Reshaping the hourglass? The environmental movement and civil society development in the Russian federation

Jo Crotty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rose's and Mishler and Rose's 'hourglass' construction of post-Soviet Russian society illustrates that the civil space traditionally occupied by advocacy and community groups continues to be constricted. Such groups fail to successfully bridge the space between the individual and the state, thereby holding the fledgling Russian democracy to account. In this paper, to shed light on reasons for the continuing constriction of Russian civil space, the behavior of the environmental movement in one Russian region - Samara Oblast - is observed through the lens of social capital. By utilizing Adler and Kwon's schema for assessing the benefits and risks arising from social capital stocks possessed by collectives, it will illustrate that the Russian environmental movement is inward looking and parochial; built on pre-existing friendships or elite connections; and uninterested in forming a mass movement or actively engaging with the Russian public. Moreover, rather than being situated within the constricted civil space of Russian society, the majority of groups within the Samara environmental movement are themselves situated firmly in either half of the hourglass. Groups within each half successfully span gaps between each other, but no activity is undertaken to bridge or reshape the constricted space between the halves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1319-1338
Number of pages20
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006


  • Civil society
  • Environmental movement
  • Russia
  • Social capital


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