Still path-dependency? Understanding transformations in the rural life in Russian Belgorod region in 2000-2013 in the context of modern agroholdings’ development
In the paper the complex transformations in the life of rural population in Belgorod region, Russia, between 2000 and 2013 are examined. This was the period of active development of large vertically integrated agrarian enterprises – agroholdings. In its theoretical grounds, the study is engaged in discussions about transformations in Russian society of the last decades based on, on the one hand, “path-dependency” theory and, on the other hand, “neo-liberal” ideas. We focus on the following aspects in our empirical analysis: firstly, demographical changes, secondly, material well-being of rural population; thirdly, cultural characteristics (first of all, orientations towards individualism). Finally, we look at the general perception by the rural population of their future (from the point of view of optimism/pessimism). The research utilizes two empirical studies, conducted in the 15 villages of Belgorod region in the years 2000 and 2013, which used similar methodology.