The Vector of Russian Policy in the North Caucasus Round Table

On June 9, 2012, Irina Starodubrovskaya, PhD (Economics), Director for the Center for Political Economy and Regional Development spoke at the round table: The Vector of the Russian Policy in the North Caucasus which was held within the frameworks of the 2nd Dagestan Economic Forum in Makhachkala.


Irina Starodubrovskaya spoke about the prospects of the North Caucasus and the role of the elite in formation of those prospects. She noted that there was no point of explaining the region's existing problems and difficulties by a conspiracy theory as they could be fairly explained by "the path dependence effect": in new historical stages old groups of interests were preserved and old patterns of relations and problems were reproduced and kept hindering the development as before. According to Irina Starodubrovskaya, not all the countries in the world have managed to overcome that effect, however to succeed in that a few factors may be found useful. Firstly, it is a formation of an urban environment where external factors of control which are incidental to a traditional community are replaced by new mechanisms of public self-regulation. Secondly, it is development of the new economy where skilled work force is required: in new economic conditions recruitment of personnel based on clan and kindred principles fails to work soon. Thirdly, it is formation in an urban environment of expanded social networks whose potential will be higher than that of networks of a traditional community. If objective prerequisites for breaking up with path dependence have been formed one way or another the further development will be determined to a large extent by formation of the elite which is to carry out the required reforms.

According to Irina Starodubrovskaya, preparedness of the elite to initiate reforms is not much determined by ‘recipes' from the outside, but the ability to understand the problems of its own community on the basis of achievements of the global practice. To do that, it is important to get acquainted with the experience of foreign countries with a different level of economic development and different religious situation. It is important to develop relevant educational programs; as a result of implementation of such programs a new part of the local elite may be formed and it will be united by common intellectual values and views on development of the community and economy. In conditions of extreme fragmentation of the community in Dagestan, including ideological divisions, it is highly important that a consensus on the need of such secular, educational programs is achieved.

Mass media:
"Grey" Market, "Path Dependence Effect" and Police Accountability: Discussion in Makhachkala //, 13.06.2012