Institute of Sociology
of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Chirikova A.E., Ledyaev V.G. Authorities in a Mono-Industrial Town: Trajectories of Change. Bulletin of Perm University. Political Science, 2020, Vol. 14, No2, pp. 111-127.



Chirikova A.E., Ledyaev V.G. Authorities in a Mono-Industrial Town: Trajectories of Change. Bulletin of Perm University. Political Science, 2020, Vol. 14, No2, pp. 111-127.
ISSN 2218-1067
DOI 10.17072/2218-1067-2020-2-111-127

Posted on site: 16.07.20

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Abstract

This article presents the outcomes of empirical research in the mono-industrial town in the Perm region. This research is a part of the empirical survey conducted in five Russian towns in the Perm, Ivanovo, and Tambov regions in 2011–2015 and 2018–2019 through in-depth interviews with local politicians, public officials, entrepreneurs, and local and regional experts. The purpose of the study was to identify and evaluate changes that occurred in the power relations in a mono-industrial town between the two stages of the research. The outcomes of the study show that the power hierarchy and the relations within it over the past 8 years have changed significantly, yet many of the essential characteristics of urban politics have been preserved and reproduced. The role of the town-forming enterprise in the political process decreased along with a decrease in the economic potential of the plant and the refusal of the enterprise owners to be actively involved in urban politics. After the town and district structures of the municipal government merger, serious tensions within the local elite disappeared, resulting in the formation of a new configuration of actors. Whereas earlier there were three approximately equal centers of power (leadership of the town, district, and town-forming enterprise), now there is no serious political competition in the community, while the local elite constitutes a single team. The new configuration of the top actors and the nature of the relationships between them do not allow explain them in terms of urban regime in its classical interpretation.