In this study, we examine the political implications of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification and its requirements for participatory governance by focusing on three case studies in Russia and drawing upon qualitative research data from 2002 to 2014. We argue that one of the unintended by-products of forest certification is the advancement of a specific type of citizenship – what we refer to as ‘managed citizenship.’ In managed citizenship, local communities are empowered by new rights endowed to them by a global governance generating network (GGN), such as the FSC. Through the GGN, local stakeholders may become involved in long-term initiatives that provide new opportunities to participate in democratic governance. However, citizens’ involvement is cultivated, directed, and circumscribed by actors from outside the communities, such as environmental and certification experts who educate local residents about their stakeholder status. We also find that the persistent weakness of social interests, as opposed to environmental, within the FSC and the effects of economic instability and weak democracy domestically contribute to the challenges of engaging local communities.
|Journal||International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|