Indigenous agency through normative contestation: Defining the scope of free, prior and informed consent in the Russian North [BOOK CHAPTER]

Indigenous agency through normative contestation: Defining the scope of free, prior and informed consent in the Russian North [BOOK CHAPTER]
Marina Peeters Goloviznina
Indigenous Peoples, Natural Resources and Governance, 2021 [Routledge]
Abstract
This chapter explores how obshchiny, the most numerous grassroots Indigenous peoples’ organizations in contemporary Russia, deal with the challenge of exercising their right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). The study nuances our understanding of the agency of obshchiny, drawing much-needed attention to their practices of making a difference in the governance of extractive activities at the local level through FPIC. The analysis explores normative contestation practices of a family-based obshchina in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), focusing on their members’ efforts to enhance their rights to FPIC in relations with a gold mining company. Despite the obshchina’s inferior position in asymmetrical power relations with the mining company, the study shows that assistance from the Ombudsman for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights can increase the obshchina’s chances of maximizing the benefits of negotiations with the company.

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