The book Irregular Triangle: State-Business-Society Relations in Russia’s Regions (Vlast, biznes, obshchestvo v regionakh: nepravilny treugolnik), edited by Nikolay Petrov and Alexei Titkov, contains the results of thе first stage of a new, large-scale Carnegie Moscow Center research project involving the multidimensional study of the relationships between society, government and business in Russia’s regions, carried out in 2006-2008 in the Irkutsk, Murmansk, Astrakhan and Orenburg regions.

In this major new international project, the Carnegie Moscow Center seeks to identify and explore the significant changes afoot in Russia's regions in recent years, assessing the state of relations between the authorities, business and society, and the problems and prospects for their future.

Analysis shows that the relations between the state, business and the society as an interconnected three-way dialogue are practically nonexistent. There are two-way relations between the authorities and business, the authorities and society, and business and society. In all of these relations the state plays the most active role by taking the initiative, sets the format for contacts, and decides who gets to participate on each side. Business takes a more passive role, yet does have opportunities for interacting with the authorities on its own initiative, and has channels for doing so. There are practically no forums for dialogue between the state and society at the society’s initiative, with the exception of emergency situations such as protests against the authorities’ specific actions, and this is the biggest problem that all three sides should be interested in resolving.

The book examines a wide range of subjects, including: common patterns and regional peculiarities in the evolution of economic and political systems; the organization of governance at regional and municipal levels; regional development strategies and the role of corporations in those area; the composition and continuation of political and business elites; the evolution of the military and law enforcement elites, as represented by generals in the regions and their role in local development; federal authorities’ influence on regional development; corporate social responsibility, including through social partnership agreements; the situation in local societies; and the state of democracy.

The study’s second stage focused on the regions during the economic and financial crisis. The project will continue with a study of how regions have emerged from the crisis. The results of these phases will be published in a forthcoming book.

Data collected through the Carnegie Moscow Center’s ongoing, multi-year regional monitoring program serves as background material for analyzing trends and developments in the selected regions.

Full text of the book is available in Russian.