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Journal section "Socio-economic research"

Interaction Configuration of St. Petersburg Social Movements Organizations Aimed at Improving the Urban Environment Quality

Tykanova E.V., Khokhlova A.M.

5 (22), 2019

Tykanova E.V., Khokhlova A.M. Interaction Configuration of St. Petersburg Social Movements Organizations Aimed at Improving the Urban Environment Quality. Social area, 2019, no. 5 (22). URL: http://socialarea-journal.ru/article/28395?_lang=en DOI: 10.15838/sa.2019.5.22.7

DOI: 10.15838/sa.2019.5.22.7

Abstract   |   Authors   |   References
The article is focused on the Russian professional organizations of social movements aiming to improve the urban environment. The authors analyze the interactions of such organizations with other actors involved in the formation and revision of the urban agenda and/or political decisions on urban development, and ask how the nature and outcomes of these interactions affect the activities of the organizations and determine its effectiveness. Abandoning the traditional approach, when the organizations of social movements are considered mainly as structures dependent on the power and at the same time opposed to them, the authors insist on studying the rootedness of the efforts of activists organized groups in the complex context of interactions with numerous stakeholders – their “relational fields”. Based on the materials of semi-formalized interviews with the representatives of two organizations of social movements in St. Petersburg involved in the development and promotion of urban infrastructure projects, and informal observations at the events of these groups, the authors analyze the forms and barriers of activists’ interaction not only with political elites, but also with representatives of business, other civic initiatives and the general public, and discuss the institutional framework of such interaction. They demonstrate the benefits and costs of various formats of communication between activists and key urban actors (information, consulting, partnership, etc.) and conclude that the properties of relational fields in which the studied organizations of social movements operate today hinder the implementation of large-scale infrastructure initiatives, but open up opportunities for local situational victories

Keywords

urban space, Urban space, quality of urban environment, activists, organizations of social movements, city authorities, relational fields