Environment and Democracy in the Czech Republic

Environment and Democracy in the Czech Republic

The Environmental Movement in the Transition Process

Adam Fagan

Environment and Democracy in the Czech Republic offers a radical perspective on the democratisation process, revealing the extent to which the consolidation of a politically efficacious and diverse civil society is far more complex than the earlier generation of commentators acknowledged. The environmental movement has not flourished under political democracy; its radical activists have been marginalized and targeted by the state, their ideologies and strategies compromised and their critical voice silenced. Yet the book concludes that whilst the mainstream environmental movement has become institutionalised and appears incapable of representing community interests, the environmental issue retains the capacity to mobilise, this time against the neo-liberal agenda of the democratic government.

Chapter 5: Case Studies

Adam Fagan

Subjects: politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy

Extract

INTRODUCTION The previous chapter identified general trends and developments within the Czech environmental movement during the period 1990–2000. Though the specific strategies and actions of individual organisations were often referred to, the focus was on the impact of changes in the political opportunity structure and the effects of resource constraints on EMOs as a whole. Observations regarding the interaction between EMOs and the political elite, the impact of resource constraints on organisations and the emergence of new, more radical, aggregations referred to individual cases only to enforce the general argument. By contrast, this chapter is more descriptive; it recounts the development of three quite different organisations that reflect the diversity of organisational forms within the present-day environmental movement. The objective here is to elaborate on the specific issues and trends highlighted in the previous chapter and to identify how, despite variation in strategies and approaches, they have all grappled with similar constraints over the past decade. In essence, the broad aim here is to reinforce the core arguments and themes of the book by focusing in detail on case study organisations. The three case study organisations selected reflect the diversity of organisations within the movement: Hnutí Duha is best described as a combination of a public interest lobby and professional protest organisation. It has been transformed since the early 1990s from an amorphous aggregation of young activists with an esoteric and global focus to arguably the most high profile professional EMO in the country today. It has branches across...

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