Neglected Transportation Infrastructure

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Russian State in a Small Siberian Oil Town

in Sibirica
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  • 1 Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, and Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)
  • | 2 V.B. Sochava Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • | 3 Department for Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, and Austrian Polar Research Institute (APRI)

Verkhnemarkovo, a small Siberian town located on an oil field in Russia’s Irkutsk region, is plagued by bad roads and limited mobility. This article explores the relationship between corporate social responsibility and the wellbeing of individuals and communities, with a focus on transport and mobility infrastructure. Some oil companies, such as Irkutsk Oil Company, are tied to the sustainability standards of international financial institutions. The article addresses the question of why people are in limbo between the state and local operating oil companies. Contemporary life in Verkhnemarkovo is characterized by so-called infrastructural violence, which results from the lack of state support—or false promises made by the state— and relates to good transport infrastructure. In their complaints, local people recall the Soviet past and expect support from the state or industry.


Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies