The Struggle in Defense of Baikal: The Shift of Values and Disposition of Forces

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Abstract:

The paper is aimed at the analysis of evolution of values and disposition of forces involved in the long-term international conflict around the closure of the pulp and paper mill (P&PM) and the reconstruction of the company town of Baykalsk, both located near Lake Baikal, the biggest freshwater lake in the world. The conflict’s six phases are: construction and opening of the pulp and paper mill, P&PM (1967-84); the perestroika (1985-90); the collapse of the USSR (1991); the Russian financial crisis (1998); the struggle against the tracing of a transnational oil pipe-line near Baikal shore (2001-06); and the economic crisis (2008). In each phase, the activity of Russian environmentalists is considered under the following aspects: political opportunity structure, main actors, constituency, key values, forms of activity, kind of mobilization and resources for it, and the outcome of the struggle. The paper is focused on the evolution of the relationship between the state and the environmental movement.

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