vladimirova, vladislava


Post-Socialist Entrepreneurs as New Economic Actors

The paper will study the development of indigenous ethnic obshchiny in the Russian North, with empirical focus on the Murmansk Region, Evenkia Municipality, and Sakhalin Island. The earliest postsoviet legislation about the indigenous small-numbered peoples of the North introduced ethnic kinship and neighborhood-based communities (obshchiny) as mechanism to enhance indigenous self-government. When the law about obshchiny was accepted in 2001, the purpose of this specific organizational form has been reduced to promoting traditional subsistence oriented economies. The obshchina's activities have been further limited by imposing a non-commercial character on the organization and by the fact that obshchiny can lease land at lower rates only in the so called “territories of traditional nature use”, which have not been created in many regions yet. Despite legislative vagueness and dependency on often contradictory policies at local administrations, a large number of obshchiny have been registered since the inception of the law. People use them creatively in a variety of ways in order to enhance their economic condition and standard of living. From attracting Western help through claims of indigenous traditional economy in need of private entrepreneurship support, to cooperation for better realization of individual quotas for natural resources to which only indigenous people of the North are entitled, local practices show a great variety of interpretations and economic activities under obshchiny.

Friday 26 October 14.30-16:30 Panels IX, Panel 24 Ceres-panel 2: Post-Socialist Entrepreneurs as New Economic Actors (Hall 8)