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Regular version of the site

Article

Urban Regimes in Small Russian Towns

City and Community. 2019. Vol. 18. No. 3. P. 812-833.
Valeri Ledyaev, Chirikova A.

This article presents the outcomes of a research project conducted in five smallRussian towns. Different coalitions between local actors take place in all commu-nities. However, coalitions that meet the criteria of the urban regime (in Stone’sclassical interpretation) have been discovered, with certain reservations, only intwo towns. For a number of characteristics, these coalitions differed from regimesin American and European towns: often not quite voluntary nature of coalitions,prevalence of egoistic motives in the coalition-building, strong dependence of theregimes on the personal factor (personal qualities and resources of local adminis-trators, their experience, relations with regional elites, etc.), absence of formal or-ganizations able to coordinate the interests of coalition members, etc. In the threeother local communities, urban regimes have not been built due to personal factors,frequent changes in the local government leadership, or the role of external factors(the nature of the relationship of local elites with regional and federal authorities,methods of influence of regional authorities on local politics). In the public agendaof the regimes (quasi-regimes), the elements of the status quo and, to a lesser ex-tent, growth, prevail. The outcomes of study allow us to conclude that despite theauthoritarian nature of the Russian politics and the differences between Russianand American contexts, urban regimes analysis is quite applicable for the study ofpower in Russian local communities.