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Research Project

Property Rights and Communal Services: The Implementation of Local Self-Government in Rural Russia

Project team: Peter Lindner, Alexander Vorbrugg Projektbild
Chapel in the village of Dubrovka/Brjansk built on the villagers own initiative and resources
Project partner: Aleksandr Nikulin, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences
Funding: The World Bank, German Research Foundation (2010-2014)
Time: 2007-2014
Publications (selection):
  • Moser, Evelyn and Peter Lindner. 2011. Dezentralisierung im Zeichen der Machtvertikale: Paradoxien der Einführung einer lokalen Selbstverwaltung im ländlichen Russland. In: Geographische Rundschau 63 (2011, 1). pp. 28-35.
  • Lindner, Peter and Evelyn Moser. 2009. (De-)Centralizing Rural Russia: Local Self-Governance and the “Power Vertical”. In: Geographische Rundschau International Edition 5 (2009/3). pp. 12-18. 
  • Lindner, Peter, Evelyn Moser and Aleksandr Nikulin. 2008. Local Self-Governance, Participation and Civic Engagement in Rural Russia. Washington (unpublished report for the World Bank).
Project Description
It is a rather surprising fact that in Russia a new legislation for the introduction of local self-government had been introduced already in the early 1990s. One can of course hardly speak of a consequent implementation at that time, however, the weakness of federal institutions led to an increasing importance of local administrations in many regions. It was not only because of President Putin’s politics of recentralization, but also due to the new law on local self-government of 2003 that this situation changed fundamentally. Decreasing scope of action and a diminishing political importance of the village councils went hand in hand with an ongoing excessive demand concerning social and infrastructural responsibilities for which financial resources were lacking. This constellation led to “informal restructurings and privatizations” negotiated between administrative bodies, local elites and the rural population. The project is focusing on exactly these arrangements: How are conflicting interests dealt with? Which understandings of legitimacy are decisive? Who can mobilise which sources of power? And finally: Which new forms of property rights are established within this process?


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Druckversion: 24. April 2011, 22:49