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Title page for ETD etd-12042009-143654

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Brown, Kate (Anne Katherine) Pride
Author's Email Address kate.pride.brown@gmail.com
URN etd-12042009-143654
Title Corruption and Cognitive Liberation in Russian Environmentalism: A Political Process Approach to Social Movement Decline
Degree Master of Arts
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Prof. George Becker Committee Chair
Prof. Larry Isaac Committee Member
  • corruption
  • Russia
  • social movements
  • cognitive liberation
Date of Defense 2009-08-24
Availability unrestricted
Following reforms in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, a large environmental movement erupted across the nation. At the time, it was the largest and most powerful critical group in the repressive regime. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the environmental movement fell back into abeyance. This paper investigates the reasons for the collapse of the Russian environmental movement using a revised political process model that emphasizes cognitive liberation as a principle variable. I suggest that cognitive liberation is based upon grounded knowledge and social trust: as corruption and lawlessness increased in the post-transition years, people’s sense of efficacy decreased. Moreover, I argue that the political opportunity structure operates dialogically with cognitive liberation. Elites were able to close political opportunities in the 2000s because cognitive liberation among the general population had already been demoralized in the 1990s.
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