Unlike the transboundary regions of Mountain ecosystems in Europe (Alps) with high population density and the integration of the rural economy into the regional and World markets, most of the Mountainous regions of the Russian Federation are characterized by the stability of traditional forms of nature management and life support, which determine, on the one hand, natural (or "old") distinctiveness of the economy of rural enclaves and, on the other hand, the preservation of social institutions based on family and relative ties, the solidarity of fellow villagers, on the cohesion of the rural community and the viability of traditional culture and ethnic identification.

Regarding the general trends and consequences of the migration of inhabitants of  Mountainous regions of Dagestan and North Ossetia to the lowland, it can be concluded that the prospects of ethnocultural dynamics in these republics are determined not only by the factors of urbanization, the growth of the absolute number and proportion of the population of predominantly Russian-speaking lowland urban and rural settlements and by the functional stagnation of local languages, but also by the demographic depression, depopulation of Mountainous territories, the gradual disappearance of  Mountain villages, which can be considered almost the only mono-ethnic enclaves and social environments that ensure the reproduction of ethnolinguistic and ethnocultural identity in generations. In this regard, the importance of regional and federal social policy courses aimed at sustainable socio-economic and environmental development of Mountainous territories, preserving their demographic potential and ethnocultural particularities is emphasized.

Magomedhan M. Magomedhanov

The Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Daghestan Scientific Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6932-1676

Russian Federation

 Bio Statement: Doctor of History, professor, Head of the Department of Ethnography


Researcher focus: ethno-cultural and ethno-linguistic processes in Daghestan and the North Caucasus, Daghestani identity, ethnic self-awareness, ethnic stereotypes, religious foundations of the ethnoculture of Daghestan.

Alexander N. Sadovoy

Federal Research Centre Subtropical Science Centre of the RAS

SPIN-code: 1211-5525

Russian Federation, Sochi, Russia

D.Sc. (in History), Prof.,

Head of Dept. of Laboratory of Ethno-social problems

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