The article presents the life trajectories of representatives of those national groups that became active rural entrepreneurs in the North-West Region of Russia at different times. Unfortunately, we have not yet considered the national-ethnic aspect of rural entrepreneurship in our research projects (see, e.g.: Bozhkov, 2019; Bozhkov, Ignatova, 2015; 2017; Bozhkov, Trotsuk, 2018; Ignatova, 2016). The article focuses on various problems that the migrants from different former republics of the Soviet Union face in the zones of risky Russian agriculture. The empirical basis of the article is the data (transcripts of interviews and field observations) of sociological expeditions supported by the Russian Foundation for Humanities and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research in 2005–2008 and 2018–2019. The four ‘cases’ confirm the hypothesis that, regardless of the migration-generational trajectory and activities in the Russian countryside, all entrepreneurs face the same problems (labor shortage, abandoned production facilities and dilapidated social infrastructure, expensive loans and harsh tax and administrative pressure ‘from above’—despite the declarative-nominal support of the state, the general atmosphere of social distrust, the lack of traditions and skills of real cooperation, and so on). There is some specificity of such problems; however, it is determined not by the national-ethnic factor, but rather by the reaction of the traditional rural community to ‘outsiders’ who bring their own rules and disrupt the routine of local life (with its unemployment, impoverishment, desolation and alcoholism).
migration, nationality, rural entrepreneurs, northern Non-Black-Earth Region, local communities, cooperation, government support
Bozhkov Oleg B., Senior Researcher, Sociological Institute — a branch of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 7th Krasnoarmeyskaya St., 25/14, Saint Petersburg, 190005.
Trotsuk Irina V., DSc (Sociology), Professor, Sociology Chair, RUDN University; Senior Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, Russia, 119571.
Local self-government in Russia has seriously degraded in the last decades. The strengthening power vertical and the centralized budgetary policy minimized the ability of rural administrations to finance the construction of social infrastructure facilities. The existing mechanisms and practices of public-private and municipal-private partnerships aim at implementing large projects rather than at contributing to the rural development. The data from the 2018 field research show that the weakening of local self-government is partially restrained by the increased activity of rural residents. For instance, local entrepreneurs spend their money on building schools with the support of local authorities. Based on the regional and ethnic differences in the stories from the Tatar village in the Volga Region and the Russian village in Siberia, the authors identify some common features of projects from below and analyze both their reasons and motives of entrepreneurs in different regions. Such cases of public-private partnerships ‘not by the rules’ should not be considered charity: they have various motives hidden in the relations between the authorities, business and rural population, and they are a result of informal agreements, in which mutual obligations of the participants are not legally set but are demonstrative manifestations of the local identity and of the intention to keep the traditional order.
self-government, public-private partnership, rural entrepreneurs, selforganization, Volga Region, Siberia
Fadeeva Olga P., PhD (Sociology), Leading Researcher, Institute of Economics and Organization of Industrial Production, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Prosp. Lavrentieva, 17, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.