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Coming Out of CommunismThe Emergence of LGBT Activism in Eastern Europe$
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Conor O'Dwyer

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479876631

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479876631.001.0001

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Activism before EU Leverage

Activism before EU Leverage

Poland and the Czech Republic, 1980s–1997

(p.84) 4 Activism before EU Leverage
Coming Out of Communism

Conor O'Dwyer

NYU Press

This is the first of three chapters that process trace the development of LGBT activism in Poland and the Czech Republic through the different stages of exposure to and integration into the EU. It sets a baseline for assessing how hard-right backlash impacted the organization of activism by showing what fledgling activist networks in both countries looked like before the application of EU leverage, a comparison that proves to be a study in contrasts. By 1997, Czech activists had moved from informal organization to the consolidation of a politically oriented social movement organization that aggregated a broad network of local groups into a national-level structure. By contrast, the Polish movement had failed to move from local to national organization; informal affiliations still formed the basis of organization; and, motivated by concerns regarding funding and safety, activists were avowedly apolitical in orientation.

Keywords:   Czech Republic, Poland, European Union, social movement organization, leverage, process tracing

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