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The Centre on Social Movement Studies

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Grassroots Groups and Civil Society Actors in Pro-Democratic Transitions in Poland

Grzegorz Piotrowski

Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012

The transition to democracy in 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe is said to be the achievement of the dissident sector. In Poland the biggest power in the democratization process was the Solidarność trade union. At the same time many smaller grassroots groups from that time remain unnoticed and their influence on the democratization process is underrated. Such grassroots groups were responsible for organizing numerous strikes, campaigns on the issues of environmental protection and many others. They also brought novel protest repertoires and managed to mobilize different sectors of the society. This paper aims at presenting the complex environment of civil society actors in the democratization of Poland as well as presents the broader context for the transformation of 1989: structural preconditions, cleavages within the authorities and main waves of protest events.

EUI SPS - Cosmos Working Paper 2012/07

2012WP07COSMOS

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