Transnational environmental activism in central Asia: The coupling of domestic law and international conventions
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, local environmental activism in Central Asia was widespread. While environmental activists had managed to create mutually beneficial alliances with the titular elite during the Soviet period, these alliances disintegrated as the Soviet successor states became increasingly integrated into the international system. In their place, new transnational alliances emerged between local environmental activists and international non-governmental organisations. Yet, the ensuing transnational alliances did not merely entail international activists exerting pressure from outside on their domestic governments. Rather, local environmental activists have also carved out a separate realm for independent political action, facilitated by the coupling of national law with international conventions. Then, over time, environmental activism has moved from dependent activism to interdependent activism. In order to explicate the ways in which the coupling of national law with international conventions influences environmental activism and outcomes, evidence is provided from petroleum development at the Karachaganak and Kashagan oil fields in Kazakhstan and environmental activism in Turkmenistan. In particular, the authors examine how the 1998 Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (i.e. Aarhus Convention) has transformed environmental activism and domestic law in Central Asia. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
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