The permanent transformation of the Russian local self-government comes to its logical end. The trend of management centralization including the ‘upward’ transfer of the powers of local authorities, combined with a decrease in their financial resources, determines the transition to the system of ‘single public authority’ as declared in the new version of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The author’s description of these changes’ impact on the organization of everyday rural life and rural development challenges is based on semi-formalized interviews with representatives of local authorities in three regions of Siberia. According to the respondents, the redistribution of power resources in favor of the regional level and the reduction of the local self-government powers threaten the ability to effectively solve local tasks, primarily those of the rural development. The not always justified transfer of urban (corporate) management standards to rural areas inevitably leads to manipulations with statistical reports and data which serve as the basis for decisions on the distribution of budgetary funds. Administrative reforms did not solve but rather exacerbated both the direct financing of the local authorities work and the allocation of resources for rural development projects. The co-financing of initiative projects by the population and local businesses did not deliver the expected results. ‘Digitalization’ of management activities by uniform patterns which ignore local features rather creates an additional burden on local administrators than saves costs or increases decisions’ efficiency. The identified trends determine new significant risks for rural life and development. To reduce such risks to reasonable limits, we need deep, carefully thought-out and well-balanced changes in the rural self-government institutions.
Local self-government, municipal government, rural development, reforms, formal and informal institutions, Omsk Region, Altai Region, Tomsk Region.
Fadeeva Olga P., PhD (Sociology), Senior Researcher, Institute of Economics and Organization of Industrial Production, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090 Novosibirsk, Academician Lavrentieva St., 17.
The interview with the DSc (History), Professor V. V. Kondrashin presents the milestones of his biography in the historical context of the Russian science and politics in the 20th—21st century. This biographical reflection includes the events of childhood that awakened his interest in history, the difficulties in the academic career of a young man of the people, the historian’s survival under the social crisis of the 1990s. An important part of the interview is formed by Kondrashin’s memories of his teachers in school and university—V. V. Danilov and V. V. Kabanov, M. Levin and T. Shanin. Another significant part of the interview focuses on the most important issues of Kondrashin and his colleagues’ historical research, mainly the history of the Russian and Soviet countryside under revolutions and reforms of the 20th century (peasant wars, NEP, collectivization, World War II and the late Soviet period of agrarian history). The interview was not limited to the Russian historical context—Kondrashin mentions international scientific projects such as the study of the 1932-1933 famine in the USSR, and of the survival and development of the Soviet Union in the interaction with its close and distant neighboring countries. Kondrashin describes the cooperation of Russian scientists with their colleagues from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Eastern Europe, France, England, USA, Japan and Australia. A special part of the interview presents his reflections on the ‘historian and power’ issue. Due to his active social position, Kondrashin was engaged in various social-political activities, including his work as a Senator of the Federation Council. The interview ends with a discussion of his scientific plans for the year of his sixtieth anniversary.
History, peasantry, revolution, reforms, NEP, collectivization, USSR.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences. 119571, Moscow, Vernadskogo Prosp, 82.