In her interview, Tatiana Nefedova, a Chief Researcher at the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, tells about her research interests that had formed already in childhood and brought her to the geographical faculty of the Moscow State University, and about her further professional development. As a true geographer, the author traveled a lot all over Russia and the world, participated in different interdisciplinary geographical projects, and at first they were not agricultural. Nevertheless, T.G. Nefedova made a significant scientific contribution to the study and development of rural post-Soviet Russia. At the same time her cross-cultural comparative studies of rural Russia and other countries of the world—Europe and Asia—are no less important. In her interview, she also focuses on various methods to study the spatial development, on the perception and reflections on the poly-scale nature of space, on the diversity of regionality as the most important factor of rural development, and on the ratio of quantitative and qualitative research methods. One of the special topics of the interview is the relationship of the scientist and the authorities. Should a scientist seek power and strive to in fluence the state decision-making with his findings despite the threat of turning from a scientist into a politician or an official? In conclusion, new plans and projects of geographical studies of rural Russia are discussed, for instance, the study of such a combination of factors of social development as the long-inhabited territories, social capital, social mobility, agglomerations, summer residents, and cultural heritage.
geography, regions, rural Russia, research methods, rural households, social capital, agglomerations
Nefedova Tatyana G., DSc (Geography), Chief Researcher, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences; 119017, Moscow, Staromonetny per., 29.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Head of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; 119571, Moscow, Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82.
The article considers the social-economic structure of the Tarnogsky district of the Vologda Region, which has a peripheral position in both European Russia and the region. Its specific features such as the low rate of population decline and the growth of the local economy that is not high compared to other Non-Black Earth regions do not correspond to the centre-periphery logic of the well-developed space adopted in social and economic sciences. There is a highly developed timber industry including manufacture of a wide range of complex products; eleven agricultural enterprises and creamery that increase production annually, which is a rarity in the peripheral Non-Black Earth region. Such success of the Tarnogsky district is determined by both reasonable regional policies in forestry and agriculture and by personal qualities of the residents, i.e. the social capital. The author argues that the long-term territorial isolation combined with a long history of economic development played an important role in the current situation. Perhaps, the development of stable and close social ties was influenced by the ‘cluster’ (or “nesting”) type of rural settlement, in which “bushes” of 10-15 villages are located in walking distance from each other and separated by forest areas.
rural area, periphery, early-developed territory, agriculture, forestry, social capital
Averkieva Kseniya V., PhD (Geography), Senior Researcher, Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 119017, Staromonetny Per., 29.