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Russian Challenges

Between Freedom and Energy


Edited By Galina Michaleva and Andrey Ryabov

This book analyses the influence that oil and gas have on various sides of Russia’s contemporary internal and foreign policy. On the one hand, the factor oil and gas enabled the ruling elite to strengthen the state institutions and to stabilize Russia’s political and social system after decades of instability. Relying on the new economic opportunities contributed to the growth of revenues of the mass sections of population, and owing to the increased export of natural fuel resources Russia significantly strengthened its influence on international politics. But on the other hand, authoritarian tendencies increased in politics. The contributions of this book inquire into the gradually declining role of independent actors in relation to the government, and the increasing authority of the elites in power who continue to represent their corporate interests as being national ones.


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Natalia Zubarevich - Regional Development and Big Businessin Russia’s Regions - 117


Natalia Zubarevich Regional Development and Big Business in Russia’s Regions Regional development and big business are two different topics but in Russia they are closely linked with each other. The reason for that is that the dominating influence of first nature factors (raw natural resources) persists and the role of second nature factors – ones that have an agglomeration effect (economics of scale) and use human capital – are not adequately developed. This classification of factors, proposed as the New Economic Geography,1 helps us understand the role of big business in the process of regional development. The production and refining of mineral resources is controlled by large companies, both state and private. The taxes paid by these compa- nies make up the bulk of the regional budget surplus; additionally the companies, especially oil and gas companies, are often the main investors of the region. Besides tax money, business usually ends up financing social functions and programs in the regions. The social responsibility of these businesses is especially high in monofunc- tional towns where the company’s main resources are located. Thus we see that big business plays a huge role in the economic and social development of the regions. In this article the author tries to answer the following questions: – How are Russia’s regions and cities developing and how does big business influences this process? – How did the geography of big business change – what are the zones of expansion? – How do relations between big business and the regions’...

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