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Extractive Industries and public participation in russia: The case of the oil industry in Izhemskii District, Komi Republic
University of Lapland.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4176-2805
University of Turku.
2018 (English)In: The Yearbook of Polar Law, ISSN 1876-8814, E-ISSN 2211-6427, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 131-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on the participatory rights of local people living in the areas of extensive oil industry operations in the Izhemskii district of the Komi Republic in Russia. The district has long been suffering from oil leaks and resulting negative environmental impacts. Lukoil-Komi bought the business directly after the Soviet era and inherited the ecological threats related to old and rusty pipelines. Lukoil-Komi has promised to put things in order, but a great deal remains to be done.

This article scrutinizes how statutory law and private governance interact in protecting the participatory rights of local people living in the vicinity of oil production in Komi. First, we evaluate what participatory rights Russian legislation guarantees to local people when oil production arrives in a new area or when new wells are being explored or opened. Second, we elaborate how the major oil company in the region – Lukoil-Komi – fulfills its corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the area of participatory rights and how local people feel about their possibility to exercise their participatory rights. As participatory rights, we discuss both procedural justice with public hearings and distributive justice in the form of benefit-sharing between the company and local community. The wider perspective on participation is due to Russian CSR practices. In Russia, companies tend to earn their Social License to Operate (SLO) through benefit-sharing, often within private governance. This practice is based on the social partnership agreements between authorities and companies. These contracts have path-dependent features resembling earlier Soviet solutions. The same can be claimed to apply to a wider SLO with more focus on local communities. We argue that Lukoil-Komi has not yet been able to achieve an SLO (local acceptance) due to the lack of participatory rights and continuing environmental problems. Most local people are not willing to trade a clean environment and participatory rights for the social benefits the company offers. However, the social partnership agreement concluded between Lukoil-Komi and a local NGO, Izvatas, could be a step forward in achieving a local SLO.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Brill Nijhoff, 2018. Vol. 9, no 1, p. 131-163
Keywords [en]
Participation rights, oil industry, corporate social responsibility
National Category
Social Sciences Law (excluding Law and Society)
Research subject
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-66754DOI: 10.1163/22116427_009010007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-66754DiVA, id: diva2:1160310
Projects
Oil industry networks in the Russian Arctic
Funder
Academy of Finland, 286791
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 1;2019-12-10 (johcin)

Available from: 2017-11-26 Created: 2017-11-26 Last updated: 2019-12-11Bibliographically approved

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Nysten-Haarala, Soili

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