Project leader

Ann-Mari Sätre

Project Participants

Leo Granberg (IRES), Dmitry Rudenko (Tyumen State University), Alla Varyzgina (Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod).

Project period

2017- ongoing

Project description

The objective of the project is to study the interdependence of reproduction of poverty with reactions in civil society on the local level, in Russia’s tightening economy after 2008. The theoretical frame comes from institutional economics, added with an orientation to agency as the changing factor. The project team continues its earlier work with data of around 400 qualitative interviews collected 2002-17 mainly from six regions in Russia, from various people in illages, small towns and regional centres. This research has shown an increasing activity by local people to find ways to cope with and to get out of poverty facilitated through some political measures by state and regional authorities. However, development in that direction is very uneven and seems to depend considerably on personal factors. In the last years Russia’s tightening economy and increasing control of NGOs has started to influence the situation. The aim of this new project is on the one hand to focus attention on this contradictory development in Russian localities and on the other hand to complement the data from an oil and gas rich region.

Thus the research objective is concretized by dividing it into two groups of research questions 1) what is the state of poverty in energy rich regions and how does it differ from other regions?

2) What are the answers of civil society to poverty in changing economic and political circumstances after the financial crisis in 2008, falling oil incomes and contradictory policy in relation to civic organisations?

As a background for qualitative research the project will analyse the Survey results Social Distinction in Modern Russia. Changes in and new forms of civil society are studied by analysing the evolution during a decade of a group of registered civic organisations, which

work with social issues, in four regions. The aim is to understand how they are adapting to the local circumstances, possible political support and harnesses they meet. The energy rich region is studied as a case study, in order to highlight how poverty (and income differences) are influenced by the region’s energy incomes and in what way interregional redistribution of incomes influences in energy producing regions.


Sätre, Ann-Mari and Leo Granberg (2017), Policy implementation and initiatives in Russia: the local perspective. Laboratorium (Forthcoming)

Sätre, Ann-Mari, Leo Granberg and Alla Varyzgina (2017), Poverty and civil society in Russia. In: Kristina Svels (ed.), Uneven processes of Rural Change: On Diversity, Knowledge and Justice (p. 63-64), doi:>