Nature Protests

The End of Ecology in Slovakia

Edward Snajdr
Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan

  • Published: 2008
  • Subject Listing: Environmental Studies, Anthropology
  • Bibliographic information: 248 pp., 22 illus., notes, biblio., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Series: Culture, Place, and Nature
  • Contents

As societies around the world are challenged to respond to ever growing environmental crises, it has become increasingly important for activists, policy makers, and environmental practitioners to understand the dynamic relationship between environmental movements and the state. In communist Eastern Europe, environmental activism fueled the rise of democratic movements and the overthrow of totalitarianism. Yet, as this study of environmentalism in Slovakia shows, concern for the environment declined during the post-communist period, an ironic victim of its own earlier success.

Through ethnographic interviews and archival materials, Edward Snajdr explains why Slovakia's ecology movement, so strong under socialism, fell apart so rapidly despite the persistence of serious environmental problems in the region. Synthesizing theory in anthropology and political ecology, he suggests that the fate of environmentalism in Slovakia marks the beginning of a global post-ecological age, where nature is culturally maginalized in new ways.

In addition to its significance for policy makers, this book will be a valuable resource for anthropologists, sociologists, political ecologists, and scholars of East European and post-Soviet studies.

Edward Snajdr is associate professor of anthropology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

“Nature Protests is a vivid examination of the transition to post-socialist politics in the late twentieth century. The case is Slovakia, and the question is: why does environmental politics expand and shrink so rapidly as communist government comes to an end in Eastern Europe? Edward Snajdr's answer contributes an excellent addition to anthropological studies of the politics of nature as the iron curtain falls away.” - K. Sivaramakrishnan, Professor of Anthropology, Yale University

“This book tells two important stories - about ecological activism and about the tumultuous transformation to democracy and market in Eastern Europe - from the point of view of a small country that is not much studied but that is, in fact, a keystone for the region.” - Andrzej W. Tymowski, Director of International Programs, American Council of Learned Societies
Foreword by K. Sivaramakrishnan
1 Communist Environmentality
2 Hatchets versus the Hammer and Sickle
3 "Bratislava Aloud"
4 Nation over Nature
5 Argonauts of the Eastern Bloc
6 Returning to the Landscape
7 Conclusion: Slovakia in an Age of Post-Ecology

"… the book profits from its narrative and analysis based on the author's knowledge of theory and his authentic experience. It is an insightful contribution to the discourse on the continuing multi-layered evolution of post-communist states and societies in Early Europe, in which ecology has played an important point."-Slovakia

"…intelligent and interesting account of the fate of the ecology movement in Slovakia in the last two decades. It deserves to be widely read." - Canadian Slavonic Papers

"Nature Protests is an engaging contribution to postcommunist environmental studies. Lively and well-written, it is appropriate for upper-level undergraduates as well as graduate studies." - Slavic Review

"Snajdr's work draws on multidisciplinary theoretical traditions and empirical works in anthropology and political ecology, a synthesis that emerges as an original contribution to an anthropology that has thus far paid scant attention to ecology, let along ecological movements. Essential." - Choice