The Meaning of the 1980s’ Anti-Politics’ Legacy within the Contemporary East-Central European Civil Societies
Drawing on the framing perspective in the study of social movements, the article discusses the possible links between the concept of anti-politics developed by Czech, Hungarian, and Polish dissidents in the 1970s and 1980s, and formal and informal initiatives of the East-Central European civil societies nowadays. It is argued that the historic notion of anti-politics should be applied in the contemporary research on social movements and on any other form of civil activism in the region since it has immense analytical and methodological importance. It allows researchers to recognize different traits of social activity and civil society specific to East-Central Europe, and explain them in a more comprehensive manner. Referring to the historical concept of anti-politics enables the researchers to identify and appreciate characteristic regional discourses, repertoires, and forms of protest in historical and contemporary social movements and to perceive the continuity between them. It also helps identify the mechanism of civil activism. The article’s argument is based on the writings of three dissident movement leaders, namely Vaclav Havel, György Konrád, and Jacek Kuroń. It is being explained how the concept of anti-politics worked as a collective action frame in the 1980s, and the examples of its legacies within the contemporary formal and informal civil activism are given.
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