We welcome you to join us for the next meeting of the Money, Markets, and Governance Workshop, Tuesday, Feb. 9th, 4:30PM – 6PM, at the Social Science Research Building room 401.
Christy Monet Brandly
PhD Student, The University of Chicago, Political Science Department
Russian Regional Development and the Place of Ideas in Russia’s Modernization Project: The Case of the Russian Far East
Discussant: Eric Phillips
PhD Student, The University of Chicago, History Department
Abstract: Russian regional development was at the heart of much academic inquiry in Russian studies during the 1990s. Academic research since 2000, had turned away from economic developments in Russia’s regions in favor of broader prognostications about the fate of Russia’s national economy, but interest in the dynamics of Russian regional growth has been recently rekindled. In these most recent studies, the dominant approaches to examining processes of economic development in the regions have all relied on restrictive typologies of the state, structurally given economic interests of unitary actors, and ideal-typical notions of developmental success and failure. In this paper, I wish to contribute to the literature that seeks to bring Russia’s regions back into the analysis of Russia’s political economy. The goal, however, is not to use a given region or set of observations in the region to assign the Russian state labels such as “developmental,” “predatory,” “strong,” “weak,” “centralized,” “decentralized,” and so on. Rather, the goal is to use a detailed and highly contextualized case study of the Russian Far East region as a new frame of reference for considering how, in addition to structures of state-society or state-market relations, ideas and ideology also interact with actors’ economic interests to influence the process of economic development. Previous studies of Russian regional development have not taken into account the role of ideology, especially as it might pertain to variation in economic development strategies and outcomes across Russia’s regions. Instead, they have focused on deductive, top-down approaches to defining the Russian state, its development goals, and the interests of its actors. I aim to show that such deductive approaches can be productively problematized and supplemented by more inductive approaches that take into account the ideas that, along with institutions and structures of state-society relations, inform the interactions of actors in Russia’s political economy.
Questions about the workshop or accessibility concerns can be addressed to yanivr at uchicago dot edu