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The research deals with urban governance in Russia from the perspective of the participative approach to decision-making. The authors used quantitative (semi-structured 'face-to-face' interview) and qualitative (in-depth semi-structured interview) sociological surveys in five cities of Russia over the period from 2001 to 2017 regarding the public expectations towards the service activity of the urban governance authorities. The respondents were the citizens over 18-years-old who live in Tomsk, Seversk, and Strezhevoy in Tomsk Region. The authors have analysed the official documents and the information of the federal and municipal level over the period from 1997 to 2018. It was stated that the citizens' preferences had changed from paternalistic to 'service' ones, but in most cases, the legal framework was based on the directive principle of decision-making and did not comply with public demands. The technology of participative decision-making in the sphere of public services in Russia, in particular, in the cities, gradually develop. The content of such decisions increasingly reflects public expectations. Taking into account the results of the sociological surveys and the analysis of the regulatory support for the public service delivery, the authors have developed the recommendations on the improvement of the legal regulation based on the participative principle.
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