Post-doctoral researcher Korsunova-Tsaruk Angelina and working group (Circular Citizens)

361800 €

Beyond Rules and Obligations: Exploring Citizen Motivations, Routes and Personal Strategies for Becoming Active in Circular Economy in Russia and Finland

Kolmivuotinen | Hankkeen teemat liittyvät Suomen muuttuvat naapuruudet -ohjelmaan

Finland and Russia have distinctively different institutional environments related to waste management, but both countries share the orientation towards development of Circular Economy (CE), and due to geographic proximity there is potential for cross-border initiatives. Yet it is often the case that the official discussions center around existing technologies and business opportunities, while “softer” issues related to citizen education, societal norms, willingness and motivation to be active in CE remain underexplored. Our project aims to address this gap and focus on the socio-economic complexity of transitioning towards CE. We highlight how within the different institutional contexts of Russia and Finland, there emerge individuals and grass-root movements that go much beyond the societal norm in implementing the "3R"s of CE: reduce, reuse and recycle. We engage with these pioneering citizens from both contexts to study their motivations and personal strategies to become active in CE. In Finland we examine how members of Zero Waste focus on "precycling" - the prevention of waste generation in daily life, and what skills and competences it requires. In Russia, we study how members of Trash.No.More movement overcome a complete lack of infrastructure and institutional support for waste sorting, and develop their "waste routes" and strategies for transporting recyclables. By comparing the insights from Russia and Finland, with distinctively different institutional environments we expect to generate learning on triggering and supporting citizen motivation that transcends the local settings. We expect to complement Stern's ABC-theory with insights on why and how attitudinal factors can overrule contextual ones leading to more sustainable lifestyles. And by gaining insights on citizens' everyday life activities, our research will develop and fuel the social perspective on CE, aside to the currently dominant technical and business-oriented discussions.