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Environmental SMOs and resource mobilization in the post-communist vs the Northwest European context
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7215-2623
2017 (English)In: Qualitative research in organization and management, ISSN 1746-5648, E-ISSN 1746-5656, Vol. 12, no 3, p. 225-244Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This paper focuses on differences in resource mobilization opportunities among environmental social movement organizations (ESMOs), with empirical focus on ESMOs from five European Union countries - two Northwest European countries (Sweden, Germany) and three post-communist countries (Poland, Croatia, and Slovenia). Whereas mass-membership mobilization is a reality in the Northwest European context, ESMOs from post-communist countries fundamentally rely on international support and project-based funding. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate and discuss what implications this difference has for domestic capacity building among ESMOs.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper draws theoretically and empirically on literature on social movements, including environmental movements. It uses a qualitative methodology with figures, field observations, and interview data from ESMO representatives. The empirical material is based on field studies of ESMOs from the five focused countries.

Findings: The findings demonstrate strong pessimism regarding the possibilities for mass-membership mobilization in the post-communist context, and indicate a set of challenges related to the strong reliance on project funding and international sources. Issues such as short-termism, lack of independence, critical distance, and learning potential are discussed. The findings also indicate avenues for creativity and how various buffers can help to cope with challenges, and that ESMOs from the Northwest European context also face pressures relating to resource mobilization that can negatively affect their critical edge.

Originality/value: By the chosen focus and comparative approach, the paper contributes to our understanding if and how ESMOs can work as powerful and critical political actors in various contexts. The paper thus contributes theoretically and empirically to literature on social movements, and specifically environmental movements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 12, no 3, p. 225-244
Keywords [en]
NGO, Environment, Resources, Members, Project, Social movement organization
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-61434DOI: 10.1108/QROM-01-2017-1467ISI: 000411863700004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85029958736OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-61434DiVA, id: diva2:1148694
Available from: 2017-10-12 Created: 2017-10-12 Last updated: 2017-10-12Bibliographically approved

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