THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

The processes of political elites formation in polyethnic regions of Russia

2018. 1, pp. 182-191

Mikhailova Y.A. - Ph.D. (Sociology), Associate Professor, Astrakhan State University, 20a Tatishchev Str., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation,

The regional political elite includes representatives of the ruling class, performing political functions in the region through holding senior positions in government bodies, activity in political parties, and public organizations. Specificity of regional elites depends on the level of social and economic development of the region, ethnic structure and local socio-cultural characteristics. The social contradictions of the region can be expressed in nationalist movements. Ethnonational movements can declare a variety of goals (for example, the formation of a new identity, attempts to reconstruct the old one). At anational level, such ideas are only understood by the ethnic elite, within the framework of regional communities, the activity of ethnic entrepreneurs can be realized as a political resource. At the regional level, ethnicity acts both as a political resource and an instrument of political mobilization, as it can serve as the basis for ideology and regionalist movements. However, participation in nationalist movements is not an effective channel for direct co-optation into regional elites. Within the legal framework of the federal structure of the Russian Federation, the general trend of depoliticization of ethnicity is traced. In fact, ethno-nationalist discourse itself in the regions is replaced by social demands for protecting the economic interests of the population. At the same time, social inequality in the political sphere is treated by the public consciousness as a problem. Active migration from the North Caucasus region is an important factor in the internal policy of the South of Russia. Export of features of political culture and mechanisms of formation of the regional political elite, expressed through concepts of archaization, is possible. In the future, it creates a risk of increasing inter-ethnic tensions.

Key words: , , , , , , , , , region, ethnicity, regional political elites, political elite, archaization, federalization, social structure, migration, clan