Rural Social Movements (RSM) in Poland
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SWPS University in Warsaw
Submission date: 2023-04-21
Acceptance date: 2023-08-31
Publication date: 2023-12-13
Polish Sociological Review 2023;224(4):499-518
The terms “rural social movement” or “peasant movement” are used in many different senses and there is a need to systematize the theoretical concept of rural social movements (RSM) in the European, and especially post-communist context in order to understand the protest activity of agrarian communities. RSM have been present throughout the post-transition period in Poland, but the concept is applicable in other European contexts as well. This paper is an account of the origins and development of RSM in Poland. The focus is on Agrounia [Agrounion], understood as a social movement with distinct characteristics. Protest Event Analysis is used to collect information of rural protests in 2012–2022 and results are presented. Analyses indicate that there is a continuity in RSM goals, tactics and social base and Agrounia replicates the model adopted by Samoobrona [Self-Defence] in the 1990s. RSM are also considered as a political actors. They operate outside of the main established political blocs and avoid the cultural-historical cleavages determining Polish politics.
National Science Centre Poland, project no. 2021/41/B/HS5/00536 „From Samoobrona [Selfdefence] to Agrounia: rural social movements in Poland after 1989,” realized at the Institute of Social Sciences, SWPS University.
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