Alekseev A.I., Nikulin A.M. “Geography has always ‘yearned for complexity’” // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2020. V.5. №1. P. 143-166.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2020-5-1-143-166


In the interview, the Russian geographer A.I. Alekseev considers those facts of his biography that determined his career in geography, key research projects and publications, and also discusses methodology and theory of geography. The interview focuses on rural geography and regions in which Alekseev conducted his studies —from the Non-Black-Earth region and Kuban to the Far East and Altai. Alekseev paid special attention to the Soviet history of rural geography, theory and practice of decision-making in the Soviet agrarian transformations, rural-urban migrations, rural settlement and the ethnic factor in rural geography. He also considered teaching of geography in secondary and higher school, the quality of geography textbooks and the change of generations in geography. The interview combines discussion of geographical theories with life stories of geographers who participated in the field rural research of Alekseev. The interview concludes with the issue of the relationship between quantitative and qualitative approaches in rural studies (‘complex research’) and with the aphorisms of classics of social-economic geography on the features of studying and understanding the rural development.


economic geography, rural geography, theoretical geography, rural regions, rural settlement, N.N. Baransky, Yu.G. Saushkin, S.A. Kovalev, A.N. Rakitnikov, A.N. Chelintsev, A.A. Rybnikov

About the authors

Alekseev Alexander I., DSc (Geography), Professor, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University. 119991, Moscow, Lenin Hills, 1.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


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