chapter  1
19 Pages

Historical Construction of Russia's Inter-Urban Space

ByGrigory Ioffe, Tatyana Nefedova

Social scientists disagree on how deep the roots of issues in contemporary Russia lie buried. "There is an opinion," writes Alexander Akhiazer, "that for today's Russia and its build-up, only those events are significant that occurred in the last fifty years; others believe that only events since 1917 are meaningful, and so on. This chapter addresses some phenomena of the Russian past that are still evident in events and developments of today. Those phenomena have already been fairly well studied; the authors simply singles out the most formative of them, relying on sources, some familiar and some less so to the Western reader. In Russia's intellectual circles the mode of thinking was never as pervasive as during the early years of Gorbachev's perestroika. Effect of the super-abundance of land (an effect exacerbated by Russia's social backwardness) was the delayed assimilation of farming innovations, for example, crop rotation systems, and a key to higher yields.