Summary and Info
Since a handful of environmental activists helped to bring down the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, the arena of environmental politics has offered a valuable lens on the transition process, providing a unique insight into the contradictory and highly contingent relationship between democratization and neo-liberalism. Environment and Democracy in the Czech Republic offers a radical perspective on the democratization 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 while the mainstream environmental movement has become institutionalized and appears incapable of representing community interests, the environmental issue retains the capacity to mobilize, this time against the neo-liberal agenda of the democratic government. This definitive account of the evolution of the Czech environmental movement since 1990 offers a radical evaluation of the institutions and practice of political democracy, and challenges some of the certainties of social movement theory. Although focused on the Czech Republic, the book will undoubtedly contribute to a better understanding of the role of environmental movements within contemporary politics throughout the world. It will be welcomed by political and social scientists with an interest in Central and Eastern Europe, and academics and students with an interest in environmental politics.