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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-34

'Fragmented Belonging' on Russia's Forested Western Frontier


Local Governance Research Unit, Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Tomila Lankina
Local Governance Research Unit, Department of Public Policy, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Karelia is a forestry-rich region on Russia's northwestern frontier. This article shows how institutional arrangements for local government were a product of contending efforts of western donors and other transnational actors, the federal and regional governments, and the municipalities. Russia's re-centrali­sing reforms and broader authoritarian context notwithstanding, Karelia illustrates how the choice of lo­cal institutions, and ideas about representation and citizenship are increasingly shaped by actors beyond the central state. Borrowing insights from J.S. Migdal and J.C. Ribot, this article argues that the result is shifting cognitive boundaries and 'fragmented belonging' in a dynamic process of contestation and re­contestation of citizenship.


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