chapter  4
1 Pages

Urban–Rural Interactions Under Communist Ideology and Totalitarian Policy Regimes

Central and Eastern Europe’s landscapes and social memory still carry elements from the

communist regimes. One of the communist ideology postulates was that the cities should

lead the countryside and that urban-rural relationships should change from being exploi-

tative to mutually beneficial. Wegren (2001) argues that urban bias has dominated Soviet

politics. In Latvia by 1972, collective farmers average income including income from

private plots had surpassed that of urban workers (Misiunas & Taagepera, 1983,

p. 220). This proves that under a less totalitarian regime, comparatively well-educated

rural population’s voice leads to more equal urban-rural distribution of welfare and ser-

vices. As initiated in this period, several urban-rural policy measures are positively

assessed by interviewed Latvian experts-like support to rural services and public trans-

port, culture, outdoor and field sport activities, subsidized work of urban skilled and urban

youth work and leisure in rural areas.