Article Information

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM: RESOURCE MOBILISATION FOR “GARBAGE” PROTESTS IN RUSSIA IN 2018–2020

Olga Tsepilova (tsepilova@mail.ru), Vladimir Golbraih

Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Tsepilova O., Golbraih V. (2020) Ekologicheskiy aktivizm: mobilizatsiya resursov «musornykh» protestov v Rossii v 2018–2020 gg. [Environmental activism: resource mobilisation for “garbage” protests in Russia in 2018–2020]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 23(4): 136–162 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2020.23.4.5

Abstract. The article describes the results of a sociological study of “garbage” protests in Russia in 2018–2020 based on the example of mass protest actions of the population regarding the construction of a landfill near the Shies railway station in the Arkhangelsk region. The authors analyzed four main aspects of the mobilization process (resources, mobilization, organization, results), which allowed us to get answers to the following questions: what resources are the most important for an emergence of a protest movement and a successful achievement of its goals; how social and political structures create opportunities for mobilization (or hinder this process); who is involved (recruited) in the movement; what is the motion recruitment pool; what is the role of the participants; what forms of organization are most effective to achieve the set goals; what factors should be considered key when analyzing the results of the movement. In the course of the study, it became apparent that social media and digital network participation play an extremely important role in the process of mobilizing the protest movement, choosing and concentrating resources, finding the optimal forms of organization for achieving success and obtaining meaningful results. In this regard, the article highlights the results of an empirical study on the analysis of the social networks’ utilization to draw users' attention to conflicts around landfills in the Arkhangelsk region and in the neighboring regions of the Russian North, using the example of the social network VKontakte. The authors of the article attempted to show that the study of traditional forms of offline activism and the analysis of passive political participation through social media provides the most complete, holistic picture of the protest behavior of participants and provides good research opportunities for an integrated approach to studying the problem.

Keywords: environmental activism, collective protest actions, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, social media, digital networking participation.

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