Continuity and change: (re)constructing environmental geographies in late Soviet and post-Soviet Russia

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Environmental studies conducted worldwide often overlook the knowledge traditions of the locales where they are conducted. Addressing this issue, I investigated the geographic journal literature of late Soviet (1980–1989) and post-Soviet (1990–2003) Russia. Notable trends are increasing criticism of environmental and resource management in Russia and a (re)turn to pre-socialist Russian theorizations of society–nature interactions. Specifically, the noösphere, ethnogenesis and geosystems are trends in the literature that signify how Russian geographers (re)construct environmental knowledge. For non-Russian geographers working in Russia, awareness of these trends situates place-based knowledge relative to multiple cultures (ethnic, scientific) and time periods, promoting cross-cultural understanding of different traditions of geographic inquiry.

Keywords: Russia; history of geography; nature–society interactions; science studies; transformation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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