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Title [en]
Anarchists in Eastern and Western Europe - a Comparative Study
Abstract [en]
During recent years, scholarly attention has been given to civil society in Eastern Europe, and to a certain degree also to the social movements and political protests of the region. Little attention has however been directed towards the impact and role of radical leftist groups in these newly democratized post-communist political systems. In social movement research it has been noted that anarchist and autonomist groups have played a prominent role for the broader left and new social movements in Western countries since the late 1960s, often appearing as the broader movement’s ’radical flank’. Albeit being a marginal political phenomenon, the ideas, strategies and forms of protests of these radical groups have many times – directly or indirectly – influenced more established organizations, e.g. political parties and trade unions.Especially since the 1990s, anarchist and autonomist activism have been visible through ’street parties’, squatting and during the protests of the Global Justice Movement. The purpose of this project is to make a comparative analysis of anarchist and autonomist movements in four countries in the Baltic region – Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia – focusing on their role in contemporary politics. In what respects can one find differences and/or similarities in how these countries’ movements have developed? How can differences or similarities be explained by structural openings or closures in the polities in question, both regarding the movements’ interplay with the state and other political actors, and their ability to intervene in conflicts over the dominant meanings of democracy and politics? The comparative analysis will be guided by a focus on (1) how the movements’ strategies and alliances are used to achieve political influence, (2) how the movements’ highlight and act upon political and cultural tensions, and (3) how the transnational diffusion of movement ideas and practices impact different national contexts. Using a comparative framework based in social movement theory, we will conduct interviews, analyze texts and do fieldwork within movement organizations, at events and meeting places. The research group is made up of scholars with extensive experience of research in the countries of the study. The project will be undertaken within the research environment for studies of contemporary social movements in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, at the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University.
Publications (10 of 17) Show all publications
Wennerhag, M., Fröhlich, C. & Piotrowski, G. (Eds.). (2017). Radical left movements in Europe. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radical left movements in Europe
2017 (English)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

When the Iron Curtain lifted in 1989, it was seen by some as proof of the final demise of the ideas and aspirations of the radical left. Not many years passed, however, before the critique of capitalism and social inequalities were once again the main protest themes of social movements. This book provides an account of radical left movements in today’s Europe and how they are trying to accomplish social and political change.

The book’s international group of leading experts provide detailed analysis on social movement organizations, activist groups, and networks that are rooted in the left-wing ideologies of anarchism, Marxism, socialism, and communism in both newly democratized post-communist and longstanding liberal-democratic polities. Through a range of case studies, the authors explore how radical left movements are influenced by their situated political and social contexts, and how contemporary radical left activism differs from both new and old social movements on one hand, and the activities of radical left parliamentary parties on the other. Ultimately, this volume investigates what it means to be ‘radical left’ in current day liberal-democratic and capi- talist societies after the fall of European state socialism.

This is valuable reading for students and researchers interested in European politics, contemporary social movements and political sociology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017. p. 283
Series
The mobilization series on social movements, protest, and culture
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-33558 (URN)10.4324/9781315603483 (DOI)2-s2.0-85040569082 (Scopus ID)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)978-1-4724-6146-9 (ISBN)978-1-315603-48-3 (ISBN)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Note

Copyright year 2018

Available from: 2017-10-05 Created: 2017-10-05 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Wennerhag, M. (2017). Radical left movements in Europe: An introduction. In: Magnus Wennerhag; Christian Fröhlich; Grzegorz Piotrowski (Ed.), Radical Left Movements in Europe: (pp. 1-21). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radical left movements in Europe: An introduction
2017 (English)In: Radical Left Movements in Europe / [ed] Magnus Wennerhag; Christian Fröhlich; Grzegorz Piotrowski, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017, p. 1-21Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2017
Series
The mobilization series on social movements, protest, and culture
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34489 (URN)2-s2.0-85040553289 (Scopus ID)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)978-1-4724-6146-9 (ISBN)978-1-315603-48-3 (ISBN)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2018-02-02 Created: 2018-02-02 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Sörbom, A. & Wennerhag, M. (2016). Begreppet extremism - en kritisk introduktion. ARKIV. Tidskrift för samhällsanalys (5), 15-37
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Begreppet extremism - en kritisk introduktion
2016 (Swedish)In: ARKIV. Tidskrift för samhällsanalys, ISSN 2000-6225, E-ISSN 2000-6217, no 5, p. 15-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [sv]

Termen ”extremism” har blivit vanligare inom både svensk offentlig debatt och myndighetsprosa. I sådana sammanhang är det dock sällan klart exakt vad som avses med denna term. Inte heller inom samhällsvetenskapen är begreppet extre­ mism oomstritt och inom olika forskningsfält används begreppet på olika sätt. Syftet med Adrienne Sörbom och Magnus Wennerhags artikel är att belysa extremismbegrep­ pets uppkomst och förändrade betydelse under moderniteten, samt att diskutera några av de problem som begreppet är behäftat med. Med hjälp av bland annat vetenskaps­ sociologen Thomas F. Gieryns begrepp ”gränsdragningsarbete” (boundary-work) visar Sörbom och Wennerhag hur begreppet extremism används i fältet mellan vetenskap, politik och samhällsdebatt. Författarnas huvudsakliga poäng är att begreppets utgångs­ punkt i en tydligt normativ föreställning om politiska avvikelser gör det mindre använd­ bart i vetenskapliga sammanhang, eftersom det enbart tar dessa avvikelser för givna och inte erbjuder några förklaringar om varför de uppkommer eller vilken roll de spelar i moderna samhällen. 

Keywords
extremism; avvikelse; radikalisering; gränsdragningsarbete; demokrati; normativitet. publiceringsh
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29859 (URN)10.13068/2000-6217.5.1 (DOI)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2016-04-18 Created: 2016-04-18 Last updated: 2019-10-25Bibliographically approved
Piotrowski, G. (2016). Od post-anarchizmu do pop-anarchizmu. In: Skrycki Radosław and Michał Przyborowski (Ed.), Radosława Skryckiego (Ed.), Studia z dziejów anarchizmu (2): w dwusetlecie urodzin Michaiła Bakunina. Paper presented at Szczecin, May 29-31, 2014.. Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Od post-anarchizmu do pop-anarchizmu
2016 (Polish)In: Studia z dziejów anarchizmu (2): w dwusetlecie urodzin Michaiła Bakunina / [ed] Radosława Skryckiego, Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego , 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Szczecin: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego, 2016
Keywords
Poland, Anarchism, Post-anarchism
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26973 (URN)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)978-83-7972-056-9 (ISBN)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Conference
Szczecin, May 29-31, 2014.
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2015-04-22 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Polanska, D. V. & Piotrowski, G. (2016). Poland: Local differences and the importence of cohesion. Baltic Worlds, IX(1-2), 46-56
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Poland: Local differences and the importence of cohesion
2016 (English)In: Baltic Worlds, ISSN 2000-2955, E-ISSN 2001-7308, Vol. IX, no 1-2, p. 46-56Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Two Polish cities, Warsaw and Poznań, are studied in the article to examine how external structures are handled and used by squatters in these two settings. The aim is to analyze opportunity structures that condition the emergence and development of squatting and how squatters respond to and utilize these opportunities. Our ambition is to understand why squatting has developed differently in the two cities by emphasizing the duration and cohesion of the squatting scene as pivotal for the different trajectories of squatting. It is argued in the article that the durability of the squatting environment abates tendencies to open the squatting scene to external coalitions and establish more institutionalized forms of political struggle.

Keywords
squatting, Poland, opportunity structures, cohesion, durability
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31064 (URN)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2185/311/2014The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011Swedish Research Council, 2010–1706
Available from: 2016-11-03 Created: 2016-11-03 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Piotrowski, G. & Polanska, D. V. (2016). Radical Urban Movements in Poland: the case of squatting. Miscellanea Anthropologica et Sociologica, 17(1), 53-69
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radical Urban Movements in Poland: the case of squatting
2016 (English)In: Miscellanea Anthropologica et Sociologica, ISSN 2084-2937, E-ISSN 2354-0389, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 53-69Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radical social movements are more and more often the subject of academic inquiry, where their agenda, identity-building processes and repertoires of action are examined vis a vis the dominant discursive opportunity structures. The case study presented in this articleis the squatting movement in Poland. We interpret this movement, its actions and in particular alliance-building strategies, through the perspective of radical flanks of broader urban social movements environment.

Keywords
squatting, post-socialism, urban movements, Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31069 (URN)10.5604/20842937.1212304 (DOI)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2185/311/2014The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2016-11-03 Created: 2016-11-03 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Jämte, J. & Sörbom, A. (2016). Why Did It Not Happen Here?: The Gradual Radicalization of the Anarchist Movement in Sweden 1980–90. In: Bart van der Steen and Knud Andresen (Ed.), A European Youth Revolt: European Perspectives on Youth Protest and Social Movements in the 1980s (pp. 97-111). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why Did It Not Happen Here?: The Gradual Radicalization of the Anarchist Movement in Sweden 1980–90
2016 (English)In: A European Youth Revolt: European Perspectives on Youth Protest and Social Movements in the 1980s / [ed] Bart van der Steen and Knud Andresen, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, p. 97-111Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This chapter examines the development and role of the anarchist movement in Sweden during the 1980s. In relation to many other parts of Northern Europe – which had seen an upsurge in radical left-libertarian activism, squatting and urban unrest at the turn of the 1980s – such social movements and confrontations remained a marginal phenomenon in Sweden, at least until the end of the decade. However, by the late 1980s a new generation of younger activists, often with roots in the anarchist milieu, formed the basis for a radical squatter and autonomist movement, which proved very similar to the movements that had developed throughout Europe almost a decade earlier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016
Series
Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements
Keywords
Anarchist activists, radicalization, political opportunities, repertoires of action
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-31374 (URN)10.1007/978-1-137-56570-9_7 (DOI)9781137565693 (ISBN)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2016-12-15 Created: 2016-12-15 Last updated: 2019-10-25Bibliographically approved
Piotrowski, G. & Wennerhag, M. (2015). Always against the state?: An analysis of Polish and Swedish radical left-libertarian activists’ interaction with institutionalized politics. PArticipation and COnflict, 8(3), 845-875
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Always against the state?: An analysis of Polish and Swedish radical left-libertarian activists’ interaction with institutionalized politics
2015 (English)In: PArticipation and COnflict, ISSN 1972-7623, E-ISSN 2035-6609, Vol. 8, no 3, p. 845-875Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Radical left-libertarian movements are often regarded as primarily seeking ways to accom-plish social and political change outside the framework of institutionalized politics. Previous research, however, has paid little or no attention to the question of these activists’ actual interactions with institu-tionalized politics, nor has it addressed the ways these interactions could be understood in relation to their overall strategies and ideology. This article therefore explores whether, and to what extent, such interaction actually occurs and analyzes the meanings and motives radical left-libertarian activists – from anarchist, autonomist, and anarcho-syndicalist groups – attribute to various types of political actions, ranging from voting and lobbying to protests and direct action. We furthermore compare activists in Po-land and Sweden, in order to scrutinize whether cross-country differences in “political opportunities” affects the activists’ political strategies and ideas about how social and political change can best be ac-complished. Contrary to popular beliefs and many activists’ own self-declarations, our analysis shows that radical left-libertarian groups do in fact try to achieve political change by interacting with institution-alized politics. While radical left-libertarian activists do in most cases prefer “direct action”, this article explores how a more complex relationship to institutionalized politics allows them to accomplish real and immediate changes at the grassroots level.

Keywords
Social Movements, Radical Left-Libertarian Movements, Direct Action, Poland, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29211 (URN)10.1285/i20356609v8i3p845 (DOI)000409063000011 ()2-s2.0-85006021059 (Scopus ID)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011Swedish Research Council, 4212007-8782
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Polanska Vergara, D. & Piotrowski, G. (2015). The transformative power of cooperation between social movements: squatting and tenants’ movements in Poland. City, 19(2-3), 274-296
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The transformative power of cooperation between social movements: squatting and tenants’ movements in Poland
2015 (English)In: City, ISSN 1360-4813, E-ISSN 1470-3629, Vol. 19, no 2-3, p. 274-296Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Squatting, or the use of property without the legal permission, and tenants’ activism are under-researched areas, in particular in the post-socialist context. Poland has been pointed out as extraordinary on the map of squatting in post-socialist Europe and a considerable number of tenants’ organizations are active in the country. What is most interesting is that squatters’ and tenants’ activists are forming alliances, despite their obvious differences in their organizational models, social composition, along with the specific motives and goals of their activism. The objective of this article is to examine the relations between the tenants’ and squatting movements in Poland by studying two cities where both movements are established and closely cooperating. In particular we are interested in the transformative power of such cooperation and we assume that cooperation between social movements results in negotiations and transformations of the social movement actors involved. The empirical foundations for this article are 50 interviews, whereof 30 interviews conducted in Warsaw with squatters and tenants’ movement activists and 20 interviews conducted with activists in Poznań. Warsaw and Poznań are, moreover, two Polish cities where the squatting movement is most vibrant and where squatters and tenants have achieved some considerable successes in their activities. The article argues against previous studies emphasizing access to abundant resources and identity alignment as crucial for the mobilization of collective and collaborative action. Instead, it argues that the lack of resources might also be driving social movements towards cooperation, as a kind of compensation. Moreover, our cases demonstrate that ideology and identity alignment in social movements create stagnation with regard to openness towards new allies. We therefore argue that a high degree of identity alignment and ideological consistency might discourage the formation of new alliances.

Keywords
social movement, alliance building, cooperation, squatting, tenants, Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26802 (URN)10.1080/13604813.2015.1015267 (DOI)2-s2.0-84926364546 (Scopus ID)
Projects
Institutionella begränsningar och kreativa lösningar
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 2185/311/2014The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011Swedish Research Council, 2010-1706
Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-04-07 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Piotrowski, G. (2014). Squatting in the East – Rozbrat in Poland. In: van Hoogenhuijze, Leendert and Van Der Steen, Bart (Ed.), The City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present (pp. 233-253). Oakland CA: PM Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Squatting in the East – Rozbrat in Poland
2014 (English)In: The City Is Ours: Squatting and Autonomous Movements in Europe from the 1970s to the Present / [ed] van Hoogenhuijze, Leendert and Van Der Steen, Bart, Oakland CA: PM Press , 2014, p. 233-253Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Squatters and autonomous movements have been in the forefront of radical politics in Europe for nearly a half-century—from struggles against urban renewal and gentrification, to large-scale peace and environmental campaigns, to spearheading the antiausterity protests sweeping the continent. Through the compilation of the local movement histories of eight different cities—including Amsterdam, Berlin, and other famous centers of autonomous insurgence along with underdocumented cities such as Poznan and Athens—The City Is Ours paints a broad and complex picture of Europe’s squatting and autonomous movements. Each chapter focuses on one city and provides a clear chronological narrative and analysis accompanied by photographs and illustrations. The chapters focus on the most important events and developments in the history of these movements. Furthermore, they identify the specificities of the local movements and deal with issues such as the relation between politics and subculture, generational shifts, the role of confrontation and violence, and changes in political tactics. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oakland CA: PM Press, 2014
Keywords
Squatting, Poland
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25484 (URN)1561/42/2011 (Local ID)9781604866834 (ISBN)1561/42/2011 (Archive number)1561/42/2011 (OAI)
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1561/42/2011
Available from: 2014-12-13 Created: 2014-12-13 Last updated: 2019-08-28Bibliographically approved
Co-InvestigatorSörbom, Adrienne
Principal InvestigatorWennerhag, Magnus
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
Funder
Period
2012-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Keywords [en]
Baltic and East European studies
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
DiVA, id: project:1674Project, id: A068-2011_OSS