Art Social Science

"“Art-(Social) Science” is a trans-disciplinary activity aimed at searching of new forms of production and presentation of ideas produced in the social sciences and in collaboration with other professionals – artists, designers, activists, etc. Multidisciplinary combines different realms of knowledge and worldviews, possess different conceptual frames, paradigms, languages etc.
Interesting forms and formats are attractive and comprehensible for wider audiences."  Lilia Voronkova (Centre for Independent Social Research)

Disentangling Benefit-Sharing Complexities of Oil Extraction on the North Slope of Alaska

Dr.Maria S. Tysiachniouk    

Centre for Independent Social Research
This paper analyses benefit sharing arrangements between oil companies, native corporations, the North Slope Borough, and Indigenous Peoples in Alaska. It aims to disentangle  the complexities of benefit sharing to understand existing procedural and distributive equity. We identified benefit sharing regimes involving modes, principles, and mechanisms of benefit sharing. Modes reflect institutionalized interactions, such as Paternalism, Company Centered Social Responsibility (CCSR), Partnership, and Shareholders; Principles can be based on compensation, investment and charity. Mechanisms can involve negotiated benefits and benefits structured or mandated by legislation, contracts, or regulation. Furthermore, mechanisms can involve semi-formal and trickle-down benefits. Trickle down benefits come automatically to the community along with development.
The distribution of money by the North Slope Borough represents paternalistic mode, yet involves investment-mandated principles with top down decision making. They are relatively high in distributional equity and low in participatory equity. Native corporations predominantly practice the shareholders mode, investment principle, and mandated mechanisms. The oil companies’ benefit sharing represents a mixed type combining CCSR and partnership modes, several principles (investment, compensatory, charity) and multiple types of mechanisms, such as mandated, negotiated, semi-formal and trickle down. These arrangements vary in terms of distributive equity, and participatory equity is limited.

The article is available online in Sustainability journal
Volume 12  Issue 13
Visual abstract and figures below. Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova.

"Who Benefits?
Complex Relationships of Oil Companies and Indigenous Communities in Alaska"

Maria Tysiachniouk
Visiting Fellow,
UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies;
Chair, Environmental Sociology group,
Center for Independent Social Research, Russia
SAGE Weston Seminar Series_10/29/2020

Benefit Sharing in the Arctic

Extractive Industries and Arctic People

Maria S Tysiachniouk, Andrey N Petrov, Violetta Gassiy 

Pages: 214

Published: August 2020

(This book is a printed edition of the Special Issue Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: Extractive Industries and Arctic People that was published in Resources)

The goal of the eleven papers selected for this volume is to capture a comprehensive understanding from case studies conducted in a variety of Arctic regions related to benefit sharing, CSR, SLO and other interactions between extractive industries and Arctic communities. Despite diversity and complexity, we aimed to find systematic commonalities and differences, identify best practices and fill most critical knowledge gaps. As a result, the volume will be of interest to policy, legal and impact assessment experts, community organizations, extractive companies operating in the Arctic, and all those interested in sustainable development options for resource-dependent regions. (Read Editorial)

Special Issue of Resources Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: Extractive Industries and Arctic People 

Dr. Maria Tysiachniouk
Assoc. Prof. Andrey Petrov
Prof. Dr. Violetta Gassiy
Guest Editors

The aim of this Special Issue is to provide a comprehensive view of the benefit sharing and compensation mechanisms for the indigenous peoples of the Arctic and Sub-Arctic due to industrial development.

The editors welcome papers within the following topics:

  1. Benefit-sharing frameworks in the Arctic.
  2. Corporate social responsibility and the benefit sharing of extractive industries in the Arctic.
  3. Benefit sharing and international and national legislation.
  4. The practice of implementing legislation to support Indigenous and local interests.
  5. The methodology for assessing the losses of indigenous peoples of the North and mechanisms for their compensation.

A special issue of Resources (ISSN 2079-9276).

Globalizing Extraction and Indigenous Rights in the Russian Arctic: The Enduring Role of the State in Natural Resource Governance

Svetlana A. Tulaeva, Maria S. Tysiachniouk, Laura A. Henry and Leah S. Horowitz

The governance of extractive industries has become increasingly globalized. International conventions and multi-stakeholder institutions set out rules and standards on a range of issues, such as environmental protection, human rights, and Indigenous rights. Companies’ compliance with these global rules may minimize risks for investors and shareholders, while offering people at sites of extraction more leverage. Although the Russian state retains a significant stake in the oil and gas industries, Russian oil and gas companies have globalized as well, receiving foreign investment, participating in global supply chains, and signing on to global agreements. We investigate how this global engagement has affected Nenets Indigenous communities in Yamal, an oil- and gas-rich region in the Russian Arctic, by analyzing Indigenous protests and benefit-sharing arrangements. Contrary to expectations, we find that Nenets Indigenous communities have not been empowered by international governance measures, and also struggle to use domestic laws to resolve problems. In Russia, the state continues to play a significant role in determining outcomes for Indigenous communities, in part by working with Indigenous associations that are state allies. We conclude that governance generating networks in the region are under-developed. The article is published in the Special issue of Resources  Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: Extractive Industries and Arctic People (ISSN 2079-9276). 

The article is available online in Resources journal
Volume 8  Issue 4

Video by Renata Tysiachniouk below.

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Who Benefits? How Interest-Convergence Shapes Benefit-Sharing and Indigenous Rights to Sustainable Livelihoods in Russia

Maria S. Tysiachniouk, Laura A. Henry, Svetlana A. Tulaeva and Leah S. Horowitz 

We analyze a shift in benefit-sharing arrangements between oil companies and Indigenous Nenets reindeer herders in Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NAO), Russia as an evolution of the
herders’ rights, defined as the intertwined co-production of legal processes, ideologies and power relations. Semi-structured interviews, participant observation and document analysis demonstrate that in NAO, benefit-sharing shifted from paternalism (dependent on herders’ negotiation skills) to company-centered social responsibility (formalized compensation rules). This shift was enabled by adoption of a formal methodology for calculating income lost due to extractive projects and facilitated by the regional government’s efforts to develop reindeer-herding. While legal rights per se did not change, herders’ ability to access compensation and markets increased. This paper shows that even when ideologies of indigeneity are not influential, the use of existing
laws and convergence of governments’ and Indigenous groups’ economic interests may turn legal processes and power relations toward greater rights for Indigenous groups.

The article is available online in Sustainability journal
Volume 12  Issue 21

 Visual abstract and figures below. Designed by Renata Tysiachniouk. Curated by Alexandra Orlova. Map by Shujin Wang.

Indigenous-led grassroots engagements with oil pipelines in the U.S. and Russia: the NoDAPL and Komi movements

Maria Tysiachniouk, Leah S. Horowitz, Varvara Korkina and Andrey Petrov

Networks play an important role in the Indigenous rights movement’s strategies and in Indigenous groups’ engagements with industry actors, the State, and NGOs. This paper seeks to
extend the concept of Governance Generating Networks (GGN) to incorporate Indigenous grassroots movements, and evaluate multiscale interactions and processes of network-generated
governance across scales. The paper compares the NoDAPL movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in the U.S. with grassroots Indigenous-environmentalist networks of water defenders in the Komi Republic, Russia. These GGNs emerged to protest oil pipelines within two contrasting sociopolitical systems, yet demonstrate substantial similarities in respect to local grievances and global engagement. We find that the resonance of these movements across scales was substantial. These reactions exhibited dissonance between scales, when national and regional actors responded in diverging ways. The two Indigenous-led movements were also able to amplify their agendas and transfer strategic alliances to other places and issues.

The article is available online in ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS journal  since 21 Dec 2020

Visual abstract and figures below. Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova.

Indigenous economies in the Arctic: to thrive or to survive?

Elena Gladun, Soili Nysten-Haarala, Svetlana Tulaeva and Todd Sfromo

There is a growing global interest in the arctic natural resources with a strong influence on local economies. Arctic economy is a rather unique phenomenon constructed of industrial development, local economic activities and indigenous practices. Indigenous economies vary across Arctic states and demonstrate divergent economic mixtures. In globalizing societies and market economy circumstances traditional indigenous economies are changing and perceived rather as a tribute to old customs than a lifestyle followed by the young generation. However, certain groups of the contemporary indigenous population in the Arctic still preserve both culture and economic activities, which are considered to carry on or develop indigenous way of life. The development of indigenous communities is closely adjoined to their economic well-being, on the one hand, and to their culture and traditions, on the other. Our paper contributes to the discussion on the significance of indigenous economies in providing sustenance to indigenous communities, their culture and traditions. The research objective is to identify strategies and tools to sustain indigenous traditional economies as well as the goals of various stakeholders in encouraging and supporting traditional indigenous economies. With this angle, we contrast three very different countries – Russia, Finland and the USA (Alaska). We discuss some government strategies that can be employed for preserving unique indigenous economies. The research methods include content analysis of state and regional legislation and strategies, social studies of stakeholders’ opinions, case studies describing market infrastructure and economic activities as well as features of traditional lifestyle and indigenous knowledge typical for these regions.

Visual abstract and figures below. Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova. 

Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: A Systematic View

Andrey N. Petrov and Maria S. Tysiachniouk

Benefit sharing is a key concept for sustainable development in communities affected by the extractive industry. In the Arctic, where extractive activities have been growing, a comprehensive and systematic understanding of benefit sharing frameworks is especially critical. The goal of this paper is to develop a synthesis and advance the theory of benefit sharing frameworks in the Arctic. Based on previously published research, a review of literature, a desktop analysis of national legislation, as well as by capitalizing on the original case studies, this paper analyzes benefit sharing arrangements and develops the typology of benefit sharing regimes in the Arctic. It also discusses the examples of various regimes in Russia, Alaska, and Canada. Each regime is described by a combination of principles, modes, mechanisms, and scales of benefit sharing. Although not exhaustive or entirely comprehensive, this systematization and proposed typologies appear to be useful for streamlining the analysis and improving understanding of benefit sharing in the extractive sector. The paper has not identified an ideal benefit sharing regime in the Arctic, but revealed the advantages and pitfalls of different existing arrangements. In the future, the best regimes –in respect to sustainable development would support the transition from benefit sharing to benefit co-management.  

The article is published in the Special issue of Resources  Benefit Sharing in the Arctic: Extractive Industries and Arctic People (ISSN 2079-9276). 

Visual abstract and figures below.  Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova 

The article is available online in Resources journal 

Volume 8  Issue 3 

Global Standards and Local Policies in Extractive Industries: ExxonMobil and Indigenous Communities in Russia and Alaska

Maria Tysiachniouk, Laura A. Henry and Leah Horowitz

This paper focuses on comparative analysis of ExxonMobil operations in Sakhalin Island,e.g Sakhalin -1 project and on the North Slope of Alaska, Point Thompson project.  We investigate how global standards adopted by the company are translated in concrete practices in Russia and the US.  We investigate to what degree ExxonMobil activities are shaped by national and local factors, such as the different legal, political, cultural, and environmental contexts.  We highlight differences in benefit sharing practices in both localities.  We analyze to what degree energy sector companies are guided by global standards in their work with Indigenous People?

Theoretically the paper builds on a Governance Generating Network (GGN) and an institutionalist approach to investigate how actors involved in networks of extractive industries interact and negotiate with Indigenous Peoples, NGOs governments and other stakeholders in various forums and places.

Field work was carried out in Sakhalin Island in 2013-2015, and in the North Slope of Alaska in 2015-2018 using qualitative methodology, the case study approach with semi-structured interviews and document analysis. 

The paper demonstrates that ExxonMobil has effective strategies of engaging Indigenous communities in both sites of oil extraction, which are similar, despite differences in context.  Company policies are guided by its own standards and international conventions such as UNDRIP and the ILO’s Convention 169.  However, our cases indicate that within a given organizational/institutional field, companies tend to mimic the policies of other similar entities.

 Visual abstract and figures below.  Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova 

Latest Projects

The politics of scale in global governance: Do more stringent international forest certification standards protect local rights in Russia?

Maria S. Tysiachniouk, Constance L. McDermott, Antonina A. Kulyasova, Sara Teitelbaum, Marine Elbakidze

This paper interrogates how the increasing stringency of international rules on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), as reflected in the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)’s certification standards, is shaping the rights afforded indigenous and local communities in Russia. Viewing the FSC as a ‘global governance generating network’ (GGN) that gains rule-making authority through diverse ‘forums of negotiation’ at multiple scales, we examine how international rules are negotiated and re-configured regarding 1) the ‘scope’ of requirements – who is included or excluded from FPIC and 2) ‘prescriptiveness' – the level and specificity of the rights afforded to FPIC holders.
We find that Russian stakeholders perceive the increasing prescriptiveness of FSC's global FPIC policies as disrupting their existing norms of negotiated compromise, and originating from well-defined and politically influential indigenous populations elsewhere in the world. This has spurred intense debate on the scope of who should qualify for FPIC in Russia. While FSC-Russia's Social Chamber members have used formal standard-setting processes to negotiate for the increased stringency and scope of some FPIC requirements, industry-backed forums have inserted numerous exceptions, and drawn on external expertise and legal counsel to further restrict who counts as an FPIC rights-holder. These ongoing contestations highlight the risk that prescriptive international standards protecting local rights may narrow the scope of whose rights matter in their local implementation.

Visual abstract and figures below.  Designed by Sofia Beloshitskaya. Curated by Alexandra Orlova 

The article is available online in Forest Policy and Economics

Volume 125,  April 2021

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