All Academic, Inc. Research Logo

Info/CitationFAQResearchAll Academic Inc.
Document

A Contentious Popular History of Post-Communism: The Case of Bulgaria, 1996-2005
Unformatted Document Text:  18 by newly formed and somewhat weakly institutionalized organization and that many new organizations might be formed as a result of protest, they find no support for these hypotheses. The Bulgarian data, however, supports them unambiguously. Lastly, it is noteworthy that in Hungary and Slovakia, close to a third of all protests were organized by parties whereas such protest were close to 6% in both Bulgaria and Poland. Local communities, which were prominent as participants in a large number or protests in Bulgaria were absent in the Polish data (and perhaps subsumed in the other categories). Also, there was no record of protest by minorities or the economic or political establishment in Poland. Consequently, some of the post-modern issues that became increasingly important in Bulgaria over time aren’t a part of the Polish contentious landscape. There are, however, some important similarities in protest activism in Poland and in Bulgaria, the differences in country context and the time period covered. First, public sector employees (workers and professionals) were most often mobilized to make claims to the state and its agencies regarding economic, standard of living, issues. The largest formal organizers in both countries were unions and other professional organizations and most contention occurred in urbanized areas. Second, protest activism contention was decidedly peaceful and the share of conventional performances on the rise. Third, another commonality was the tolerant and soft response by the state authorities and the fact that political and civic actors engaged with the organizers of and participants in collective action by issuing officials statements, serving as mediators for and / or undertaking negotiations with them. Moreover, protest activism appears to have contributed to at least some policy change. All three trends seem to have also galvanized contentious collective action. Forth, the increased sophistication and higher institutionalization of contentious politics was evident from the growing scope, complexity inter-organizational coordination, and tactical versatility of protests activities. Euro-Atlantic Space In addition to Ekiert and Kubik’s research on Poland, Soule and Earl’s study of the US and Rucht’s work on Germany provide an additional comparative context for the Bulgarian data. The accumulated evidence is largely in support of the movement society argument but also, as expected, different local circumstances seem to produce much variation in what movement societies look like and how they undergo the transition. In all four countries there seems to be an expansion of protest. Because of the different context, however, the manifestations of this rise in protest politics are somewhat different: fewer but bigger protests in the US; an increase in frequency and size of events in Germany; a fairly constant frequency of protests but increase in duration, scope and number of participants in Poland; a relatively stable frequency, duration, and type of protest with increases scope and spatial coverage in Bulgaria. The national differences are starker when it comes to the institutionalization of protest. There was radicalization of protest in Germany but more insider tactics and less violence were the prominent trends in the US and in Bulgaria and an increase in conventional protest actions but no decline in the small proportion of violent protests in Poland. Moreover, the average number of groups involved in protest in Germany and Poland rose, whereas it fell in the US and Bulgaria. However, while there was a consolidation of the social movement sector in the US, the

Authors: Petrova, Tsveta.
first   previous   Page 18 of 20   next   last



background image
18
by newly formed and somewhat weakly institutionalized organization and that many new
organizations might be formed as a result of protest, they find no support for these
hypotheses. The Bulgarian data, however, supports them unambiguously. Lastly, it is
noteworthy that in Hungary and Slovakia, close to a third of all protests were organized
by parties whereas such protest were close to 6% in both Bulgaria and Poland.
Local communities, which were prominent as participants in a large number or
protests in Bulgaria were absent in the Polish data (and perhaps subsumed in the other
categories). Also, there was no record of protest by minorities or the economic or
political establishment in Poland. Consequently, some of the post-modern issues that
became increasingly important in Bulgaria over time aren’t a part of the Polish
contentious landscape.
There are, however, some important similarities in protest activism in Poland and
in Bulgaria, the differences in country context and the time period covered. First, public
sector employees (workers and professionals) were most often mobilized to make claims
to the state and its agencies regarding economic, standard of living, issues. The largest
formal organizers in both countries were unions and other professional organizations and
most contention occurred in urbanized areas. Second, protest activism contention was
decidedly peaceful and the share of conventional performances on the rise. Third, another
commonality was the tolerant and soft response by the state authorities and the fact that
political and civic actors engaged with the organizers of and participants in collective
action by issuing officials statements, serving as mediators for and / or undertaking
negotiations with them. Moreover, protest activism appears to have contributed to at least
some policy change. All three trends seem to have also galvanized contentious collective
action. Forth, the increased sophistication and higher institutionalization of contentious
politics was evident from the growing scope, complexity inter-organizational
coordination, and tactical versatility of protests activities.
Euro-Atlantic Space
In addition to Ekiert and Kubik’s research on Poland, Soule and Earl’s study of
the US and Rucht’s work on Germany provide an additional comparative context for the
Bulgarian data. The accumulated evidence is largely in support of the movement society
argument but also, as expected, different local circumstances seem to produce much
variation in what movement societies look like and how they undergo the transition. In all
four countries there seems to be an expansion of protest. Because of the different context,
however, the manifestations of this rise in protest politics are somewhat different: fewer
but bigger protests in the US; an increase in frequency and size of events in Germany; a
fairly constant frequency of protests but increase in duration, scope and number of
participants in Poland; a relatively stable frequency, duration, and type of protest with
increases scope and spatial coverage in Bulgaria. The national differences are starker
when it comes to the institutionalization of protest. There was radicalization of protest in
Germany but more insider tactics and less violence were the prominent trends in the US
and in Bulgaria and an increase in conventional protest actions but no decline in the small
proportion of violent protests in Poland. Moreover, the average number of groups
involved in protest in Germany and Poland rose, whereas it fell in the US and Bulgaria.
However, while there was a consolidation of the social movement sector in the US, the


Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.
Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!
Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!
Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

first   previous   Page 18 of 20   next   last

©2012 All Academic, Inc.