In the main, it is based on the interviews in three case study areas. The concluding chapter elaborates the discrepancy between the legal framework and social practices.

Permalink: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-61-2755-2

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