An exploratory paper by an interdisciplinary team comprising two geographers and a political scientist investigates the role that aboriginal land claims legislation may play in efforts of Russia's ethnically based republics to increase their sovereignty vis-à-vis the Center. A specific focus is on the establishment of nomadic clan obshchinas in the Sakha Republic, and analysis of their spatial patterns within the republic. The paper then discusses how these units may serve as a possible hedge against secessionist sentiments in the south at the same time that they symbolize the republic government's commitment to preserving the rights of non-Sakha residents. Journal of Economic Literature, Classification Numbers: H10, H70, Q20. 3 figures, 2 tables, 47 references.
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