The Environmental Movement in the Transition Process
Chapter 2: Different Approaches to the Study of Environmental Movements
INTRODUCTION The previous chapter established a suitably inclusive definition of an environmental movement and identified types of movement organisations. The task now is to move beyond definitions to construct a theoretical framework for exploring the behaviour of Czech EMOs and to identify variables shaping strategic choices and organisational logic. The general theoretical literature that has evolved to explain SMO (social movement organisation) behaviour in western capitalist democracies is the logical starting point. The more specific theoretical discourse on environmental movements and organizations and the factors shaping their activities is almost entirely drawn from the experience of established western democracies over the past 30 years (Kriesi, 1995). An extensive comparative literature exists charting the evolution of environmental movements, their relations with the state, their strategic choices and their ideological values. There is also a substantial literature focusing on the impact of resources on western organisations (McCarthy and Zald, 1977). A first important consideration is the extent to which such western-inspired theories of social movement behaviour are relevant to the new democracies of CEE. The answer depends largely on how one views the economic, political and social legacy of Soviet-style communism, and whether one is prepared to accept that the system was a variant (rather than antithesis) of modernisation that gave rise to similar environmental problems and social processes. If one accepts the argument that, although the legacy of Soviet-style communism in Eastern Europe undeniably resulted, through its emphasis on heavy industrialisation and quantitative production ethic, in a specific set of environmental...
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