LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT IN SAINT-PETERSBURG AS AN ARENA FOR INTERGENERATION CONFLICTS AND VALUE GAPS

O. V. Kelasyev

Abstract


The article probes into the conflicts in the local self-government bodies of St. Petersburg which unfold after the election held September 8th, 2019. A fairly large number of so-called “independent” deputies were elected to several district councils, where their activities contravene the prevailing behaviour patterns of the local deputies elected earlier. There have been conflicts with groups of traditionalist deputies and local administrations, there has been a general increase in conflicts within the local self-government bodies. These conflicts are of specific character. Their subjects are tradition-oriented local deputies (“traditionalists”) and new groups of deputies mostly comprising young people (“innovators”) joined by local activists, many of whom ran for a seat in the district council but lost the election, as well as deputies of St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly and district administrations. The object of the conflicts may lie in a local resource, status (leadership, power in the district) and the deputies’ value orientations which are sometimes determined by a significant disparity in age, mentality or life experiences. The intensification of conflict introduced by the “innovators” has both negative and positive features. The negative ones include delays in decision-making, increasing tension, aggravation of the overall negative emotions, rejection of the existing local experience which in many cases is positive. The positive features include a strengthening political competition, democratization, mutual control, actual inclusion of the population in decision-making processes. Furthermore, there is a transition of interaction between the local authorities and residents from the level of manipulation and neglect to an equitable partnership, improvement of self-organization processes among the population and grass-roots local initiatives. It would seem that the positive features outweigh the negative ones.

Keywords


local self-government, youth; civic activism; deputies; local resources; competition; value conflict

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.31312/2310-6085-2019-14-4-44-55

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