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Protest Publics in Policy Process: Comparative Analysis of Environmental Protests in the Moscow Region 2017 - 2020

Student: Alexandra Pozhyvotko

Supervisor: Nina Y. Belyaeva

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Political Analysis and Public Policy (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2021

This study is devoted to anti-garbage protests that took place in four cities of Russia: Volokolamsk, Serpukhov Klin and Kolomna. The territorial framework of the studied protest publics covers the territory of four cities of the Russian Federation located in the Moscow region. The chronological framework of the study covers the period of events from 2018 to spring 2021. The dissertation examines in detail examples of large-scale protest movements in the cities near Moscow: Volokolamsk, Kolomna, Klin and Serpukhov, which carried out their activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. These four towns were selected for the analysis, since during the initial data collection, their examples seemed the most versatile, so I wanted to compare them, draw out some common features and determine what things are inherent in successful protests. The empirical basis of the study was formed by the results of interviews with protesters, as well as with activists who, after the closure of landfills, continue to monitor what is happening on their territories. The empirical base used in the preparation of this work was obtained in the course of interviews in which the author took part as an interviewer. The scientific novelty of this study lies in the fact that the very term «protest publics», developed by Belyaeva, is a completely new concept that allows analyzing self-organizing protest audiences and the path of their evolution. In addition, environmental protests in Russia are not a common subject for research, so the analysis of recent events through the prism of the newly coined «protest publics» framework is a new milestone in the study of the formation and development of protest publics.Moreover, due to the fact that so far only the first volume of articles using the theory of public protest has been released, this work is the first attempt to analyze non-political protests, as well as to identify the formation of actors in small towns.

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