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The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Alexander Soldatkin (Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia)

Children and Youth Issues in Municipal Development Discussions in Small Towns of Russia

The discussion about future apparently has been stated in the Russian society in the recent time. It has various forms and levels, touches upon issues of political changes, technological development, and social transformations. Although the most visible discussions appear on the national level, there is always a diversity of proposals, plans, and negotiations concerning possible future developments on regional and municipal levels. They present an important context of the future vision of the ‘second Russia’ of the ‘other Russia’ somewhat spatially or socially distant from capitals and big cities. Those distances are not always big, as those localities are often closely attached to large cities or key questions of the national agenda. For instance, research results demonstrate that issues of children and youth are typically present in nearly all the discussion concerning the future of municipalities. Such issues are regularly being addressed on the federal level, but the local discussions focused on the most concrete goals seem to have some specific characteristics. The research questions I would like to address in my paper are: which specific features do those discussions and plans have? What is their scope and content? How deep is the discussion of those issues – what remains on the level of declarations and what is well thought of? The analysis will be based on the transcripts of interviews and group discussions conducted within several research projects in small towns in Nizhni Novgorod and Veliki Novgorod regions.