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Books by Grigory Yavlinsky
Economics and Politics in Russia
The Center for Economic and Political Research (EPIcenter)
Nizhni Novgorod-Moscow, 1992
CHAPTER 2. The New Policies of the Administration.

2.3. Regional approach

Formation of "crystallization nuclei".

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For a society finding itself in a stage of restructurization and transformation into a qualitatively new state, it is always necessary to find supporting points (progressive tendencies and active participants) in the formulation of

its new structure. Just as it is necessary in ideology, in domestic and foreign policy, in the economy and in the social sphere, it must be done in the territorial aspect.

As has already been mentioned, the transfer from a controlled disintegration toward a unification (reintegration) and the following revitalization, in which the most dynamic entities and regions must fulfill the role of a "crystallization nuclei", must turn into progressive tendencies of territorial development of Russia in the post-reform period. The theory of such nuclei is not new and has long been used in part during investigations of the settlement of populations and territorial organization of industrial strength.

In contrast to the historical Russian identification of integration with strong pressure, regional leaders of the new federation must be the centers of accord. Therefore, regions with high integration potential which enjoy economic power, intensive interregional production ties, high scientific and technology potential and have exemplary cultural traditions, can be the first to become "crystallisation nuclei".

However, the tentativeness of domestic policies, stability of the social environment and carrying out of skillful unified policies might push forward as leaders those regions which may not necessarily have economic power, but guarantee a balance of interests. Indeed, despite the weakening of the potential for integration of the old center due to territorial vastness and the existence of regional differences, not one of Russia's regions can pretend to occupy a place of economic dominance and dictate its own conditions. Each region is, in some way or another, inadequate.

The overcoming of the mistaken appearance of self- satisfaction is necessary above all for the following types of regions: those "satisfied," and therefore desiring isolation (Voronezh, Rostov, Volgograd, Saratov and Krasnodarsk areas), those that are resource-rich, and basically interested in a domestic market (Tyumen, Kemerov and Irkutsk areas), those nationalist-government structures which are fighting for their own sovereignty (Chechnya, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan), and those that find themselves in a geographically unprofitable situation, and that have no historical tradition of gravitation toward other regions.

Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Sverdlovsk, Samara, Nizhni Novgorod and Novosibirsk regions are areas that enjoy the most likelihood of becoming important "crystallization nuclei" in the new federation.

In the first stage of reintegration of those regions that have taken upon themselves the role of leader, there must the decided the most important and appropriate intraregional tasks which are common for all or most of the regions, and the creation of objective domestic preconditions for the following fulfillment of integrating roles. To guarantee that the attainment of such preconditions is attractive to any particular region, the following are needed:

-- The creation of an economic adjustment mechanism for conditions of hyperinflation

-- Massive increase in the number of small and medium enterprises

-- The creation of a pleasant entrepreneurial climate and conditions for investment activity -- The overcoming of intraregional contradictions (between legislative and executive powers, between regional and city organs of power, etc.)

-- The creation of a working system of social guarantees

-- The implementation of a prototype civic society, based on a balance of intraregional interests

The next step is tied to the strengthening of interregional alliances at the heads of the regions -- via the "crystallization nuclei" which become the centers of a positive management based on the general objectives of those entering the regional alliances.

In each of these alliances will be created "new economic space" by way of the intensification of horizontal material, financial and informational ties. In order to prevent intensification of competition between separate regions for the leadership of such unions, it is necessary for the regions to find "equilibrium points" of the interests shared by leading regions. This does not count out the possibility of the joining of separate regions by holding referendums.

Finally, the last stage essentially comprises the realization of the concept of "new integration" by way of a union of interregional alliances. The transfer to this stage is tightly dictated by activities "from below," at the regional level, and by strong political leadership in a federalist direction.


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