Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

National mobilization strategies and transnational networking: Social movements in East and West


Ämne: Sociologi
Projektledare: Kerstin Jacobsson
Startår: 2009

The project aims at studying and comparing the societal conditions of mobilization of civil society and collective action in Eastern and Western Europe. More precisely, the project will study and compare the forms of action of three social movements: the animal rights movement, the women’s movement and the social justice movement. Previous research has often pointed to the weakness of civil society in Eastern Europe. Is that so, or is civil society functioning dynamically but in a different way than in Western Europe? Social movement organizations in Eastern Europe are often dependent on resources from the EU or from abroad. How does this affect their way of functioning? How has membership in the EU affected their situation and way of working? A related theme is the tension betwen cooperation and social criticism/confrontation, and the risk of cooptation versus the risk of marginalization. And how does these tensions come to expression within the movements themselves? Another common focus is the role of transnational exchanges and learning for the action repertoires and mobilization strategies. We also want to study how various transnational movements work in different national contexts. The project consists of three case-studies:

1) Cooptation versus radicalization or radicalization though cooptation? A comparison of the women’s movement in the Czeck Republic and Poland (Steven Saxonberg, Elzbieta Korolczuk)

2) Transnational activism in the global justice movement: A comparison of Sweden, Germany and Poland (Magnus Wennerhag)

3) Playfulness of deadly seriousness? Action forms and transnational learning in the animal rights movement in Sweden and Poland (Kerstin Jacobsson)