B5 Social Movements, Protest and Political Institutions in Eastern and Central Europe

Garant panelu: doc. PhDr. Ing. Ondřej Císař, Ph.D.

2. 2. 14:50

Mobilizing on the migration crisis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Jiří Navrátil , Alena Kluknavská


The recent European refugee crisis has dramatically entered politics and public agenda in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Even if there has been only a small number of refugees applying for asylum in CEE countries so far, the issue of migration appeared to lead to political polarisation and produced a new cycle of mobilizations and protests organized both by pro-refugee and anti-refugee organizations and initiatives. It has been widely recognized that political mobilization depends largely on the political environment that may either stimulate or suppress collective action. In our paper we aim to apply a comparative framework in order to assess the role of political institutions, political culture and political elites in the collective action related to refugee crisis. More specifically, we aim to utilize the similarity of institutional settings (or, political opportunities) and the attitudes of political elites (or, political space and discursive opportunities) towards the issue and elaborate on the differences in the political culture (or, cleavages) and their effect on the different patterns of mobilization on the migration. Using a digital news database and covering two most important country-wide newspapers in each country, we follow a protest event analysis approach and aim at collection, selection, coding and analysis of public protest events related to refugee crisis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2015.

Activism in Czechia: process tracing of one sector's development

Jaromír Mazák


The method process tracing is being developed predominantly in political science with the goal to analyse causality in case studies. If causal link is assumed between two events, the researcher tries to suggest a generative causal mechanism connecting the cause and its effect, and then substantiate it by means of formalized work with empirical evidence. The goal of this contribution is to dis-embed process tracing from the context of case studies and employ it for an analysis of a long-term development of a whole societal sector, namely activism in Czechia since 1989 till today. I propose the argument that by feeding the existing research into the process tracing logics, we can better map the current state of knowledge and critically assess the gaps within it. The reason for this is that when using process tracing we do not use the results of existing studies only, but we turn our attention much more to the empirical evidence the studies use. My contribution is not only an effort to conduct an innovative critical review of the existing research on activism in Czechia. I also try to fill in the gaps in our existing knowledge with my own primary empirical material and analysis, mainly based on interviews with representatives of advocacy organizations in the field of open data, bicycle transport and environamental protection.

The Success of Sustainable Mobilization: The embeddedness of movements among voluntary organizations and their success in mobilization

Márton Gerő, Pál Susánszky, Gergely Tóth


There are many studies explaining protest-participation generally, but much less are trying to explain the stability and steadiness of mobilization of particular movements or protests. Resource mobilization theory suggests that this success depends on the movement’s embeddedness in organizational networks. Thus, we examine how contemporary movements are embedded in organizational networks and how this factor influences their success in sustainable mobilization.
During the past years, a number of critical and pro-government movements have emerged in Hungary. Given that the organizing-actors show great stability, thus often the same actors appear as organizers, one would expect that they are able to mobilize a similar number of participants from time to time. But this is hardly the case: While pro-government rallies are able to mobilize tens of thousands each time, the number of participants in critical movements is waving from a couple hundred to 50.000.
Therefore we examine how the capacity for mobilization depends on these movements’ embeddedness in different types of voluntary organizations, (e.g. religious and environmental organizations or trade unions) and social movements Based on Baldassari and Diani’s work (2007) we assume, that this mobilization capacity depends on the structure of the network of organizations. The more hierarchical a network is, the more stable the mobilization capacity will be, while movements embedded in less hierarchical networks are less capable to mobilize the same amount of people. On the other hand, in less hierarchical networks, we will find more actors who are able to organize protest events, thus the number of such events will be higher. Moreover, we expect that the different types of protests are embedded in different networks of voluntary organizations. We examine this embeddedness through a survey conducted in 2014 among the Hungarian adult population inquiries their participation in certain protest events and their affiliation to voluntary organizations.

“We are No Nazis, We are Czech Mums”: Visuals of Contemporary Czech Xenophobia

Ondřej Daniel


In this paper, I focus on images targeting Roma, Russians, migrants and Muslims and interpret them from a comparative perspective. The sources of my research were gathered during multiple crises period beginning in 2008 and come from the digital space as well as offline public events. The key concept which I explore is class in post-socialist conditions (Michael Burawoy, Gil Eyal, Iván Szelényi). My work builds on the debate on elitism and populism in post-socialist Europe (Michał Buchowski, Séan Hanley). I propose to study two interlinked phenomena: “popular” and “liberal” varieties of xenophobia. The first type is predominantly working class-based (Sergio Bologna), merging culturally and biologically-based racism (Étienne Balibar) with anti-elitist sensitivities. It stems from an agenda imported from abroad as well as the adoption and diffusion of Far Right reasoning and the continuation of late state socialist popular beliefs. The second type, manifested by anti-populist, predominantly urban, educated and more affluent strata, frames its prejudice within human rights perspectives. Its domestic sources can be found in the political instrumentalisation of the collective historical trauma of 1968 as well as in inertia in the post-socialist ideological consensus. Both xenophobias, however, distance themselves explicitly from the Far Right.

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