056 Democratization, De-Democratization, and Political Activism in Contemporary East-Central Europe

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
C0.23 (Oudemanhuispoort)
Since Alexis de Tocqueville at the latest, democratic activism has been understood to be a condition of a functioning democracy, yet, it has been somewhat overlooked in the studies of democratization. This panel focuses on extra-parliamentary political activism in four post-communist countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary); it (1) analyzes the conditions conducive to the emergence and establishment of democratic forms of activism, and (2) looks at social movements and activists verbalizing alternative views on democracy and politics. Among other things, it aims at answering questions about the relative presence of various types of political activism, and explores the relationships between them, and how the population perceives democratic political institutions and their representatives. In order to achieve its main goal, the panel draws on and contributes to three bodies of literature, namely studies of (de-)democratization, social movements and contentious politics, and public opinion. The panel aims at making three main contributions. First, employing the current conceptual apparatus it maps out political activism and its particular forms in the selected countries after the fall of non-democratic regimes. Second, it aims at an explanation of political activism in its both - mainstream and radical - forms. Third, the contributions deal with the important issues of the stability and functioning of the democratic regimes, and their relation to activism. This problem gains in importance against the backdrop of a recent resurgence of anti-democratic mobilization in post-communist Europe, and instability related to the current economic crisis.
Adam Fagan
Adam Fagan
The Emergence of a New Democracy and “Critical Citizen” Politics in Central-Eastern Europe
Ondrej Cisar, Charles University; Katerina Vrablikova, University of Mannheim
Radical Right Mobilization in Visegrad Countries
Ondrej Cisar, Charles University; Jiri Navratil, Masaryk University, Brno
Activists among Passivism and Growing Authoritarianism: The Social Psychology of Activism in Hungary Today
Judit Kende, Eötvös Loránd University; Anna Kende, Eötvös Loránd University
See more of: Session Proposals