How do civil society organizations communicate in an authoritarian setting? A narrative analysis of the Russian waste management debate // Review of Policy Research. 2022. DOI 10.1111/ropr.12492. URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ropr.12492. First published: 26.06.2022.
Civil society organizations (CSOs) aim to influence public policy. One way of influencing policy is through communication. In authoritarian contexts, CSOs face restrictions that make criticism of governmental actors less likely. However, to achieve change, CSOs need to highlight public problems that are often created by the inaction of governmental actors. This research examines the communicative strategies of CSOs involved in waste management in Russia. By drawing on the Narrative Policy Framework, it examines narratives used by CSOs on social media. Interviews with these CSO provide explanations of why CSOs select specific narrative strategies. We argue that the narrative strategies of CSOs are determined by their objectives of communication related to the activities they are involved in but are also influenced by their working relationship with the government. Results show that CSOs that are involved in educational activities and service provision mostly pursue an angel-shift-strategy, highlighting policy solutions. Only larger CSOs communicate critically and continue to attempt working with governmental actors to influence policy through awareness-raising and policy advocacy.
Keywords: civil society organization (CSO) | communicative strategy | narrative policy framework | Russia | waste management |
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