9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN25 Social Movements

2009-09-03 09:00:00 2009-09-03 10:30:00 Thursday, 3 September 09:00 - 10:30 Environmental Movements Building I, 1E5

Mobilization under Permanent Crisis: Russian Environmental Movement in 1987-2007

The paper considers aims and forms of mobilization of Russian Environmental Movement (REM) under Soviet/Russian crises that happened during the period of rapid and risk-laden socio-economic transformations ("perestroika", decay of the USSR, default of 1998 and the current global economic crisis). Using resource, network and contextual approaches as theoretical background and drawing on field-research data gathered by Yanitsky´s research team in 1987?2007, the authors discovered three main forms of crisis mobilization outcomes: resistant, resulting in maintaining the status quo; innovative (mainly enlightenment and education); and constructive (westernization) aimed at protecting nature from big construction projects, on the one hand, and compelling some branches of business to operate in line with international standards, on the other. In each individual crisis these forms of REM mobilization combined in a particular way which depends on the respective region of such big country as Russia. During the period under consideration, Western-oriented activism has experienced growing pressure on the part of media controlled by the state and big business. Under the current economic crisis the REM splits into "transnationals" who try to civilize Russian state and business in accordance with western standards, and "localists" who defend their local landscapes by all means regardless of the resources at hand. The paper concludes with some theoretical considerations concerning social and political opportunities for the REM´s mobilization in short-term and mid-term periods of global crisis in the light of the use of information-communication technologies.