In a sense, this glance into the history of Russia’s regional boundaries serves as a plausibility probe for the boundaries approach to regionalism. If the analysis in the preceding chapter is right, clear patterns should emerge between regionalism, integrationism, and changes in regional boundaries. With particular regard to the decline of regionalism, one expects to find that regionalism declines: with the shuffling juridical boundaries; with the weakening of institutional boundaries as regional and central institutions become isomorphic; and with the change of cultural boundaries as the career paths of regional elites become more cosmopolitan and cultural principles are replaced (i.e. when ethnographic principles are replaced by technocratic principles). By the same token, one expects regionalism to increase: when juridical boundaries remain relatively stable; as regional institutions become distinct from central institutions; when regional elites make careers in their home regions, and when cultural principles for determining regions remain in place.