The development of social capital in rural areas of the Crimean Peninsula (on the example of the village of Novoalelseevka)

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The crisis in the Russian countryside has been going on for several decades, and its spatial differences only complicate the task of developing a set of anti-crisis measures. The authorities’ efforts to revive the depopulating settlements do not have the desired effect. According to the respondents in different regions of Russia, the authorities became concerned with the rural development too late - when a significant share of the able-bodied population either already migrated to cities or decided to do so. Since the Russian urbanization has not yet been completed, measures to counter the atomization of rural communities, to involve the rural population in solving their settlements’ problems, and also to support initiatives ‘from below’ should become a priority for the state. In some ideal development case, we can expect the formation of social networks of people living and working in the same rural community, which would allow it to survive and function effectively, not depending on external actors. The situation on the Crimean Peninsula is a positive example of the opportunities for developing the rural social capital. In the article, the village of Novoalekseevka (Krasnogvardeisky district) is presented as a successful ‘case’ of the local community’s participation in planning the life of the village. From 1995 to 2014, the specialists of the Crimean Development and Integration Program of the United Nations Development Program were supporting the collapsing rural community. The joint maintenance of the water supply and the joint implementation of infrastructure projects helped the population to feel the importance and efficiency of common efforts. After 2014, the state financing of rural projects has increased, but at the same time, the distance between the decision-making authorities and the rural population has also increased, which contributes to the rural population’s dependent mood. This situation exacerbates the atomization of rural communities, hinders the development and worsens the state of the social capital of rural areas.

About the authors

T. Yu. Gusakov

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.
Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2023 Gusakov T.Y.

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