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  • Public defence: 2017-02-24 13:00 MA624, Huddinge
    Rabe, Linn
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Participation and Legitimacy: Actor Involvement for Nature Conservation2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This PhD thesis in environmental science aims to contribute to the theoretical and empirical understanding of the relation between participation and legitimacy in multi-level environmental governance.

    It is widely assumed that actor involvement has great potential to improve the legitimacy of nature conservation through long-term acceptance and target achievement. However, local resource conflicts problematize the way a relation between participation and legitimacy is depicted on other administrative levels. Studies exploring the effect that participation has on legitimacy are relatively rare, especially in multi-level arrangements of coastal conservation.

    In this thesis the relation between participation and legitimacy on the local level is examined, as well as how this relation is conditioned by multi-level governance and power. The relation is empirical studied with two local implementation processes of the Helsinki Convention’s network of marine protected areas (HELCOM MPAs). The cases are located in Sweden.

    Sweden and the Baltic Sea region are in the forefront of participation in nature conservation, and therefore act as a strong case for the exploration of institutional participation. However, despite apparent political will and international support, the efficiency of actor involvement for nature conservation has been questioned, also for the HELCOM MPA and especially on the local level.

    Based on the results of this study, I question the assumption that weak legitimacy predominantly is an issue of insufficient information sharing. The findings show that involving actors to legitimize the adoption of strict adherence to a pre-established model of conservation likely fails to create long term support for conservation. Instead, relocation of power to the affected actors seems essential in order to make participation establish legitimacy. It appears important to create room for local influence in the design, management and implementation of a particular conservation area in the particular place/context. In both examined cases, there are elements of participation that support legitimacy, for example the development of a shared vision. There are also elements that hamper legitimacy, such as, for example, the high expectations different actors have on participation to reach consensus on protective values. These unmet expectations seem to fuel conflicts of interests among actors on different levels.

  • Public defence: 2017-03-10 13:00 MB503, Huddinge
    Tarasova, Ekaterina
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Political Science. Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Baltic & East European Graduate School (BEEGS).
    Anti-nuclear Movements in Discursive and Political Contexts​: Between Expert Voices and Local Protests2017Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy policies which maintain and extend nuclear energy are often opposed by anti-nuclear movements. Ambitious plans for developing nuclear energy in Russia, constructing a first nuclear plant in Poland, and lifting the ban on nuclear energy while allowing the replacement of old reactors in Sweden are examples of such energy policies. In contrast to the massive anti-nuclear movements of 1970-1990s, recent anti-nuclear movements are not organized as national protest campaigns. This thesis examines repertoires of anti-nuclear movements in the alleged “Nuclear Renaissance” period.  

    Repertoires of anti-nuclear actions are analyzed from the perspective of discursive and political opportunities of anti-nuclear movements. Discursive opportunities are enabled or hindered in the ordering of nuclear energy discourses, making messages and actions of social movements legitimate or illegitimate. While discourses of anti-nuclear movements are complex, official discourses of nuclear energy featuring arguments about profitability, energy security and environmental security in connection to nuclear energy development, resonate more with broader socio-political developments. Ordering of discourses is established in such a way that expert rhetoric becomes a standard approach for discussing nuclear energy, while references to emotions and subjective matters are unacceptable.

    Political contexts of anti-nuclear movements provide opportunities for environmental NGOs, one kind of actor in anti-nuclear movements, to pursue nonconfrontational strategies and engage in institutional channels, where they can contribute their expert knowledge. Concurrently, another actor in anti-nuclear movements, local anti-nuclear groups, on the one hand, share argumentative structures with environmental NGOs, and, on the other hand, attempt to mobilize local population and organize local protests. Due to limited opportunities for attention from the national media and focus on local issues, local protests are not featured in the national media, which is crucial for national protest actions.

    The differences in repertoires between these two kinds of actors and absence of actors opting for mass engagement provide insight into repertoires of anti-nuclear movements as a whole. This thesis demonstrates how discursive opportunities of social movements, which result from competing discourses of movements and their counter-agents, and political opportunities structure repertoires of actions of these movements.