The Environmental Movement in the Transition Process
Chapter 1: Defining an Environmental Movement
INTRODUCTION The objective of this chapter is to identify what is understood by the term ‘environmental movement’, and then to distinguish the more specific concept of an ‘environmental movement organisation’. What are required here are workable definitions that are both sufficiently inclusive and descriptive to convey the types of mobilisations likely to be encountered in the Czech Republic since 1990. Definitions derived from western experience of over three decades of environmental protest are an obvious starting point, though any definition must be suitably broad to encompass different constellations of protest and specific organisational forms reflecting the recent political history of the Czech Republic. Amongst those studying environmental protest, and indeed social movements generally, there is considerable discussion regarding terminology: mobilisations surrounding the environmental issue are described by a variety of ill-defined and often overlapping terms, the meanings of which alter over time as new forms of protest emerge to challenge contemporary environmental problems. Amongst academics much discussion centres on the types of aggregations or mobilisations to be included or excluded within the concept of an environmental movement, and the extent to which different organisational forms can and should be distinguished. Thus arriving at a suitable definition of an environmental movement, able to convey the dynamics and diversity of a relatively young and still evolving movement, is no easy task. SOME CONCEPTUAL CONFUSION Various contributions to what might be termed the ‘environmental politics’ literature have attempted to clarify the complex forms of activism that typify environmental movements, and to categorise aggregations...