Transitions in Environmental Risk in a Transitional Economy: Management Capability and Community Trust in Russia
Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 7, Vol. 4, pp. 413-429, 2004
Posted: 15 Sep 2010
Date Written: June 2004
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union 10 years ago, the Russian Federation has undergone a radical social, political and economic transformation. This paper's focus is particularly on the consequences of this transformation for the natural environment. This is done by utilizing Beck's (Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity, London: Sage, 1992) concept of Risk Society to explore the interrelationships between managers, firms and communities in terms of transitions in capabilities, knowledge, trust, and even the very notion of community vis-vis pollution control and environmental protection. A qualitative study of managers in Russian manufacturing enterprises, environmental regulators and local communities, was undertaken in two provincial Oblasts in the Russian Federation, identifying a number of factors characteristic of Beck's (1992) treatise including 'risk culture', 'organized irresponsibility', 'individualization' and 'subpolitics'. In so doing a deeper understanding is developed of the impact of economic transition on the environment, indicating a different risk society trajectory to that predicted for the West. The implications for continued, in-depth research in focusing on economies in transition are also discussed.
Keywords: environmental management; risk society; Russia; transitional economies; stakeholders
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