Poverty, mass unemployment, social exclusion, and violation of small-holders’ land rights have become the scourge of Russian countryside after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Under such conditions one could expect an outright social resistance and large-scale protests, while Russian rural dwellers seem to show remarkable tolerance and peaceful acceptance of existing deprivation and inequality. The peacefulness and endurance of the post-soviet rural population are often explained by the socialist history and contemporary non-democratic regimes, which create a structure that prevents dissenting expressions. This research looks beyond this common explanation, and aims to understand the so-called post-Soviet rural ‘quietness’ by studying different spaces for contestation. These spaces (social, economic, political and cultural) influence rural dwellers’ perceptions and practices, thereby, their attitude to the existing order and politics of change. By analysing various dimensions of rural everydayness this research explains why the existing socio-economic tensions in rural Russia do not escalate to a civil protest and large-scale mobilisation. This analysis aims to contribute to a better understanding of peasant politics, social relations, and mobilisation practices in the post-socialist context.

Food, Farmland and Forests in Transition: The Eurasian countryside 25 years after.
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Mamonova, N. (2014). Behind the veil of Russian rural ‘quietness’. In EUR-ISS-PER. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/78618