The Politics of Environmental Policy in Russia

The Politics of Environmental Policy in Russia

David Feldman and Ivan Blokov

The authors, renowned experts in the field, explore efforts to develop a mature civil society in Russia, and analyse the policy views of environmental groups, the media, and the scientific community. Three important case studies underpin the study: suspended plans to build an oil pipeline near Lake Baikal; management of Cold War-generated radioactive waste at Chelyabinsk; and public reaction to the introduction of genetically modified foods. The conclusion is that although civil society groups face obstacles in the form of apathy, state-imposed constraints on their activities, and agency reluctance to confer on decisions, there are some successes in reversing decisions due in part to NGO pressures yielding reform.

Chapter 3: Environmental civil society through Russian eyes: stakeholder views

David Feldman and Ivan Blokov

Subjects: environment, environmental geography, environmental politics and policy, management natural resources, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


In an effort to understand to what extent Russia’s civil society is poised to exercise greater influence on both environmental policy and democracy, we undertook a survey of 100 government leaders and NGO officials regarding prospects for environmental reform. The survey featured both open-and close-ended questions that queried respondents on their perception of current Russian environmental policy (Appendices A and B contain the survey results and a complete list of questions). We focused upon significant environmental legislation; the perceived importance of various environmental issues; the environmental commitment of political parties; factors thought to influence environmental decisions–including the influence of NGOs; the reliability of environmental information generated by the state; the influences of corruption, lobbying, public opinion, the courts and regulatory bodies on public policy; and the importance of personality in affecting policy outcomes. This chapter discusses the findings of this survey.

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