Demokratisering og miljøkamp på Kolahalvøya ('Democratisation and Environmentalism on the Kola Peninsula')

Norsk Antropologisk Tidsskrift, Vol 18, No 3-4, 2007, pp. 241-252. In Norwegian.

This article focuses on an exercise in democracy, in this case the cooperation between organisations across the Norwegian–Russian border; how cooperation takes place and, more specifically, how it can lead to an unintended patron–client relationship between the Norwegian partner and the Russian NGO called PiM. For PiM, drawing on the story lines and representations of the democratisation discourse appears to be key. Based on fieldwork in Murmansk, this theme is discussed and it is suggested that PiM in practice makes use of the discourse on democratisation in an instrumental rather than ideological manner. This is evident especially in regard to applications for funding and in interaction with foreign actors. When PiM confronts local bureaucrats and experts, the environmentalists appear to be dismissed as fanatics. This process is identified as taking part within an expert discourse, wherein participation is limited to experts only.