Central and Eastern European Alterglobalists
This book examines the alterglobalist activists in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Based on lengthy ethnographic fieldwork and numerous in-depth interviews with key figures of the movement, it covers mobilizations and actions between 1998 and 2011 and analyzes the process of adapting the alterglobalist way of thinking, claims and organizational modes in post-socialist countries. By pointing out the main challenges the movement faced, the author discusses the ways it tried to overcome these. The main argument is that the post-communist legacy (expressed in low levels of mobilization, in rejection of leftist ideals and discourse and in deep mistrust towards political life) had a tremendous impact on the formation and the shape of the alterglobalist movement in the region.
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- Frankfurt am Main, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2017. 210 pp., 7 b/w ill.
- About the author(s)/editor(s)
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Chapter 1: Studying social movements in Central and Eastern Europe
- Qualitative studies of social movements
- Arena of struggles
- Key Informants
- The Interviews
- Other Data Sources
- Chapter 2: Alterglobalism
- Where does the term alterglobalism come from?
- History of the movement
- Key alterglobalist events in Central and Eastern Europe
- Composition of the movement
- Different levels of activism
- Changes within the movement
- Problems with Anti-Americanism
- Chapter 3: Western activism meets Eastern reality: alterglobalism in Central and Eastern Europe
- Explaining cross-national similarities
- East - west cooperation
- The diffusion of ideas and practices in Central and Eastern Europe
- Chapter 4: Postsocialism
- What is the area of study and why?
- Central and Eastern Europe – history, politics and contentious protests
- Social and economic transformations
- Social apathy
- The rejection of ‘the left’ and the dominance of the conservative discourse
- Chapter 5: Civil Society, Uncivil Society and Grassroots Activism
- What is civil society?
- Civil society in Central and Eastern Europe
- The ‘third cycle’ – youth between the communist party and the dissidents
- After the transformation
- The concept of ‘uncivil’ society
- Civil society and social movements
- Chapter 6: The scene – the cultural background of the movement
- The Scene – the background for the movement
- Culture or subculture? Various models of subculture
- Purity of the scene
- Green issues
- Local and national biases of the movement: to what extent can one speak about a truly global movement and which of its features are globalized?
- What is characteristic for the alterglobalist movement in CEE?
- Local specifics of the movement. Similarities and differences
- Self-image of the movement and its reputation
- A lack of variety within the movement
- The goals of the movements
- The effect of postsocialism on the development of the movement
- The problem of the left
- Differences between language and reality
- Continuity or not: are the movements anti-capitalist or anti-systemic?
- The development of the civil society in the region and its consequences for the movement
- Infra and sub politics: how the movements define politics?
- The concept of the scene and its significance for the movement
- Table of figures
‘In the Shadow of the Iron Curtain: Central and Eastern European Alterglobalists’ is a book that started as a doctoral thesis. It presents the development and the characteristic of the Global Justice Movement in Poland, the Czech Republic and in Hungary. Using tools and approaches derived mostly from anthropology this book gives an insight into the movement in Central and Eastern Europe. Although far from being exhaustive, it is one of the first comparative ethnographies of the movement and of the activists in the region. One of the main ways to explain the specificity of the movement in this part of the world is the existence of the postsocialist condition – a set of factors that have shaped the ways of organization of contentious politics. By looking at grassroots and radical social movements, this book aims at bringing the reality of Central and Eastern Europe for social movements closer to the reader.
This book also attempts to analyze the movement from various perspectives by looking at its relations with the civil society, subcultures and countercultural milieus and with other actors of the global movement. At the core of the analysis lay the repertoires of actions used in the region and the frames used to link local protests with more global struggles. In particular I was interested how do the social activists manage to deal with postsocialist environment and how do they adapt the frames derived from activism in other parts of the world to their own cases...
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