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The Political Parties and Socio-political Development of Border Regions of Russia: The Experience of Direct Watch


Kirill Podyachev, Candidate of Political Science senior researcher, ,
mailto: vestnik@isras.ru
The Political Parties and Socio-political Development of Border Regions of Russia: The Experience of Direct Watch.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2014. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 59-72


This Article is downloaded: 310 times
Topic: Modern Russian borderland

For citation:
Kirill Podyachev. The Political Parties and Socio-political Development of Border Regions of Russia: The Experience of Direct Watch. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2014. Vol. 5. No. 4. P. 59-72



Abstract

This article is based on the presentation of the results of a study conducted in May-July,2014, in three border regions of Russia: Smolensk, Pskow and Kursk. The author focuses on theactivities of the political parties and social movements of these regions, studies their communicationwith the regional and municipal authorities, and analyses either the political behaviour or the crossbordercooperation of the inhabitants. The main research methods used by the author were visualobservation, in-depth interviews, analyses of normative documents and content-analysis of websites and local media. The author demonstrates that the main factors that determinate the life ofthe local communities are local actors – reputable local persons whose activities generally are notdirectly related to politics. However, as the author demonstrates, the success of any political partyduring elections is strongly determined by the participation of these local actors in the activities ofpolitical parties. One can see the same situation when active political parties and social movementsare very slightly presented in the public space. According to the author, local actors who providethe electoral result to the parties use the parties in their own interests and do not spend time Политические партии и социально-политическое развитие регионов РФ 72№ 4(11), декабрь 2014campaigning for the party after the election campaigns are finished. The author draws attentionto the fact that the image of the province generated by the national media and the blogosphere isnot correlated with the actual situation. For example, despite the lack of financial resources, onecan find a very active social life in the regional centres, in the regional district centres and villages.However, this activity used to be directed not to the political but to the cultural and educationalsphere. The author also discusses the features of cross-border regional cooperation. According to thestudy, the author concludes that it is difficult to talk today about the existence of a Russian frontieras a special cluster: the border status is still not accepted by the residents and is not displayed intheir political behaviour.

Keywords

Russia, the border regions, political science, political sociology, political parties, civilsociety, cross-border cooperation, local community


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