American Sociological Association

Urban Regimes in Small Russian Towns

This article presents the outcomes of a research project conducted in five small Russian towns. Different coalitions between local actors take place in all communities. However, coalitions that meet the criteria of the urban regime (in Stone's classical interpretation) have been discovered, with certain reservations, only in two towns. For a number of characteristics, these coalitions differed from regimes in American and European towns: often not quite voluntary nature of coalitions, prevalence of egoistic motives in the coalition‐building, strong dependence of the regimes on the personal factor (personal qualities and resources of local administrators, their experience, relations with regional elites, etc.), absence of formal organizations able to coordinate the interests of coalition members, etc. In the three other local communities, urban regimes have not been built due to personal factors, frequent changes in the local government leadership, or the role of external factors (the nature of the relationship of local elites with regional and federal authorities, methods of influence of regional authorities on local politics). In the public agenda of the regimes (quasi‐regimes), the elements of the status quo and, to a lesser extent, growth, prevail. The outcomes of study allow us to conclude that despite the authoritarian nature of the Russian politics and the differences between Russian and American contexts, urban regimes analysis is quite applicable for the study of power in Russian local communities.

Authors

Valeri Ledyaev and Alla Chirikova

Volume

18

Issue

3

Starting Page

812

Ending Page

833