A provincial Russian town: images for insiders and outsiders
This article is to analyze the image of a provincial Russian town in the communicative context – for the insiders and the outsiders. This analysis helps to manage the town’s brand and to evaluate the tourist potential of the location. The research is based on integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches. The image of the territory (which forms the brand’s basis) was reconstructed through the qualitative and quantitative content-analysis of 515 unstructured focused interviews with the citizens of minor towns. The residents of a provincial Russian town form its image predominantly through nature (rivers, forests, the opportunities for hunting and fishing, etc.). The image of the town for the insiders (focused on the nature) varies considerably from the version for the others/ the outsiders (where the town’s nature, history and culture are integrated). So the town’s branding for inner tourism may vary considerably from the brand aimed at international tourism.
“Saturation” is the term suggested by the authors to describe the present state of the visual environment of Berlin, the city that acquired a reputation as the European capital of street art. Saturation is a consequence of the gradual infiltration of graffiti and street art into everyday life and the visual environment of Berlin, and their acceptance by city residents. Berliners’ fondness for street imagery is enhanced by the experience and memory of the independent reappropriation and rearrangement of urban space the city underwent after unification. The memory of the Berlin Wall plays a significant role in sustaining Berlin graffiti and street art cultures. It makes evident the history of the images and their creators and their role in urban communication. Simultaneously it normalizes the ephemerality of street imagery. Visual saturation in Berlin is complemented by the activities of “mediators,” who draw various audiences’ attention to graffiti and street art and encourage the interaction of all interested parties. In English, extended summary in Russian.
This paper discusses the legacy of Nikolai Antsiferov (1889–1958), a Russian historian who suggested a unique approach to urban studies in which literature played the key role. In the first section of this paper, the genesis of Antsiferov‘s conceptions of the study of urban history and the image of the city are outlined. The second section provides an analysis of his ideas on the literary image of St. Petersburg and the theory of literary-themed guided tours, which were articulated in his works of the 1920s. The finalsection of the article sheds light on the reception and legacy of Antsiferov‘s intellectual ideas in the modern humanities and assesses its significance in the modern context of interdisciplinarity.
Even though places are social and political constructs, most of them are currently run in ways that parallel a business – they require management and business strategies in order to achieve defined goals. One strategy that place officials have adopted involves implementing marketing and branding strategies in order to promote the place and thereby attract residents, tourists, businesses and investments. The growth of this practice has spurred academia’s rising interest in the topic of place branding. Scholars have devoted considerable attention to the role of place branding at the city and country levels, but the regional level has thus far been largely neglected. Regions are especially important because they both compete and cooperate (within one country or between countries), in turn building so-called interregional brands with a large degree of complexity. This book examines and clarifies key aspects of regional branding with a special focus on interregional brands. It provides a theoretically well-informed but practically oriented overview of this phenomenon, including numerous cases and best practices. As such, it is aimed at both academics and practitioners in the field. In Chap. 1, Sebastian Zenker and Björn P. Jacobsen share their “Introduction to interregional place branding”. They aim to define the interregional brand and examine different concepts in order to provide clarity on the field of place branding. In doing so, they highlight the special character of interregional place branding and apply the aforementioned concepts to a particular interregional place branding case, namely the Fehmarnbelt region. In Chap. 2, Martin Boisen reflects on “Place branding and nonstandard regionalization in Europe”. The vantage point of this chapter is that every place is a brand; it follows, then, that the processes of non-standard regionalization, which are evident all over Europe, have created new places and thus new place brands. The chapter argues that traditional meta-geographies cannot be ignored when employing place brandingwithin these new types of regions. In short, the chapter is intended as a first attempt for a structured conventionalization of the different types of interregional branding. In Chap. 3, Mikael Andéhn and Sebastian Zenker present “Place Branding in Systems of Place – on the Interrelation of Nations and Supranational Places”. In this chapter, the authors challenge the assumption that places can be branded from scratch, on the basis that a place is often a “brand” long before it is formally branded. A place brand is, by definition, rooted in a system of geographical abstractions, in which each place is understood in relation and contrast to other geographical entities. Using the example of nation branding for Sudan and Slovenia, the authors identify supranational places such as “sub-Saharan Africa” or “Eastern Europe”, which carry their own highly salient and often negative meaning. In sum, the chapter explores how a place’s systematic associations influence branding efforts. In Chap. 4, Cecilia Pasquinelli contributes “Network brand and branding: A co-opetitive approach to local and regional development”. This chapter questions the common assumption that places are motivated by competition to pursue place branding. To this end, the chapter explores the issue of network branding, which is based on a co-opetitive rationale for economic development. Derived from business studies, co-opetition refers to the benefits that organizations may receive from simultaneously cooperating and competing with other organizations in value chains (including competitors). In Chap. 5, Aleksandra Khamadieva presents a “Development of a methodology for measuring the residents’ utility within place marketing”. Focusing on the important target group of residents, the author investigates which factors are most important for a place and how those can be measured. These questions become even more complicated in the context of interregional marketing and branding strategies, as two or more regions can unite in order to establish one strong place brand. The author therefore strives to explain the importance of researching this issue and proposes possible approaches. In Chap. 6, Renaud Vuignier talks about “Cross-border place branding: The case of Geneva highlighting multidimensionality of places and the potential role of politico-institutional aspects”. The author states that the issues of attracting tourists and companies have been extensively examined by place promoters, location branders, economists and other scholars. However, the analysis of residents’ role in place branding has been overlooked until recently and represents a new interest for researchers. Thus, the chapter aims to further develop the concept of place branding, both theoretically and empirically, through a case study of the Grand Genève (Great Geneva). In Chap. 7, Tony Jackson writes about “Interregional place-branding concepts: The role of amenity migration in promoting place- and people-centred development”. This chapter draws on new regionalism theory to assess the role of amenity migration in promoting place- and people-centred rural development strategies through the use of interregional place branding. It concludes with a brief review of current interregional place branding practices. The chapter considers the capacity of interregional place branding to facilitate the “territorial attractiveness” of Europe’s transnational areas and suggests that funding for its integration should be sought from the European Commission’s avowedly place-driven Cohesion Policy. In Chap. 8, Jan-Jelle Witte and Erik Braun present a study about “Crossborder place branding in Europe”. Although labelled in various ways, cross-border partnerships are being arranged in all member states of the EU and beyond, hailed as the Regionalization of Europe. This chapter explores the extent of cross-border place branding in Europe as well as differences between cases in terms of the type of cross-border region, the scale of the region and the scope of the branding initiative relative to the target audiences addressed. Moreover, the chapter provides a first measurement of the outcome, leading the authors to suggest some possible relationships between the characteristics of the cross-border branding initiatives and their outcomes. In Chap. 9, Evan Cleave and Godwin Arku focus on “Reaching a ‘critical mass’: Analysis of interregional place branding amongst communities in Ontario, Canada”. They concentrate on a cooperative approach that allows individual communities to reach a critical mass of population, resources and political infrastructure. The analysis in this chapter attempts to fill a gap in place branding literature by examining whether there are clusters of communities that currently have the potential to cooperate in their branding efforts. To this end, the authors use spatial autocorrelation of place brands amongst the communities of Ontario, Canada, to identify potential groups of neighbouring communities with similar branding agendas and compare them to existing collaborative efforts. In Chap. 10, Eduardo Oliveira presents “A strategic spatial planning approach to cross-border place branding with references to Galicia and Northern Portugal”. This chapter adopts a strategic spatial planning approach to think about potential joint place branding initiatives between cross-border regions. The case study within focuses on the extended cross-border European region consisting of northern Portugal and northwest Spain (according to the NUTS 3 classification). Employing knowledge from the strategic spatial planning literature, the chapter aims to contribute to the academic debate on interregional place branding by discussing the potential development of place branding initiatives across administrative border regions. In Chap. 11, Pantazis Pastras and Manolis Psarros write about “Challenges for interregional place branding for cruise tourism in the Black Sea region”. In doing so, the authors add another viewpoint to the discussion by focusing on tourism and destination branding in interregional place branding. This chapter explores how the development of a brand for cruise tourism in the Black Sea region is incorporated into a wider context of conditions and factors that shape interregional place branding in the same area. Not only does the chapter shed light on the interrelationship of a place and a destination brand, it also offers empirical evidence of the dynamic nature of brand-building processes, through the case of a rather complex segment of the tourism market, in terms of the interactions amongst areas, interests and policies. Finally, in Chap. 12, Anna Augustyn and Magdalena Florek present “Branding a cluster of regions: The Eastern Poland macro-region case study”. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse and provisionally evaluate the Programme of Economic Promotion of Eastern Poland. In this chapter, the authors make an attempt to evaluate the validity of the entire idea of joint economic promotion, in which regions compete with each other in many aspects but at the same time present similar offers and have limited resources to promote themselves separately. The authors also try to assess whether the midterm synergy effect was achieved after the programme’s implementation.
“Locals” and “alien” in Russian provincial town
The article is based on empirical social research of the local communities in Russia. Their centers are situated in provincial towns, but the territory occupied by the local community, is located in the wider boundaries in the limes of former county and modern administrative district. We have studied only one component of the provincial social structure: the differentiation in categorical opposition "locals" and "aliens" (or “insiders – outsiders”).
The basic concept is the introduction and determination of necessary and sufficient criteria for the recognition of an individual or group as "us", or “insiders”. These criteria are: (1) duration of communal life, or cohabitation, (2) co-residence – the neighborhood, (3) the relationship and the interaction between "insiders", “locals”, (4) reciprocal altruism – the reciprocity relations, (5) the local privileges and their control, (6) regulatory identification with "we" - communal local mentality.
Not all criteria are symmetrical and the oppositional for the categories of "locals" and "alien". The category of "alien" characterized by following significant criteria: (1) the duration of cohabitation and (2) neighborhood. However, in modern terms is irrelevant criterion (3) relationship. On the contrary, the criterion (4) reciprocal altruism is more important for the differentiation of "aliens" than "locals" Criteria (5) the local privilege and (6) the regulatory identification with "we" no longer significant segregation signs for "aliens"; the reason is a widespread system of public benefits and the availability of mass-media. Local privileges and community mentality shifted to the periphery of public consciousness as a criteria of “we”.
The materials are obtained from the field sociological researches of provincial communities during 1992-2012 years. There are also materials of two all-Russian surveys in 1999 and 2009, used for the statistical analysis. Special emphasis on the study of the social structure of the provincial society was implemented as a result of my research project "Social Structure of Provincial Russian Society" supported in 2011-2012 by the Fund "Khamovniki."
The material was collected in more than 50 towns (local populations). They are located in the European part of Russia and in the Urals and Siberia. The selection of the local communities I have undertaken on the basis of four criteria: (1) a small population of the local community, which involves a broad network of acquaintances, the absence of anomie and anonymity, (2) the duration of the local social life, which means society has long been a "natural" way, and many people are related one another. Society forcibly collected from heterogeneous and alien elements, and (3) the town is not a transportation hub, so there is no high level of migration, (4) in the town absence of urban development enterprise, which employs large numbers of people and such a venture "contracts" for all the life-support local society and distorts the social structure.
Field research methodology was required qualitative methods mainly. There have been direct observational method and expert interviews. Analytical materials obtained as a result of sample representative questionnaires residents.
Results. The significant empirical features of “locals” and “aliens” in the urban provincial society were presented. A number of “locals” traits is analyzed statistically, especially the duration of habitation and resident status (temporal and spatial parameters). Sociological analytical procedures can select only the outward signs of division between "insiders" and "outsiders." The share of "indigenous friends" in a provincial town, at least nine out of ten, on the basis of statistical calculations on materials of mass surveys in 1999 and 2009. This result is consistent with my direct observation and experience with fellow researchers, and an assessment of the respondents. It is clear that not all of these people are recognized for their local community and will be full "friends", or “locals”. But in terms of "neighborhood" they are all neighbors. They are familiar with each other. This acquaintance is pretty close. In a provincial town, almost all the residents - relatives and neighbors. They do not have the passion to migration and prefer to spend all his life in his hometown. "Aliens", or “outsiders” has no more than 5% - 10%, but our other observations are much smaller. Most of the " outsiders" is a "flow-through people", the current flow through the town in its motion in space of the country, has not yet stopped. "Outsiders" live in the city no longer 5-7 years, and then they leave.
The profound differences in the degree of closeness of people in local communities are helped by phenomenological approach. I gave a presentation of case studies of social differentiation in the axis of "insiders – outsiders, alien" in the examples of three long-established provincial societies. Differentiation between “locals" and "alien" is caused mainly by the local social and socio-economic history, including nowadays history. The differentiation caused by ethnic, historical or demographic (migration) factors. A variety of factors are important for the evolution of "locals". This group is a heterogeneous population, and always well differentiated and distanced itself from "aliens".
A few examples show the formation and consolidation processes of "locals": (1) at one time as a homogeneous group of kinship and neighbor with further prolonged stabilization, (2) serial (for 2-3 generations) inclusion and incorporation of new groups of "locals" in the local society, (3) selective inclusion of particular groups of "aliens" in the existing closed local society, and the rejection of other groups. "Locals" in the provincial society is homogeneous group in population-demographic and social traits. The local population has a low level of migration, and the boundaries population extends far beyond the city limits, usually covering most of the population of modern municipal region, or the administrative district.
Provincial Russian town is made in the vast majority of "friendly people. People are very familiar with each other inhabitants, a lot of them are relatives, and they give mutually support each other, and have common attitudes. Outsiders is not existing in a small provincial town, that's true. Aliens forms small and compact groups, that are clearly visible and segregate. This status of aliens reflects the homogenously and low difference of “locals”. But, it is the main factor of local solidarity. In such society is not loneliness. Such society has the real local self-government, but it is not receptive to civil society established by state. The society of “locals” is not a civil society.
The article deals with the processes of building the information society and security in the CIS in accordance with modern conditions. The main objective is to review existing mechanisms for the formation of a common information space in the Eurasian region, regarded as one of the essential aspects of international integration. The theoretical significance of the work is to determine the main controls of the regional information infrastructure, improved by the development of communication features in a rapid process.The practical component consists in determining the future policies of the region under consideration in building the information society. The study authors used historical-descriptive approach and factual analysis of events having to do with drawing the contours of today's global information society in the regional refraction.
The main result is the fact that the development of information and communication technologies, and network resources leads to increased threats of destabilization of the socio-political situation in view of the emergence of multiple centers that generate the ideological and psychological background. Keeping focused information policy can not be conceived without the collective participation of States in the first place, members of the group leaders of integration - Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Currently, only produced a comprehensive approach to security in the information field in the Eurasian region, but the events in the world, largely thanks to modern technology, make the search for an exit strategy with a much higher speed. The article contributes to the science of international relations, engaging in interdisciplinary thinking that is associated with a transition period in the development of society. A study of current conditions in their relation to the current socio-political patterns of the authors leads to conclusions about the need for cooperation with the network centers of power in the modern information environment, the formation of alternative models of networking, especially in innovation and scientific and technical areas of information policy, and expanding the integration of the field in this region on the information content.