Land takeovers, perceived security and rural community resilience in Russia
(New Economic School)
Paper short abstract:
Analysing rural response to land claims by outsiders in Russia, this paper focuses on factors contributing to low capacity of rural communities to cooperate against takeovers and factors encouraging individual land titling. It also examines how the perceived security of land is constructed.
Paper long abstract:
The proposed paper analyses individual and community responses to land claims by outsiders in Russia. In addition, the paper examines how the perceived security or insecurity of land rights is constructed involving issues of trust, morality and rights justified by previous land use. Comparison of four rural communities suggests that land competition and perceived insecurity of land rights encourage individual land titling. However, the sense of insecurity does not provide a ground for community cooperation against takeovers. Weakness of institutions of local participation in self-government significantly contributes to communities' low capacity to stand against outside intervention. The power of making decisions at the community level is strongly associated with the state administration exercising a top-down approach. Rural communities' passive position is further advanced by difficulties local people experience in comprehending the ambiguous and complex legislation. These conditions strengthen the administrative elites' ability to manipulate land issues for their own benefit and the advantage of outside business.
Farmland as investment in post-Soviet Eurasia: practices, coalitions, moralities