Governing a regional capital in Russia. The pursuit of competitiveness and identity : A case study of Kazan

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Kinossian, Nadir V.
  • Subject: DK | JS

The thesis is focused on the transformation of Kazan the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. The research uses two case studies, namely the Resurrection of the Kul-Sharif Mosque in Kazan Kremlin (1995;2005) and the Special Federal Programme for the Preservation and Development of the Kazan Historic Centre (2000;2005) to analyse the emerging nature and character of urban governance in Kazan. The research is based on the analysis of policy documents, statistical data and interviews with policy-makers in the city of Kazan in Russia. The analysis of urban transformation helps to understand the underlying political, economic and social processes that Russia has experienced since the late 1980s. The research has critically evaluated the theories of globalisation, post-socialist transition and governance and demonstrated that many of these theories are western-centric and have been developed and evolved with little engagement with Russian urban experience. The research also reveals the limitations of western urban theory in explaining the urban transformation of Kazan where the elites pay homage to globalisation and neo-liberalism in principle, but in practice use old-fashioned methods of administrative coercion and political bargaining to attract development funding from the state- controlled industries and the federal government. The research has revealed the importance of pre-existing institutions, practices and cultures that form "hybrid" institutional arrangements that diverge from the entrepreneurial governance model.
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