Kopoteva I.V. Theoretical approaches to the study of local self-government reform in Russia // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2017. V.2. №4. P. 31-55.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2017-2-4-31-55


Russia started the reconstruction of the institutional bases of social regulation after the complete destruction of the former system. Almost all market and political institutions were to be designed after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Communist Party and planned economy. As the post-socialist transformation is a profound institutional change new institutionalism can be a theoretical framework for the study of local self-government reform in Russia. Institutionalism is a specific approach to the study of social, economic and political phenomena. The structure of local self-government and behaviour of its actors are determined by a set of rules developed in the soviet and post-soviet period; thus, the changes in this set of rules (or institutions) at the local level are of central importance in understanding the reform (with emphasis on both successes and failures). The development of local self-government in Russia is fundamentally dependent on institutions (both formal and informal) governing actors’ behaviour. The article considers the nature of institutions and the ways they interact, and the local self-government as a political, economic and social institution. The author also applies the governance approach (from government to governance) to the governing system as a long-lasting social institution. Thus, changes in institutions lead to a new regime of governing and to new types of social interactions within local self-government and institutions as its key success factors (good governance).


local self-government, institutions, institutionalism, governance, management system, actors, rules and restrictions

About the author

Kopoteva Inna V., PhD (Geography), Senior Researcher, Centre for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


Kopoteva I.V. Civil society and civic engagement in rural Russia // Russian Peasant Studies. 2016. V.1. №1. P. 142-166

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2016-1-1-142-166


The article considers various approaches to the concept “civil society” (designed to serve the state, and therefore created on state initiative and with its support; a classical type of opposition to the government and business; Soviet-type organizations, a part of official and formal structures of the state and society), and discusses the possibilities to apply this concept to contemporary Russia. Although some scientists raise the question of whether or not there is a civil society in Russia, the author is interested in finding answers to other questions: what kind of civil society exists in Russia? Is there a rural civil society? If the answer to the last question is positive, then what are the in dicators of civil society — geography, target audience, registered social activity? The article considers examples of registered and unregistered public, non-profit organizations of different levels (federal level, e. g. ACCOR, and local level — e. g. women’s, sports and other clubs, veterans’ councils, action groups). The author discusses the criteria by which public organizations and initiative groups can be attributed to the rural civil society, and identifies two types of rural social organizations — the first possess political influence, the second focus on solving local problems by the local community members.


Civil society, state, civil participation, Russian society, rural communities, local initiatives, non-profit and non-governmental organizations.

About the author

Kopoteva Inna V., PhD (Geography), Senior Researcher at the Center for Agrarian Studies of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. 82/5, Prospect Vernadskogo, Moscow, Russian Federation 119571.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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