AbstractsPolitical Science

Russia's Environmental Policymaking Process: The Challenge from Industrial Interests

by Ellen Martus

Institution: University of New South Wales
Year: 2016
Keywords: Environment; Russia; Policymaking; Politics; Industry
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2068860
Full text PDF: http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/56256


Industrial interests are widely assumed to exert significant influence on the environmental policy process in Russia. However, the nature and extent of this influence has not been tested. This thesis examines the environmental policymaking process, focusing on the role played by industry. Seen within a broader context, this topic touches on a number of concepts of central importance to Russian studies. These concepts can be presented as three tensions; between pluralist and centralised understandings, between institutionalised and personalist approaches, and between formal and informal politics. Taken together, these tensions represent two broad ways of understanding the Russian political system. The first suggests a system in which power is dispersed among a range of actors. In the second, the system is closed to outside interests. This thesis explores which of the two models is prevalent in the context of environmental policymaking. The policy network approach has been adopted to test the conceptual approach. Environmental policy outcomes are hypothesised to be the result of interaction between the environmental and the industry policy networks. Three policy process case studies are presented, from the forest sector, the oil and gas sector, and a cross-sectoral study. The study identifies the actors which comprise the two networks, and explores their interaction and ability to determine policy outcomes. Industry is found to be an autonomous actor, and able to influence policy outcomes. The study reveals the importance of business associations, which are found to be the channel through which industry chooses to operate. Environmental interests are significantly less able to achieve desired policy outcomes in comparison with industry. However, they are found to be active participants in the process, particularly in the initiation and drafting of policy proposals. The empirical evidence points to a political system that has strong formal, pluralist and institutionalist elements. The environmental policy process suggests that Russia more closely resembles a system in which power is dispersed among a number of actors. At the same time however, political leadership is seen to play an important role in the policy process, in a way not currently explained by institutionalist approaches. Advisors/Committee Members: Fortescue, Stephen, Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW, Pemberton, Jo-Anne, Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW.