Conservative modernization in the Belgorod

Article sociologist of Agricultural Alexander Nikulin devoted to analysis of the case is quite peculiar socio-economic policy — the experience of the Belgorod region. According to the author, he shows how conservatism can be combined and modernization, modern economies and the active role of the state.

In modern Russia is extremely a lot of talk about upgrading. It is discussed, and the right and left, and among liberals and among the Communists. Back in Russia is much talk about conservatism, one speak of him with anxiety and fear, understanding as conservatism is traditional for the Russian phenomenon as the rise of great bureaucracy aggressively nationalistic. Others speak of conservatism with hope, above all, seeking in it the revival and development of such legendary qualities of the Russian people as a community and collectivism.

It is natural that in the current political and ideological debates, often crossed both of these concepts, wondering whether it is possible and conservative modernization in Russia? And she could have turned out for the country? — Another dead end tragically stagnant? — By decent is original and free development?

I’ll note that in general a conservative modernization I personally understand the desire for global progress through the preservation and development of traditional and local cultural values.

Russian big country, which is often a temptation to abstract universal way to find a definitive answer to the universal question. To avoid this temptation, I want to sample a little, by Russian standards, the area analyzed in a generally positive systemic effect of a kind of conservative modernization, carried out almost 18 years under the leadership of Governor of Belgorod region Yevgeny Savchenko. He — comes from a peasant background, paradoxically combines the talents and marketeers, and statesman, conservative and an innovator.

The basis of this article put my personal observations from the field of sociological studies of the Belgorod region in comparison with other regions of Russia. They were carried out in 2009-2010 in the framework of a sociological study of the problems of social differentiation and the self-organization of the regions of Russia, supported by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. His observations are supported by data I Belgorod and Russian statistics, analysis of some speeches the governor of the Belgorod region.
Belgorod economy: between Chinese growth and the European Social Agenda

Located in the southwest of Russia, Belgorod region is one of the smallest regions of the Russian Federation. Its area — 27,000 square meters. kilometers and its population — 1.5 million people. According to their economic and geographical characteristics of the Belgorod region is well balanced. On its territory there are the world’s largest deposits of iron ore, its agricultural lands are located in the center of the vast Russian-Ukrainian black soil. The share of the urban population — 70%, the proportion of rural residents — 30% of the total population of the Belgorod region. In the capital area, the city of Belgorod, 350,000 inhabitants live.

However, neighboring Belgorod Russian and Ukrainian regions also tend to have reserves of minerals, their black soil quality at times even better Belgorod, the ratio of proportion of rural and urban population in them is also close to Belgorod indicators. And the results of their economic and social development is much more modest in comparison with the success of the Belgorod region.

Over the past 10 years, the economy grew almost Belgorod Chinese rates — up to 10% per year. Even during the crisis of 2008-2009, when the decline in general in the Russian industry has reached — 12%, 5% was observed Belgorodchine percent industrial growth (also quite comparable in this period with the Chinese economic growth), and the growth of the Belgorod agriculture accounted for 10% .

But unlike China, yes indeed, and the countries of the CIS, including Russia itself, in Belgorod post-socialist polarization of the population into rich and poor does not reach the African and Latin American proportions. Belgorod regional programs of economic, social and cultural development opportunities are designed for different segments of the population, as a result, in Belgorod also means poverty, but it is on the order of the well-off and the decency of the vast majority of regions of Russia and CIS countries. In general, the steady growth of well-being of the Belgorod population is evident, therefore, personal experience of staying in Belgorod, at times, particularly strongly support the relevant statistical calculations Belgorod growth.
Impressions and figures

I really am very impressed by my recent trip to Belgorod region in autumn 2010. I must stress that, once in Belgorod, I save up a fresh research material for the spring and summer of 2010 were collected in other Russian regions in Pomerania, the Volga region, Siberia, the North Caucasus, Moscow region. All had to see and discuss the good and bad, in-depth interviews and roundtables, communicating with the local population. But in general, clearly, the social life in the Belgorod region on the order of different stability, prosperity, sustainable development in comparison with all the aforementioned parts of Russia.

Most of all, two things struck me in Belgorod. The first visible signs of growth throughout the public welfare. Second, the dynamic development of various forms and sectors of the economy from the Belgorod industry to agriculture, from industrial and agricultural holdings to the farmer and part-time family farms.

All BELGORODCHINE from the regional capital to small rural settlements covered with stout newly constructed housing, belonging not only to the wealthy and highly successful middle classes, but the most general population. As the regional capital, and small towns and villages attract the attention of cleanliness, neatness operation of public utilities. It seems that the brand new paving slabs are covered walkways and areas more than in Moscow and its suburbs together.

In addition to experience the quantity and quality of paving tiles, and individual and social housing, I will mention the most important thing about the external appearance of people in Belgorod. In general, they were striking a quiet confidence, efficiency dignity — those same traits, lack of which is so often one finds in Russia, and which is so often replaced by nervousness or over-fussy depressive apathy.

But then again, from the impressions you address to the figures, which show that the demographic birth and death rates in Belgorod region over the past few years are some of the best in Russia, that the unemployment rate at the end of 2009 was 1.76%, significantly lower than the overall unemployment rate . In general, the field of monthly per capita income even during the crisis in 2009 did not decrease, but rather increased by 9.9%.

Every year, nearly half million copes of 8000 Housewarming only individually built houses and cottages. Also in the social sphere as a city, and especially the village, capitally repaired annually and put into operation a few dozen recreation centers, schools, libraries and hospitals. It should also be noted that the construction and repair of church buildings and structures of the Belgorod region is one of the first places in Russia.

Meanwhile, Belgorod crime statistics and accident statistics show a decline in the number of crimes, murders, suicides, deaths in car accidents on fires in waters from alcohol poisoning.

What are the reasons for the significant success of the Belgorod region? In our opinion, one of the main reasons lies in the remarkable ability to combine the management o
f the Belgorod region in memory of their actions on cultural heritage with modern pragmatic political and economic decisions. For example, in the center of the Belgorod region, including carefully cultivated fields and a model farm buildings at the intersection of roads that were driven into camps thousands of dispossessed peasants of Russia and Ukraine at the time of collectivization, is a monument (I think only in the Russian Federation) — high bronze cross on which are stamped the words of repentance modern generations of Russian citizens before the Russian peasant, on the bones and blood of which the USSR has modernized its economy.

This paradoxical combination of traditional and modern idealism pragmatism, I will briefly discuss the examples of agrarian reform, the development of education and science, the transformation of the state and municipal institutions, and, finally, to the task in recent socio-cultural transformation of the Belgorod society as a whole.
Land and Technology

For Russia, as we know, the most difficult task was and still is the modernization of the agricultural sector of the economy. Over the past 10 years has demonstrated BELGORODCHINE fantastic pace of agricultural growth — its measure of performance of rural labor has no equal in Russia, and labor productivity in the pig and poultry Belgorod agricultural company become competitive with Western European and American companies. Now 15% of Russia’s pork and poultry produced this small area. The dynamics of the Belgorod agricultural growth shows that in a few years will be able to BELGORODCHINE by 20% to provide the Russian demand for pork and poultry.

In many ways, the whole modernization of the Belgorod region is based on a stable and dynamic development of its agricultural sector and rural areas. In the early 2000s, the area has attracted major investments actively in the formation of large agricultural enterprises — agricultural holdings. As a result, Belgorod agricultural holdings were the best in Russia, competing among themselves, as well as Russian and foreign counterparts. These holdings, however, are under strict control of the management area, which suggests that the rate only by huge Agrocorporation can be dangerous for the rest of rural socio-economic forms. Therefore Belgorodskoe management of emergency operations support the development of rural and peasant farmers and cooperatives of local communities.

Here it is especially impressive (again unique to Russia) regional program "Family farms Belogoriya" aimed at social stabilization of rural areas by addressing the two priorities — the farmer with all the necessary software for manufacturing, excluding non-core work, and turning farm products into a competitive product appropriate standards of quality and accessible to the consumer. The program clearly defined indicators for the assessment of its efficiency — the number of participants (expected to rise to 17.5 million people. In 2009 to 25 thousand in 2015), the proceeds from the sale of farm products (an increase from 2.1 to 14 billion . rub. during the same period) and the development of rural cooperatives of all types — for a given increase in the volume of investments (from 0.6 to 12.2 billion rubles.) and the corresponding development of the social infrastructure of rural settlements.

Personally acquainted with the work being carried out in the region, it was possible when visiting several areas of the Belgorod region during informal conversations with the locals — the rank and file employees, managers and specialists of the agricultural sector. From what he heard and what he saw develops holistic and realistic picture of the Belgorod agrarian reform, the strategic foundation of which is strict control on the part of the regional management of the processes of land management and land use, the development of a mixed agricultural economy, the establishment of a rural area of the fair price of the chain from the producer to the processor and retailer.

Belgorod multistructural organically and systematically seeks to combine the advantages of large and small-scale agricultural production. For each structure in the field of special programs of development, and most importantly — the foundations for mutually beneficial co-existence lifestyles. The rapid increase in production and productivity, respectively, in the powerful agroholdings helps to reduce the overall rural labor force. In these circumstances, the surplus rural labor force is sent to a special state program for the development of a family of rural economies in milk production, breeding of small animals and birds (goats, geese), bee-keeping, mushroom farms, the development of rural tourism and fisheries.

Of course, multi-structural stability is not possible without the successful development of rural areas. In Belgorod developed and implemented a series of social programs that form the system of so-called social agriculture cluster, which includes a school and a kindergarten, medical, recreational, administrative and communal institutions, temple, law enforcement, landscaped cemetery and park. As a result, today the Belgorod region — not only a successful leader of the Russian agricultural production, but also the area of stabilization and growth of rural amenities and demographics.

It should also be emphasized that the Belgorod agrarian reforms are now coming to a whole new level for Russian development of new eco-and bio-technology in agriculture. Started a large project for the production of biogas at large livestock complexes. Prepared for the implementation of the project on wind electrical installations. Plans are under the special protection of soil, based on the use of complex potential of organic fertilizer, the transition of agricultural production to organic farming. In Belgorod will actually created an entire new industry — the production of organic fertilizers based on animal husbandry. The project will be monitored by the widespread use of information and space technologies.

For the growth of high-tech Belgorod Agricultural Economics and requires a corresponding increase in local education and science.
Education and Innovation

If agricultural Belgorod region undisputed leader in Russia, almost all other major Russian social and economic indicators, it also demonstrates rapid pace of growth, rushing to a national leading positions. For example, Belgorod branch of education in the Russian rating (consisting of 83 subjects of the Federation) in 2009 alone has moved from 9th to 6th place.

The post-Soviet period, former typical and little-known provincial universities Belgorod became the all-Russian scientific and educational centers. Here we want to highlight the Belgorod State University (MSU like that in Moscow owned by the highest and most beautiful, newly constructed building in Belgorod), Belgorod State Technical University. VG Shukhov and Belgorod State Agricultural Academy.

Meanwhile, in a Council on Innovation Policy. The area has supported the creation of the Center for Innovative Technology, taking a long-term program "Development of nanotechnology Belgorod region" by creating a special business incubator, and came to the construction of the industrial park "North."

Not without a well-deserved pride in Belgorod Governor Savchenko said: "The area, thanks to our universities, innovative companies, small businesses, and generally smart people, which we have a more and more, becoming a major player in the innovative market of the country."

The area actually creates innovative region by analogy with industrial embedded in Belgorod key economic clusters: agri-food, mining and construction. Leaders of successfully negotiating with the Belgorod largest companies in the industry, the mining industry, agribusiness, their participation in the financing of innovation projects, the development of scientific research.

Both in
the economy and in education, science Belgorodchiny significantly influence skilful state dirigisme regional levels have a significant impact on the local community as a whole, are of course matters of state control of the training of qualified managers are extremely important.
Society and frames

Belgorod leadership is seeking support for its activities in the growth of self-consciousness and self-organization of the local population. At the municipal level, the conditions for the development of social forms of self-government. Inside the Belgorod tips created territorial units by number of deputies, members of the City Council. In terms of social involvement of youth in the Belgorod region in 2009 entered the top ten areas in Russia, and on the development of volunteerism is one of the leaders.

And, of course, the main reason for the real self-organization is an appropriate urban planning and housing policy oriented towards the generations to come. The basis of this policy is necessary to create opportunities for the pursuit of Belgorod build and reside primarily in low-rise houses of cottage type. As the pace of input quantity and quality of private housing with a standard allotment of homestead land of 0.15 hectares Belgorod region also has no equal in the Russian Federation.

But in the modern high-rise housing estates not only, low-rise and cottage-type can detect the familiar problem of alienation-autarkic existence of the population. To humanize neighborly territorial relations and strengthening them in a relationship of trust and mutual support program prepared Belgorod ancestral estates. This direction of the organization of living space, is directed, first, to overcome the Soviet legacy of excessive high-rise, multi-family urbanization, and, secondly, for the reconstruction and development of the traditional neighborly related lifestyle.

Recreating, reconstructing traditional cultural habitable space, Belgorod guide aims to serve the needs of its citizens through all the same advanced technologies, to which the task is scheduled in the next three years to go to the provision of public services to the residents and organizations in the electronic format.

However, in the electronic format of interaction with the state of the population will depend, ultimately, on the competence of the officials live.

That is why the problem of governance is recognized center in Belgorod. From the point of view of the government, the so-called Belgorod project is striving to teach the local bureaucracy design thinking, to teach officers to manage projects. In the future, every official Belgorod is included in the time of one or several groups developing specific projects. Each project must have specific parameters for the implementation of which is expected to evaluate the performance of each official. In this regard, in Belgorod rebuilt programs for training and retraining administrative staff, they are reorienting to the main line — project management training.

It seems that for most of the Belgorod Governor Savchenko in a fast, multi-directional and dynamic growth of its area is the question of adequate administrative staff to this growth is the most important. That’s why in one of his recent speeches he made several important statements describing his vision of the ongoing transformation of the personnel of the Belgorod region:

"You can not say that we are not involved in the selection and placement of personnel, but it is not systematic, often in a hurry, under the dictation of some circumstances, without deep study and allow for often fatal mistakes, causing enormous harm not only an economic but also a moral . In order to put an end to the scornful and wasteful, subjective approach to training, decided to establish a department of personnel policy …

All Mr. Ashi economic, social, political, environmental and other projects will be successful only if it is implemented a major project — the project of training, the purpose of which is to form a constantly renewable administrative elite in the field of power and administrative structures and including business …

The main thing in the personnel policy — search and promotion of talented people, and their ability to open … ".

In Russia there is increasing talk, not just about the amazing talent of the management of the Belgorod governor, but in general, the success of the management team Savchenko.

Me in my fieldwork had a lot to talk with Russian officials. When I asked them about the problems of the region, as a rule, followed by the answer: "And what are the problems? You tell me where to Moscow threw us the resources, and we’ll use them to solve all the problems. "

Imagine my surprise when, on the same matter at a meeting of young and energetic managers of the Department of Agriculture of the Belgorod region I answered: "Yet we do not know enough mood and needs of our population. Some of our economic and social programs developed more successfully, others — less successfully. Here you scientists help us sort it all out. " And then we talked about the study of forms of households, the problems of labor migration between urban and rural areas, the relationship between the generations in Belgorod. It was here that I first discovered that Russian scientists and officials can speak the same language about the issues that concern them the same way they consider equally important and urgent.
Competition and solidarity

Yevgeny Savchenko once so defined, the understanding of general modernization and upgrading in Belgorod, using all of the same agrarian examples:

"What is a" modernization "? In my understanding, this is an improvement. From point "A" we must come to the point "B", where we will be more competitive … where we have higher labor productivity, where we organized a modern production, where we have implemented projects, products and services which are in demand in the market of Russia, for its outside … If we take such advanced industries as poultry, pork, and dairy farming, there is labor productivity rose at eight to ten times. This is modernization "in the Belgorod. ‘"

It should be noted that this kind of competitive modernization focused largely contributes to the formation of the new standards Belgorod consumer society. In conversations with me many Belgorod emphasized how increased their personal and public inquiries over the last 10-15 years in the food, clothing, transport, leisure — broadly in habitat. In addition, local officials and businessmen are constantly scratching their heads over the involvement of all the Belgorod to new qualitative patterns of consumption.

A little funny to me to hear arguments about the culture of fish consumption one of the leaders of the new giant fish farms Belgorod engaged in cultivation and production of trout and sturgeon. The executive explained to me that the pond farms Belogorodchiny already solved the problem of supply of carp, carp, carp throughout the Belgorod region, take out the fish and the surrounding area. But that’s produced in his farm, trout and sturgeon mainly come to St. Petersburg and Moscow, because they themselves Belgorod believe that their taste and purse trout and osestrina too exotic and expensive fish. But it is not, — assured me the manager-fish farming, — marketing, calculations show that the Belgorod already can afford to eat more noble fish than carp and crucian carp, trout and sturgeon will soon cause a wide gastronomic interest of Belgorod.

But Belgorod project Savchenko not to fixate only on the pursuit of the ideals of endless consumer society fueled by the mechanisms of market competition. Belgorod governor, who is a great market strategy, however, as described its political, economic and socio-philosophical credo:

"It is not the capital, n
ot labor, the surplus value, and other tenets of a market economy creates prosperity, wealth and value, and creates their people, which in itself is the highest value … the main thing is not only the goal — to make a profit, but also the mission of which is above the target and this welfare worker, workforce, areas of nature. "

Belgorod project actually seeks to realize his own concept of the new economy, the main socio-cultural features of which are:

— Extensive development of relations of solidarity and co-operation — the growth of the cooperative movement of the Belgorod;

— Maintaining the ideals of healthy living — the development of specific environmental programs, tobacco control, the development of conditions for cycling;

— Implementation of free personal choice in work and rest — the support of corporate, family, and individual strategies of life.

According to Savchenko, "hasten the arrival of the new economy can only be active, cohesive, single-minded society united society in other words … it will be the modernization of society in the Belgorod."

On the boards of the Belgorod public service in 2010, the year the call came from the philosophical heritage of the Russian religious philosopher Nikolai Fedorov: "To live not for themselves, not for others, but with all and for all", declared the formula-aphorism compassionate society.


Of course, with the imminent coming of compassionate society on earth Belgorod, all is not so easy. If you turn to peers of the Russian economic history, in Belgorod we see some version of the bourgeois neo-NEP, where the expansion of the capitalist structure of the large mining companies and Agrocorporation quite successfully balanced by active government policies in state, municipal, co-operative sectors of the economy that supports a variety of social programs, family community based.

In general, it should be recognized that in Belgorod loud NEP call Nikolai Bukharin "masses, rich!" While dominates quiet admonition Nikolai Fyodorov of the unity of mankind. Belgorod consumer society, although it is too new, weak, local in comparison with Western and Eastern global standards, are increasingly more inventive and seeks to adapt these standards to its rapid development. But for now attempts to develop in Belgorod united society in the spirit of Nikolai Fyodorov hard at all to find any analogues in the world today, and because management uses Belgorodskoe here for more support and development of traditional national values, such as Orthodoxy, patriotism, humanistic culture and the old Soviet Russia.

It should be noted that nationalism and xenophobia are growing by leaps and bounds in modern Russia, weakly manifest themselves in the Belgorod region, on the contrary, here at the official patriotic rhetoric, and actively develops and international cultural policy. More and more foreign students in Russia is eager to learn it in Belgorod.

In conclusion, I stress that, despite the temptation to popular analogies found in ES Savchenko Central Black Earth Deng Xiaoping, the agro-Russian JM Keynes, it should be recognized that the project Belgorod governor, has, above all, the traditional Russian roots neonarodnicheskih ideas in the spirit of the book by Alexander Vasilyevich Chayanova "Journey of my brother Alexei in the country peasant utopia" . It is in this book: the contradiction between the urban and the rural way of life, settled c point of view of the village, mixed mixed economy in which there are both capitalism and the state, is managed for the benefit of, first of all, the co-operative forms of family economic population, the active support of the traditional culture takes place in the context of investigative study and assimilation of global cultural experience.

And, of course, Belgorod remodeling project, despite its desire to rely primarily on the national traditions of social, economic and cultural development, there is an interesting phenomenon from the point of view of the international community. BELGORODCHINE — one of the smallest in size and population of the territories Russia last decade boldly and successfully cope with the unpredictable challenges of the Russian oligarchy and the global economy at the present time, setting a paradoxical goal: to competitive standards of consumer society to put in the foundation of the principles of solidarity society.

Alexander Nikulin — PhD, director of the Center for Agricultural Research of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration.

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