Profile of Mr Nadir Kinossian Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography

Nadir Kinossian

Nadir Kinossian is a Researcher in the Department of Regional Geography of Europe, at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (IFL), Leipzig, Germany. His research interests include spatial policy, urban governance, cultural landscape, spatial polarisation, and peripheralisation. Prior to joining the IFL in 2015, he was based at the Tromsø and Kirkenes campuses of the Arctic University of Norway (2011–2014). Nadir was awarded a PhD in City and Regional Planning from Cardiff University, for work on urban governance in Russia (2010). He has worked in academia, private consultancy, and municipal administration in the UK, Norway, and Russia.

General research interests

Spatial policy, regionalism, space, cultural landscape, theoretical and policy aspects of spatial polarisation and peripheralisation

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Governing the post-socialist city: the pursuit of competitiveness and identity

PhD Abstract

This research is focused on the transformation of Kazan – the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan (Russia). The Republic of Tatarstan in many ways has been a leader among other regions in defining the configuration of Russian federalism. The city of Kazan in political and economic terms has been subordinated to the regional authorities but as the capital city played an important role in pursuing identity and competitiveness.
The analysis of urban transformation has helped to understand the underlying political, economic and social processes that the post-socialist countries have experienced since the late 1980s and critically evaluate the theories of post-socialist transition, neo-liberalism and governance. The research has demonstrated that there is no ‘grand narrative’ or ‘ready-made’ theoretical framework that could be used to produce a plausible explanation of urban transformation in Russia. The research has revealed the importance of pre-existing institutions and practices in the formation of modern governing regimes in one of Russia's regional capitals.
The research has also revealed a mismatch between the official development rhetoric and the actual economic competition the city is engaged in. While a lot of effort has been put into building a new internationally recognised image of the city most of development funds still come from government sources and government-led industries. The research has been based on the analysis of policy documents, statistical data and interviews with policy-makers in the city of Kazan in Russia.

Latest deposited documents

Regional Competitive Identity and Rescaling of Federalism in Russia image
Regional Competitive Identity and Rescaling of Federalism in Russia (October 2007)

Competitiveness became one of the imperatives of the current urban, regional and national economic analysis and policy. There are serious...


The provocative title signals that Russian cities are entering an interesting development stage. A new development paradigm is needed to replace...

Americanisation of Russian Cities? image
Americanisation of Russian Cities? (October 2006)

Not unlike their counterparts in the United States, Russian cities are
undergoing profound change in terms of both form and process, although...