Identity Policies in Rural Local Community Development in Russia

Identity Policies in Rural Local Community Development in Russia

Morozova E.V.,

Professor, Department of Public Policy and Public Administration, Kuban State University,

elibrary_id: 388085 | ORCID: 0000-0002-1369-7594 | RESEARCHER_ID: R-9250-2016

Miroshnichenko I.V.,

Head of Public Policy and Public Administration Department, Kuban State University,

elibrary_id: 384930 | ORCID: 0000-0002-2650-6662 | RESEARCHER_ID: Q-7280-2016

Semenenko I.S.,

Corresponding Member, Russian Academy of Sciences, Deputy Director, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 251670 | ORCID: 0000-0003-2529-9283 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2020.03.05
Rubric: Russia Today

For citation:

Morozova E.V., Miroshnichenko I.V., Semenenko I.S. Identity Policies in Rural Local Community Development in Russia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 3. P. 56-77. (In Russ.).

The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Expert Institute for Social Studies within the framework of the research project No. 19-011-31356 “Development of Rural Local Communities: The Potential of Identity Politics in the Context of the Heterogeneity of Socio-economic and Socio-cultural Space of a Region”.


The article substantiates the criteria for assessing the role of identity politics and the potential of identity policies in local community development. Identifying this potential is crucial for assessing the prospects of a paradigm shift in development policies in a changing world order. The emergence of new cleavages in contemporary societies – due to rapidly growing digital divides and disparities between territories – calls for a new development agenda for different levels of political governance. Attention to intangible resources and administrative priorities for the development of non-urban territories has been growing in political studies in recent years, particularly, in the context of “rural” studies across different regions of the world. As such, identity politics are considered an intangible resource, and include policies aimed at forming strong local identities to promote community development. This research is based on an empirical study conducted by the authors in Krasnodar Krai in 2019 (8 focus-group interviews and 40 expert interviews in 8 rural settlements). Drawing on empirical data several markers of rural local identity were detected and described, and an identity policy matrix relevant for local communities was constructed. The level of involvement by various actors and agencies in the development of rural territories, and the character of the development activities, were the main criteria applied to discern three types of identity policies which the authors describe as reactive, proactive, and active. Their potential in promoting the development of Russian rural territories was determined, taking into account the unique socio-cultural and natural-geographical landscape, the heterogeneity of the socio-economic and sociocultural space of Russian regions, and the variety of institutional models of local community agency present in contemporary rural Russia. The authors advocate the promotion of “rural” (non-urban) studies in political science in Russia. 

rural local communities, non-urban territories, rural studies, development policy, intangible development resources, local identity, rural identity, identity politics, identity markers, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.


Cruickshank J., Lysgard H.K., Magnussen M.-L. 2009. The Logic of the Construction of Rural Politics: Political Discourses on Rurality in Norway. – Geografiska Annaler. Series B. Human Geography. Vol. 91. No. 1. P. 73-89.

Dymitrow M. 2018. Rural/Urban: Laying Bare the Controversy. – Geographia Polonica. Vol. 91. No. 4. P. 375-397.

Glenn T.J. 1986. Neighborhood and Sense of Community. – Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 14. No. 4. P. 341‑352.<341::AID-JCOP2290140403>3.0.CO;2-0

Handbook of Rural Studies. 2006. Ed. by P. Cloke, T. Marsden, P.H. Mooney. London, Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. 528 p.

Heller K. 1989.The Return to Community. – American Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 17. No. 1. P. 1-15.

Kotkin J. 2000. The New Geography: How Digital Revolution is Reshaping the American Landscape. New York: Random House. 242 p.

Leach B., Pini B. 2011. Reshaping Gender and Class in Rural Spaces. London, New York: Routledge. 266 p.

Lundgren A.S., Johansson A. 2017. Digital Rurality: Producing the Countryside in Online Struggles for Rural Survival. – Journal of Rural Studies. Vol. 51. No. 1. P. 73-82.

McMillan D.W. 1996. Sense of Community. – Journal of Community Psychology. Vol. 24. No. 4. P. 315‑325.<315::AID-JCOP2>3.0.CO;2-T

Nartova N.A., Krupets Y.N. 2019. ‘It is Hard for Me to Live in the City’: Local Identities and Place Attachment among Young Rural Russians. – Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes. No. 1. P. 342‑361.

Neal S. 2009. Rural Identities. Ethnicity and Community in the Contemporary English Countryside. Farnham: Ashgate. 170 р.

Nilsson B., Lundgren A.S. 2018. “For a Living Countryside”: Political Rhetoric about Swedish Rural Areas. – European Urban and Regional Studies. Vol. 25. No. 1. P. 72-84.

The New Rural Paradigm: Policies and Governance. 2006. – OECD. Paris. URL: (accessed 25.03.2020).

Routledge International Handbook of Rural Studies. 2016. Ed. by M. Schusmith, D.L. Brown. London, New York: Routledge. 698 p.

Svendsen G.L.H. 2004. The Right to Development: Construction of a Non-Agriculturalist Discourse of Rurality in Denmark. – Journal of Rural Studies. Vol. 20. No. 1. P. 79-94.

Woods M. 2011. Rural. London: Routledge. 340 p.

Filippov Yu.V., Avdeeva T.T. 2000. Osnovy razvitiya mestnogo khozyaistva [Foundations of Local Economy Development]. Moscow: Delo. 264 p. (In Russ.)


Filippov Yu.V., Avdeeva T.T., Lavrova T.G. 2013. Teorii mestnogo ekonmicheskogo razvitiya [Theories of Local Econmic Development]. Moscow: Prospekt. 130 p. (In Russ.)

Halbwachs M. 2005. La Memoire collective. (Russ. ed.: Halbwachs M. Kollektivnaya i istoricheskaya pamyat’. – Neprikosnovennyi zapas. No. 2. P. 8-27). URL: (accessed 25.03.2020).

Identichnost: Lichnost, obshchestvo, politika. Entsiklopedicheskoe izdanie [Identity: The Individual, Society, and Politics. An Encyclopedia]. Ed. by I.S. Semenenko. 2017. Moscow: VES MIR. 992 p. (In Russ.)

Lyska A.G. 2013. The Concept of Building a Local Community in the Works of Foreign Scientists. – Sociological Studies. No. 7. P. 99-104. (In Russ.)

Malinova O.Yu. 2017. Simvolicheskaya politika [Symbolic Politics]. – Identichnost: Lichnost, obshchestvo, politika. Entsiklopedicheskoe izdanie [Identity: The Individual, Society, and Politics. An Encyclopedia]. Ed. by I.S. Semenenko. Moscow: VES MIR. P. 655-660. (In Russ.)

Malye goroda v sotsial’nom prostranstve Rossii [Small Cities in the Social Space of Russia]. 2019. Ed. by V.V. Markin, M.F. Chernysh. Moscow: FCTAS RAS. 545 p. (In Russ.)

Morozova E.V. 2018. Sel’skaya identichnost’: politicheskii rakurs [Rural Identity: A Political Perspective]. – Politika razvitiya, gosudarstvo i mirovoi poryadok. Materialy VIII Vserossiiskogo kongressa politologov. Moskva, 6-8 dekabrya 2018 goda [Development Policy, State and World Order. Materials of the VIII All-Russian Congress of Political Scientists. Moscow, December 6-8, 2018]. Ed. by O.V. Gaman-Golutvina, L.V. Smorgunov, L.N. Timofeeva. Moscow: Aspect Press. P. 359. (In Russ.)

Nikiforova E. 2013. “Torgovtsy krasotoi”: zametki o rebrendinge estonskoi derevni [“Beauty Traders”: notes on rebranding of an Estonian village]. – Vdali ot gorodov: Zhizn’ postsovetskoi derevni [Far from Cities: Life of the post-Soviet Village]. Ed. by E. Bogdanova, O. Brednikova. Saint Petersburg: Aletheia. P. 144-167. (In Russ.)

Pushkareva G.V. 2017. Simvolicheskie formy konstruirovaniya politicheskoi real’nosti [Symbolic Forms and Construction of Political Reality]. – Simvolicheskaya politika. Vypusk 5. Politika identichnosti. [Symbolic Politics. Vol. 5. Identity Politics]. Moscow: INION RAN. P. 61-80. (In Russ.)

Sagitova L.V. 2012. Traditional and New in Islam: Case Middle Yeluzan. – Sociological Studies. No. 2. P. 104-114. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S. 2019a. Horizons of Responsible Development: from Discourse to Governance. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 3. P. 7-26. (In Russ.)

Semenenko I.S. 2019b. The Rural Local Community in Development Policies in Europe: Discourse and Agency. – South-Russian Journal of Social Sciences. Vol. 20. No. 3. P. 6-27. (In Russ.)

Smirnyagin L.V. 2016. Evolyutsiya mesta v khode “proizvodstva prostranstva” [The Evolution of Place in Context of the “Production of Space”]. – Simvolicheskaya politika. Vypusk 4. Sotsial’noe konstruirovanie prostranstva [Symbolic Politics. Vol. 4. Social Construction of Space]. Moscow: INION RAN. P. 84-105. (In Russ.)

Vdali ot gorodov: Zhizn’ postsovetskoi derevni [Far from Cities: Life of the post-Soviet Village]. 2013. Ed. by E. Bogdanova, O. Brednikova. Saint Petersburg: Aletheia. 232 p. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 3, 2020

See also:

Semenenko I.S.,
Dilemmas of national identity: political risks and social inputs. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I.,
Identity in the system of coordinates of the world development. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No3

Morozova E.V., Miroshnichenko I.V.,
Traditions and innovations in development policy of rural territories in Russia: the potential of Cossacks. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No5

Smorgunov L.V.,
Political identity and the concept of the political. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No6

Samarkina I.V., Bashmakov I.S.,
Local Identity and Mechanisms of its Conversion into Constructive Socio-Political Practices of Youth. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No2



   2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991