History of Social and Economic Geography Department before the 1990's.
Economic geography have been the basis of establishing the Institute of Geography. In 1918, the Department of Industrial and Geographical Study of the Country was organized within the Commission for the Study of Natural Productive Forces of Russia (KEPS). Until the mid 1920's, Professor M.I.Bogolepov headed it.
By 1936, the main task of this organization, renamed by the time into the Institute of Geography, was development of "Geography of the USSR" series. Economic Geography Department itself was established in 1937 under the leadership of N.N.Baransky. In 1946, there was already three economic geography divisions in the Institute, namely: general economic geography, geography of agriculture, and economic geography of European part of the USSR. In the following years, the Department was headed by: V.F.Vasyutin (1940-1948), P.M.Alampiev (1950-1954), pp.N.Ryazantsev (1954-1958), V.V.Pokshishevsky (1959-1962).
Under the leadership of A.A.Mintz (1962-1973) departments which studied the Soviet Union and socialist countries, have been merged into one. Economic study of natural resources has become the main area of research. "Resources, environment, settlement patterns" series released in 1974 after the death of A.A.Mintz has been significant outcome of this research.
In 1973 - 1985 years the Department was headed by G.M.Lappo. O.A.Kibalchich, E.B.Alaev, G.V.Ioffe, N.V.Petrov deputized for him when it was necessary. Several scientific areas have taken shape during this period initiated by G.M.Lappo, T.G.Runowa, G.V.Ioffe, J.A.Zayonchkovskaya; all of them have retired, or work in other institutions by now. The new wave of researches is represented by P.M.Polyan, A.I.Treyvish, G.V.Ioffe, I.N.Volkova, N.N.Kluyeva, T.G.Nefedova, V.A.Shuper, S.S.Artobolevsky, S.A.Tarkhov and others.
T.G. Runova, G.V. Ioffe, Zh.A. Zhaionchkovskaya
The first line of research within resource and environmental studies was based on the achievements of A.A.Mintz's and I.V.Komarov's school. G.A.Privalovskaya, T.G.Runova and I.V.Kantsebovskaya developed it further. The work was done in collaboration with departments of the Institute specialized in physical geography. Relations of natural resources geography and industrial development were studied, methods of studying and evaluating results of interaction between society and the nature in the framework "Impact Ч Change Ч Effect" was developed. Principles of spatial organization of nature management in European Russia, degrees of extreme natural conditions of life, etc, were studied as well. Built by an international team from the CMEA countries, the map "Nature management and environmental problems in Central and Eastern Europe," (the scale of 1:2 500 000) was published in the Atlas of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, hardcopy produced in Vienna. Even after the collapse of CMEA, the potential of the international team allowed it to continue effective studies for some time. For instance, the map "First socio-economic effects of transformation in Central and Eastern Europe" was developed and published in the same place, in 1994.
The international team from the CMEA countries
The second line of research was related to studies of the settlement pattern issues. In the 1970-1980-ies a number of monographs were published, namely: about cities, author G.M.Lappo; about the process of urbanization Ч Yu.L.Pivovarov, about the basic framework of the settlement Ч P.M.Polyan, about agglomerations Ч G.M.Lappo and P.M.Polyan. J.A.Zayonchkovskaya studied the relationship of the settlement pattern to demographic factors and migration. G.A.Goltz studied the interaction of the settlement pattern and transport network. Series of articles about evolution of the settlement pattern, methods of its research, and development of settlement systems, have been published.
The third line of research was related to the study of spatial patterns of production. During the period of restructuring the country's economy, attention was paid to finding ways to intensify production of historical core regions, because their production systems have become burden for the country and needed upgrading in industrial, institutional and spatial aspects. G.A.Privalovskaya, O.A.Kibalchich, S.A.Tarkhov, G.V.Ioffe, S.S.Artobolevsky considered general geographic and industrial problems of intensifying production in such regions.
A special place was occupied by the Moscow Capital Region (MSR), as the leading region, which has significantly increased its importance during the Soviet era. Study of the territorial structure of MSR was the subject of collective monograph (Eds. G.M.Lappo, G.A.Goltz and A.I.Treyvish), published in 1988. The monograph included study of the concept of the capital, of metropolitan regions in the world, of trends in the MSR, ways to solve the pressing problems of improving the sectoral and territorial structure, living conditions and protection of wildlife.
Spatial unevenness of socio-economic development was studied by comparative analysis of Western countries and the USSR. It resulted in the monograph "The Center and the Periphery in regional development", by O.V.Gritsai, G.V.Ioffe, and A.I.Treyvish, in which the following main issues were examined: stadial conceptions of social development (including stages of urbanization, Kondratiev cycles and other), hierarchy and dynamics of space stratification, the types of central and peripheral areas, Soviet and Western regional policy. The book became the basis for many subsequent studies, not only by employees of the Department.
From 1986 to 1995, the department was managed by G.A.Privalovskaya. From 1996 to present Ч by S.S.Artobolevsky. In challenging 1990's, department employees actively involved in the study of geographical problems of the country restructuring. Relations with other scientific organizations in Russia were expanded. Many scientists began to collaborate with colleagues from Britain, France, USA, Poland and Hungary. With the accumulation of scientific background, many Department's employees establish their own lines of research, of which the most important are the following: theoretical geography and general geography of development (V.A.Shuper, A.I.Treyvish), urbanization and urban development (G.M.Lappo, V.A.Shuper, P.M.Polyan, A.I.Treyvish I, T.G.Nefedova, O.B.Glezer.), geography of population and geopraphy of municipalities (O.B.Glezer, D.N.Luhmanov, T.L.Borodina), industrial geography (A.P.Gorkin , A.I.Treyvish), rural geography (T.G.Nefedova, T.L.Borodina), transport geography (S.A.Tarkhov), historical and cultural geography (V.N.Streletsky), geography of environmental management (G.A.Privalovskaya, I.N.Volkova, T.V.Litvinenko). Studies of certain regions in different parts of the country are conducted, problems of the border regions are studied. You can find data about the results of individual and collective studies during 1990-2000-ies in dedicated sections of the site.