Дискуссия по докладу Т.Г. Нефедовой «Поляризация социально-экономического пространства и перспективы сельской местности в староосвоенных регионах Центра России
© 2021, Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. All rights reserved.On March 11, 2021, at the joint seminar of the Center for Agrarian Studies of the RANEPA and the Chayanov Research Center of the MSSES, the researchers discussed the presentation of Tatyana Nefedova, DSc (Geography), the Chief Researcher of the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences, on the polarization of the Russian social-economic space and the prospects of rural areas in the old-developed regions of Central Russia. Geographers, sociologists and economists discussed the driving forces of the contemporary rural development in Russia, the relationship of the Soviet agrarian heritage with the new trends in the transformation of rural areas, the role of various rural-urban strata — migrant workers, summer residents and villagers — in the preservation and possible redevelopment of the countryside. The participants considered the key concepts of the presentation: polarization, reduction of rural areas, features of their previous development, regional and local examples of the mostly depressive but sometimes sustainable ways of rural development. Some participants focused on the latest trends of rural development (2020–2021) as determined by the impact of the pandemic on both the city and the countryside; discussed the meaning and directions of rural-urban migrations both in Russia and from neighboring countries to Russia; emphasized the role of the subjective factor (strong leaders) in the local sustainable rural development. The participants admitted that, under the increasing state and market centralization of resources accompanied by the so-called optimization of rural social infrastructure (in fact many rural schools, hospitals and cultural institutions were just closed) and given the weak and ineffective rural municipal self-government, there are growing negative trends of the strengthening depression in rural areas of Central Russia. However, the old-developed rural regions have the historical-cultural potential for a new rural development.