Отдел социально-экономической географии

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The studies of individual regions

The studies of individual regions

Nechernozemye (Nonblack Soil Zone).

Moscow and the surrounding regions - 2004-2007.


The purpose of research is development of methods for studying the spatial structure of population and economy of the Moscow region and analysis of its changes, revealing the influence of Moscow on the Moscow oblast' and surrounding regions. The main shifts in the settlement patterns and in the region's economy during the crisis of 1990-ies and economic growth of 2000-ies, were examined. The peculiarities of development of regions during post-Soviet period, including land and housing market, economy and social sphere issues, were shown. It was also demonstrated how the countryside away from Moscow changes along the four radial lines: north, south, east and west. Forecasts of possible scenarios for the Moscow region were made. Processes of "retracting" toward the capital and its "detachment" from the surrounding regions are present for the Moscow region, and they are visible via analysis of both economic and socio-demographic indicators. Improvement of socio-economic characteristics within the region is tied spatially to the axis spanning from northwest to the southeast. It was especially noticeable in the early 2000-ies, during recovery from the recession. Other main tendencies are centripetal direction of migration, of retail trade, housing construction, etc.

The research results were published in the following papers:

A.G. Makhrova, T.G. Nefedova, A.I. Treyvish. Moscow Region Today and Tomorrow (Moskovskaya oblast' segodnya i zavtra), Moscow, 2008

T.G. Nefedova, A.I. Treyvish. Moscow Region is a capital-oriented Region. Geography Newspaper (Geografia), № 6, March 2008

Kostroma Region - 2006-2010.
The study of the evolution of rural communities on the periphery of non-black soil regions.
The objective is to identify models of local development of depressed areas in the Middle of the North European part of Russia. The study was funded by the Institute of Geography of RAS and by the Community of professional sociologists, and conducted at three scales: Kostroma region, peripheral district of Manturovo, and rural community Ugory within it. Participants from the Social and Economic Geography Department of the Institute were T.G.Nefedova and O.B.Glezer.

Fundamental differences of recent development in suburban and peripheral areas of Kostroma region were examined; the region was chosen as a case-study of non-black soil regions. Population and economic activity in the second half of the XX and the beginning of XXI centuries were also analyzed. Development prospects for the peripheral district of Manturovo and for Ugory community were scrutinized. They are characterized by catastrophic outflow of population, by social degradation and contraction of developed territory (Fig. 1 and 2). For the former collective agriculture enterprises in these conditions, there exist two models of survival: in the form of independent agricultural public utility or in cooperation with local processing enterprises. A survey of the population, which covered 120 households in two villages (20% of the total population) was conducted in order to identify the prospects for development of private economy and the nature of the interaction between local people and their environment. Potential labor force of small private sector is limited (14% of the population of working age). The most promising at this stage is the model of secondary suburban development of territory regardless of the large distance (600 km) from Moscow. However, ultimate depopulation of small villages will render this strategy unsuccessful, or at least dubious.
In 2010, International Scientific Conference was held in the Ugory community, with the subject: "Innovative, social and environmental prospects of rural communities"; 25 scientific reports by renowned geographers, economists, sociologists were presented during the conference (see www.ugory.ru for more information)
Fig. Ugory community of  the peripheral district of Manturovo. Left: Dynamics of rural population from 1897 to 2007 (people). Right: Structure of land management in 2007 (orange - used arable land, salad - abandoned arable land)
Fig. Ugory community of the peripheral district of Manturovo. Left: Dynamics of rural population from 1897 to 2007 (people). Right: Structure of land management in 2007 (orange - used arable land, salad - abandoned arable land)
T.G.Nefedova. Past, Present and Future of earlier developed areas of the Russian North. Questions of Public Administration. Moscow: State University Higher School of Economics (Gosudarstvenny universitet — Vysshaya shkola ekonomiki), 2008. № 1

T.G.Nefedova. Russian remote places through the eyes of their inhabitants. Ugorsky Project: environment and people in the Middle North. Moscow: Community of Professional Sociologists (Soobwestvo professional'nyh sociologov), 2008

T.G.Nefedova. Medvedevo village in the interior of their district, region and Russia. Russian northern vector. Moscow: Community of professional sociologists (Soobwestvo professional'nyh sociologov), 2006.)

Web-site of the Ugory Project: www.ugory.ru

Kuzminov I.F. Periphery of Kostroma region: social and economic effects of forest management transition. Innovation and socio-ecological perspectives of rural communities. Moscow: Community of professional sociologists (Soobwestvo professional'nyh sociologov), 2010

Kuzminov I.F. Features of regional and local timber processing complexes dynamics in the North European Russia during 1990-ies and 2000-ies (case study of the Kostroma region). Geography: The problems of science and education. LXIII Gertsenovskie chtenya. Proceedings of the annual International Scientific Conference (22-24 April 2010, St. Petersburg). Ed. V.P. Solomin, D.A. Subeto, N.V. Lovelius. Saint-Petersburg: Polygraph-Resource, 2010
Field trip of students in Kostroma village
Field trip of students in Kostroma village

North Caucasus

North Ossetia-Alania - 2007


Analysis of modern socio-demographic and economic processes in mountainous regions with the case study of North Ossetia-Alania republic. The dynamics of the population during the last 15 years at scales of the republic, municipalities and individual communities, as well general and local economic problems of the population impeding stabilization of mountainous villages population, were studied. It was shown that severe depopulation in the mountainous regions of the republic and failure of collective agricultural enterprises don't lead to such catastrophic social and ecomonic consequences as were detected in Nechernozemye (non-black soil) regions.
Fig. Mountain village Dunta in Irafsky region of North Ossetia.
Fig. Mountain village Dunta in Irafsky region of North Ossetia.
R.G.Gracheva, T.G.Nefedova. Mountain communities of North Osetiya: current state and prospects of development. RAS Bulletin (Izvestia RAN), Geography series, 2007, № 5

R.G.Gracheva, T.G.Nefedova. Mountainous North Ossetia. "Geography", 2007, № 14

Astrakhan Region 2003-2008.

The purpose of the study is identification of key natural, socio-economic and environmental benefits and challenges of the region. The main pillars of development in the region are transportation and transit function, oil and gas resources extraction and processing, fisheries and agriculture. The latter has undergone significant changes connected to degradation of many large enterprises and rise of individual agricultural plots, farms and temporary tenants of enterprises' land. The role of the private livestock and vegetable production has increased, as well as share of income generated by fishing, both for citizens and agribusinesses.
The role of gas condensate refinery for the region's economy was examined, as well as features of the regional settlement patterns and migration with regard to bordering with Kazakhstan and North Caucasus regions and, consequently, its role as a gate for illegal migrants from Central Asia.
Particular attention was paid to desertification and effects which ethnic features of natural management produce on it, with analysis of potential conflicts. A poll was conducted among one hundred school teachers of geography to identify how local people percept climate and water regime changes, to collect information on individual agriculture development, employment prospects and income generating activities, and to determine impacts of environmental and socio-economic factors on welfare of residents.

I.N.Volkova, A.V.Drozdov. Perception of desertification by local residents. Desertification of Arid Lands in Russia: new aspects of the analysis, results, problems. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press (Nauchnoe izdatelstvo KMK), 2009. pp.215-245.

T.G.Nefedova.. Astrakhan region. Regions of Russia: what social space we live in?. Moscow: Independent Institute of Social Policy, 2005

T.G.Nefedova.. Socio-economic portrait of the Astrakhan region. Geography, № 41, November 2004

A.R.Bubnova.. Ethno-cultural situation in the arid lands of Russia. Desertification of Russian drylands: new aspects of the analysis, results, and problems. Moscow: KMK Scientific Press (Nauchnoe izdatelstvo KMK), 2009, pp. 215-245
Fig. Astrakhan region in winter. Renters from Central Asia use former rice fields in the summer to grow vegetables
Fig. Astrakhan region in winter. Renters from Central Asia use former rice fields in the summer to grow vegetables
Fig. "Virtual" village Molodezhny, which is not marked on maps. It arose as a temporary during the construction of gas condensate plant, but exists so far, functioning, among other, as a transfer point for migrants arriving by train from Central
Fig. "Virtual" village Molodezhny, which is not marked on maps. It arose as a temporary during the construction of gas condensate plant, but exists so far, functioning, among other, as a transfer point for migrants arriving by train from Central
Western Siberia

Space, people, and economy of Ugra. Socio-economic transformation of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area
. Ed. S.S. Artobolevsky, O.B. Glezer. Moscow: Economist, 2007. 415 pages. (For more information see "Monographs" section of the site)

The monograph contains analysis of spatial socio-economic trends in the development of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. It is written on the basis of official statistical data and materials obtained by the authors during field research in the region. Such topics as resource base, economy, population and the settlement, social problems and social condition are examined in detail, with focus on transformation of the territorial structures. Particular attention is paid to the relationships of the Area with Tyumen Region, which incorporates it as an autonomous district. The factors of spatial differentiation of the region and features of its territorial organization are scrutinized. Main directions of problem-oriented zoning and of internal regional policy were delineated.
Authors of the monograph: S.S.Artobolevsky, V.L.Baburin, S.L.Kirilov, I.M.Busygina, O.I.Vendina, O.B.Glezer, S.H.Zaydfudim, N.V.Zubarevich, A.N.Pilyasov, S.A.Tarkhov
Fig. Settlement pattern of  north Khanty-Mansi Area indigenous peoples
Fig. Settlement pattern of north Khanty-Mansi Area indigenous peoples
Fig. Territorial structure of corporate enterprises location in the Khanty-Mansi Area
Fig. Territorial structure of corporate enterprises location in the Khanty-Mansi Area
G.A.Privalovskaya. Interaction of physical and economical geography in research of newly developed oil industry areas (case study of Western Siberia). Bulletin of Moscow State Pedagogical University. "Natural Science" section. MOSCOW: 2009, № 2 (pp. 17-27)

Synthesis of physical and economic geography methods becomes necessary for tailoring oil and gas extraction projects to a specific territory, when decisions about development of oil and gas fields are accepted at the highest political level. When a territory is weakly explored and low developed, the priority belongs to the large-scale landscape research, which plays an important role in selecting suitable sites for placement of settlements, transportation routes and facilities for oil and gas extraction. These studies have shown that over the past half of a century, the territorial organization of the economy based on renewable natural resources, has been reshaping towards fragmented, concentrated pattern of raw materials extraction, which led, however, to the widening of the range of exploited renewable resources (including land, forest, water resources) as a condition of deploying oil and gas industry.


Eastern siberia

Republic of Tyva - 2009


T.V.Litvinenko conducted research into social effects of post-Soviet transformation for the economy of Tyva Republic. Special ways indigenous peoples (Tuvinians Todzhintsy) adapt to the new socio-economic conditions were studied in Todzha kozhuun. The need was identified to reform the state support of indigenous peoples with regard to the principles of their internal self-determination (as a right to independently choose their own living arrangement).

Fig. South (left) and northern (right) regions of the Tuva Republic
Fig. South (left) and northern (right) regions of the Tuva Republic

Far East
Fig. T.V.Litvinenko.Population Dynamics, 2006, % of 1990.
Fig. T.V.Litvinenko.Population Dynamics, 2006, % of 1990.
Chukotka Autonomous Area - 2007

There are more shut-down resource extracting enterprises and, consequently, of abandoned settlements, in the extreme north-east of Russia compared to other eastern regions of the country. At the same time preserved towns have an updated look in contrast to many regions of Eastern Siberia and the Far East. There are significant differences between settlements with a predominantly indigenous population (all intact) and populated with external settlers (they were either eliminated, or significantly reduced their population). In general, social consequences of resource management spatial transformation in Chukotka reflect contraction and fragmentation of economically developed space in the post-Soviet Russia.

T.V.Litvinenko, T. Murota "Social Consequences of Post-Soviet Transformation of Natural Resources Utilization in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia," Doshisha University Economic Review, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2008, pp. 83-101. (in English)

T.V.Litvinenko. The social consequences of resource management spatial transformation in the Chukotka Autonomous Area. Modern Problems of Regional Development. Ed. E.Ya.Frisman. Birobidzhan: IKARP DVO RAN, 2008. pp. 196-197.(in English)