In Soviet period absence of market prices led to extremely inefficient land use and spatial development of cities. Centralized planning system was not flexible and responsive to changing demand, preoccupied with minimization of construction costs and characterized by very low density of land use. In 20 years after the beginning of market economic reforms and mass privatization of real property the situation in land use and spatial development of Russian cities didn’t change much. Main reasons of this are: unclear, non-specified and often not registered property rights; quasi-monopoly of the state on urban lands; absence of clear distinction between federal, regional and municipal lands; high transaction costs and administrative barriers for developers; still very much administrative approach to planning and land use regulation, absence of real dialog with community development groups and NGOs. In this legal and institutional environment regional and/or local authorities often act in interests of big and influential investors and developers, scarifying interests of community as well as of small private owners and tenants. As a result we can see a further worsening of the urban environment, decreasing of green areas, disappearance of historical character of whole parts of city centers, sprawl developments in suburbia etc.
To measure transaction costs and administrative risks in urban development and construction, a survey of developers, builders and real estate agents was undertaken in St Petersburg and Leningrad region, the results of which are presented in the paper.
The chapter traces the history of evolution of Russian liberal thought in the span of the 19th century and explores how Russian liberals conceptualized the phenomenon of imperial diversity and related to the context of empire in thinking about potentialities of progressive Russian politics. The author explores the history of importation of blueprints of liberal universalism in Russian liberal thought and the development of the paradigm of national liberalism in reposnse to the challenges of the modern empire. The author argues that the idiom of national liberalism was not the only one. A different paradigm was in existence that may be called imperial liberalism. The chapter finds out how this alternative paradigm helped Russian liberals assume a significant place in public politics in the late imperial period, when the odds of mass politics were against classical liberalism. The chapter introduces the author’s finding of the transnational genealogy of Petr Struve’s program of “Greater Russia.”
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.