ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Alla E. Chirikova Doctor of Sociology, Senior Researcher,
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-7980-3150
Power in small Russian cities: managerial problems and motivation of actors.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2024. Vol. 15. No. 1. P. 165-183

Дата поступления статьи: 23.01.2024
Topic: State and Municipal Employees in Metropolises and Localities

For citation:
Chirikova A. E. Power in small Russian cities: managerial problems and motivation of actors. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2024. Vol. 15. No. 1. P. 165-183


The paper analyses Russian municipal power on the example of small Russian cities. The analysis is based on the results of an empirical study conducted with the author's participation in six small towns in Perm Krai, Ivanovo and Tambov regions. The research was conducted in two stages. The first stage consisted of 69 in-depth interviews with representatives of local and regional elites and experts conducted in 2012-2015. At the second stage in 2018 -2020, 64 interviews were conducted, including as well the same respondents who were interviewed at the first stage. In 2023, several additional interviews were conducted with experts in the city G of Perm Krai due to the dramatically changed situation.

The conducted research allows us to say that the problem field of small towns has not changed so significantly over the years. The problems are still concentrated around the theme of deteriorating socio-economic situation, taxes and personnel deficit. At the same time, managerial problems of the authorities are growing due to the deficit of personnel in small towns, managerial weakness of some heads of small towns. Among the new problems are pandemic, insufficient number of leaders in the corps of municipal managers, and the consequences of SWO. The analysis of the motivational profile of the heads of municipal entities and their teams has shown that in recent years the level of motivation and management efficiency have increased among the heads of cities. The elites' and population's demand for power has significantly increased, which could not but affect the internal motivation of actors. The empirical study on the example of one single-industry town demonstrated that a small town despite all resource and other constraints can continue to develop if a partnership model of interaction between local authorities and strategic leaders of a large company is formed. However, it does not always guarantee that the achieved efficiency of interaction between government and business will remain unchanged if the federal government interferes in the system of relations between the two actors.


power, Russia, small towns, motivation of actors, leadership



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