Direct actions constitute an important repertoire of action for environmental movements in Western countries. This article differentiates two ideal types of this repertoire of action: the anarchist concept, which understands direct action in terms of values and as a preferred way of doing things; and the liberal concept, which uses direct action in an instrumental way. Based on my empirical research in post-socialist Czech Republic, the article focuses on debates over environmentalism and, to be more precise, on uses of direct actions by environmental organizations. It explains why the liberal concept was very limited and why direct action as a preferred way of doing things has not become a part of the repertoire of collective action. The article argues that the movement was politically moderate due to a combination of reasons: the very specific historical experience of the Czech environmental movement, which inclines it to use dialogue rather than confrontations with power; the fear of political hostility and marginalization by the state; and the internal dynamics of the environmental milieu.
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Research Article| September 01 2020
Direct Actions in the Czech Environmental Movement
Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2020) 53 (3): 137–156.
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Arnošt Novák; Direct Actions in the Czech Environmental Movement. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1 September 2020; 53 (3): 137–156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cpcs.2020.53.3.137
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