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Browsing by Author "Külm, Meri"

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  • Külm, Meri (2023)
    Elokapina (Extinction Rebellion Finland) has been active since late 2018 and has become one of the most prominent actors in the Finnish civil society. It represents the more radical wing of the environmental movement and has caused much societal discussion over its action tactics, most notably using civil disobedience. By late 2023, its demands to the Finnish government have not been attained, raising questions about the movement’s effectiveness in achieving the desired outcomes. This thesis looks at movement outcomes and movement-party interaction in the Finnish environmental movement through the case of Elokapina. This work is a holistic view of strategic interactionism, which analyses the movement’s interactions through a lens of movement consequences and the dilemma framework developed by James M. Jasper. To gain a holistic view of the perceived effectiveness of Elokapina’s approaches, the study includes the perspective of politicians in addition to the activists themselves. The research questions are: 1) How effective do activists and politicians perceive Elokapina to be in attaining its goals? 2) How do activists and politicians perceive Elokapina’s strategic choices? and 3) How do activists and politicians view the influence of movement-party relationships on Elokapina? The thesis is qualitative in nature, and the data consists of interview data. Semi-structured interviews with six activists from Elokapina and six Members of the Finnish Parliament were conducted at the beginning of 2023. Based on the analysis, Elokapina is considered more effective from the activist’s point of view. Still, politicians also recognised the movement’s significant role in keeping the climate and environmental crisis on the societal agenda and creating political pressure. Both activists and politicians brought out a multitude of movement outcomes that exemplified Elokapina’s effectiveness despite the official demands not being reached. Interviewees evaluated Elokapina’s strategic choices with a large variety of opinions, which were, at times, contradictory to each other. The most prominent dilemmas that the movement seems to face are about shifting goals, choosing targets, being “naughty” or “nice”, and dilemmas concerning the political arena. The findings show that Elokapina’s direct influence on the political parties is secondary, and the political pressure is created indirectly through the media and by strengthening the climate emergency discourse. The movement-party relationships are diverse, and other prominent players in the arena are the media and police. The analysis concludes that Elokapina is considered an effective actor in the environmental movement, and its consequences are diverse. The movement’s strategy is a constant process with no clear answers, and movement-party interaction is secondary in attaining Elokapina’s goals.