Rebellious Civil Society
Popular Protest and Democratic Consolidation in Poland, 1989-1993
An analysis of the role of protest movements in Poland after the fall of communism
Following the collapse of communism in 1989, the countries of Eastern Europe took on the massive project of restructuring their social, political, economic, and cultural institutions. Such drastic change was not met without opposition. Poland, however, was the only country in which popular protest, epitomized by the Solidarity movement, played a significant role in bringing down the communist regime.
The first comprehensive study of the politics of protest in postcommunist Central Europe, Rebellious Civil Society shows that organized protests not only continued under the new regime but also had a powerful impact on Poland's democratic consolidation. Grzegorz Ekiert and Jan Kubik place the situation in Poland within a broad political, economic, and social context, testing their analysis against major theories of protest politics.
Praise / Awards
". . . provides rich information on the political history of Poland during the period after World War II. . . . [A]n important contribution to the literature on emergent democracies in Central and Eastern Europe. . . . rebellious Civil Society gives a broad panorama of political life in Poland, the country that led political and economic reforms in the region, and ought to be of great interest for political scientists and other students of post communist politics."
—Ryszard Szulkin, Stockholm University, Contemporary Sociology
"Rebellious Civil Society helps one appreciate in a new way the meaning and relative significance of the constantly unfolding events in Poland. . . ."
—Cezar M. Ornatowski, San Diego State University, Controversia: An International Journal of Debaate and Democratic Renewal
"Rebellious Civil Society is both important for its rigorous, theoretically informed and empirically grounded analysis, as for its many additional insights on various aspects of post-communist politics. . . . It stands out among the still primarily shallow and highly normative studies of post-communist Europe, and will hopefully be taken as an example for many studies to come."
—Cas Mudde, E-Extreme, February 2002
"A rewarding and important book that promises still more when the follow-up comparative studies are completed."
—Foreign Affairs, May/June 2000
". . . provides a substantial empirical and theoretical supplement to the elite and institutional approaches which have, hitherto, dominated academic debate in post-communist and Polish studies."
—George Sanford, University of Bristol, International Affairs, July 2000
". . . has just the right mix of innovation and inspiration. It offers a new set of insights into the major points of seismic shift in post-communist Central Europe. . . . Ekiert and Kubik hack their way through the thickets of theory and data. Central to their discussion is the question: What is the role of popular protest in the consolidation of new democracy? . . . Ekiert and Kubik write out of passion for freedom, democracy, and human agency. Their argument is characteristically detailed and lucid, and is supported by a reading of daa that has powerful political implications. Rebellious Civil Society is a stimulating and well-argued book. . . . Such a combination of compellng scholarship and elegant writing seems almost illicit in a book that ostensibly falls under the rubric of political science."
—2000 AAASS/ORBIS Books Prize for Polish Studies prize citation, NewsNet (AAASS), January 2001
Winner: American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies' 2000 Orbis Books Prize for Polish Studies
Winner: Polish Institute of Arts & Sciences of America's 2001 Bronislaw Malinowski Social Science Award
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