Power in a Small Russian Town:
Configuration and Interaction of Major Local Actors


Chirikova A.Ye.,

Dr. Sci. (Soc. Sci.), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, chirikova_a@mail.ru

Ledyaev V.G.,

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), PhD (Manchester, Government), Prof. of the Department of Analysis of Social Institutions, National Research University ‘Higher School of Economics’, Moscow, Russia, valeri_ledyaev@mail.ru

Seltser D.G.,

Dr. Sci. (Pol. Sci.), Director of the Institute of Humanitarian and Social Education, Tambov State University, Tambov, Russia, seltser@yandex.ru


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2014.02.07
Rubric: Russia today

For citation:

Chirikova A.Ye., Ledyaev V.G., Seltser D.G. Power in a Small Russian Town: Configuration and Interaction of Major Local Actors. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No 2. P. 88-105 (In Russ.) . DOI: https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2014.02.07



Abstract

Who governs in a small community? The data of empirical survey conducted in two towns in Permskiy kray allow to conclude that local power structure there is very narrow (elitist). Configuration of the most influential actors in the two towns reflects the domination of the two groups with the largest sets of resources – top figures in the local executive bodies and large business. Political (administrative) elite is the leader in this pair. Mayors are the key figures in local elites, though in other circumstances we admit the leadership of the heads of the district administration which possess comparable or possibly superior resources. Large business, however, remains a visible actor in urban politics and cannot be ignored by politicians. The political opportunities and influence of other groups are very modest, although they can considerably vary and change depending on the personal leadership characteristics of their representatives. The interaction between different actors is quite diverse, dynamic and admits the possibility of various kinds of coalitions. Such coalitions have proved to be very widespread, fairly durable and effective. Although the authoritarian nature of the Russian political regime imposes limitations on particular aspects of urban politics, local actors retain a sufficient range of freedom and autonomy.

Keywords
power; local politics; urban communities; local elites; urban regimes.


Content No 2, 2014

See also:


Fadeyeva L.A.,
Urbanity in the political-science dimension. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No1

Kochetkov A.P.,
Authority and elites in a global information society. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No5

Ratz M.V.,
Policy, management, power: a conceptual project of the system of (the state’s) organizational/managerial activities. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No2

Gelman V.Ya.,
Regional Power in Today's Russia: Institutes, Regimes, Practices.. – Polis. Political Studies. 1998. No1

Ratz M.V., Kotelnikov S.I.,
G.P. Schedrovitsky’s ideas in Russian socio-political thought (in commemoration of the 85th anniversary). – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No3

 
 

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