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Kikimora Publications Series A 9

Vesa Rautio
The Potential for Community Restructuring

Mining Towns in Pechenga
Kikimora Publications : Series A9. 2003

ISBN 952-10-1418-0
168 p.



The restructuring of the Pechenga District is analysed in this study through interviews with the participants – workers, public sector and managers – of the process. Moreover, the Russian North’s restructuring cases are compared to similar Western processes to identify similarities and differences. This research indicates that the restructuring of resource communities in the Russian North differs from similar Western processes because of the Soviet legacy and present Russian context. Particularly the workers’ role diverges from Western cases because of the former Soviet labour policy, lacking social safety networks and undeveloped civil society.
“There are a lot of reasons why it is important to understand what is happening in northern Russian mining towns: their output is important for the Russian economy and global commodity markets, they are big producers of pollution that affects not only Russia, and they are a leading indicator of possible demographic and social changes that are vital to Russia's future. Will the Kola Peninsula remain the embodiment of all that was wrong with the Soviet Union, or will it be the scene of Russia's coming to terms with its geography and history? Vesa Rautio's penetrating study of the mining towns of the Kola helps us answer that question, with its detailed account of government and corporate policy, and a fascinating survey of the attitudes of local residents.”
Stephen Fortescue, Associate Professor
The University of New South Wales, Sydney

Vesa Rautio has worked as a researcher in the Department of Geography at the University of Joensuu since 1998. He specialises in industrial restructuring in Russia. The main focus of his research comprises the socio-economic consequences of transition in resource communities of the Russian North.