Journal section "Social development"

Social innovations in the changing rural environment of Russia

Kopoteva I., Jouko N.

2 (2), 2008

Kopoteva I., Jouko N. Social innovations in the changing rural environment of Russia. Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast, 2008, no. 2 (2)

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The rural areas are going through deep and wide-ranging processes of restructuring and change of role and functions. In Russia the social transformation threw rural areas in decade-long social turmoil, which resulted in deep de-capitalization of agriculture and the rural areas are facing the challenges of ageing and migration of population and eroding networks of social and cultural services. These processes have opened niches for different kinds of private provision of welfare and social services, whose demand needs to be met by social innovations. Creation and promotion of social innovation requires concerted cooperative action of local residents, administration and business. In this article we are mapping efforts to tackle the challenges of rural change in Russia. The basis of the analysis is in the concepts of social innovation and social partnership, emphasizing local activity, social learning and cooperation between different stake-holders. The main part of the paper describes one social innovation project in Nizhny-Novgorod region and the empirical material for the article is based on qualitative interviews, conducted in Russia during the year 2007


rural development, social innovations, russia, social networks, social partnership