Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe - cover image


Eszter Krasznai Kovacs

Published On





  • English

Print Length

342 pages (xii+330)


Paperback156 x 24 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.93" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 27 x 234 mm(6.14" x 1.06" x 9.21")


Paperback1433g (50.55oz)
Hardback1827g (64.45oz)



OCLC Number





  • RNKC
  • RNKH
  • RND


  • NAT010000
  • NAT011000
  • SCI026000


  • DJK51


  • East Europe
  • West Europe
  • Environment
  • Political ecology
  • Environmentalism
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Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe

Europe remains divided between east and west, with differences caused and worsened by uneven economic and political development. Amid these divisions, the environment has become a key battleground. The condition and sustainability of environmental resources are interlinked with systems of governance and power, from local to EU levels. Key challenges in the eastern European region today include increasingly authoritarian forms of government that threaten the operations and very existence of civil society groups; the importation of locally-contested conservation and environmental programmes that were designed elsewhere; and a resurgence in cultural nationalism that prescribes and normalises exclusionary nation-building myths.

This volume draws together essays by early-career academic researchers from across eastern Europe. Engaging with the critical tools of political ecology, its contributors provide a hitherto overlooked perspective on the current fate and reception of ‘environmentalism’ in the region. It asks how emergent forms of environmentalism have been received, how these movements and perspectives have redefined landscapes, and what the subtler effects of new regulatory regimes on communities and environment-dependent livelihoods have been.

Arranged in three sections, with case studies from Czechia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Serbia, this collection develops anthropological views on the processes and consequences of the politicisation of the environment. It is valuable reading for human geographers, social and cultural historians, political ecologists, social movement and government scholars, political scientists, and specialists on Europe and European Union politics.


Politics and the Environment in Eastern Europe is a wonderful volume that makes an excellent set of unique contributions to the political ecology and political anthropology of Eastern European environmentalism, environmental policy and the post-socialist transition. In fact, there is no other project like it as far as I am aware of, and the collection of engaging and critical chapters will surely be a sought-after resource for the present and future scholarship of the region. The project is timely and significant and will help to push theory and ethnography forward into new and fresh areas of inquiry.

Edward Snajdr

John Jay College of Criminal Justice


This is an important book that addresses the environment of a neglected region undergoing socialist as well as capitalist upheavals. The history of the region is complex, and this collection will prove useful to specialists and scholars of Eastern Europe at all levels. It will also attract adult general readers with related interests.

J. P. Davis

CHOICE Connects, vol. 59, no. 7, 2022.

Table of Contents



Introduction: Political Ecology in Eastern Europe

Eszter Krasznai Kovacs

Part I
1. The Dismantling of Environmentalism in Hungary

Eszter Krasznai Kovacs and György Pataki

2. The Making of the Environmental and Climate Justice Movements in the Czech Republic

Arnošt Novák

3. The Construction of Climate Justice Imaginaries through Resistance in the Czech Republic and Poland

Mikulás Černìk

4. Gaps of Warsaw: Urban Environmentalism through Green Interstices

Jana Hrckova

Part II
5. Far-right Grassroots Environmental Activism in Poland and the Blurry Lines of ‘Acceptable’ Environmentalisms

Balsa Lubarda

6. Contorted Naturalisms: The Concept of Romanian Nationalist Mountains

Alexandra Coțofană

7. A (Hi)Story of Dwelling in a (Post)Mining Town in Romania

Imola Püsök

Part III
8. The Shifting Geopolitical Ecologies of Wild Nature Conservation in Romania

George Iordăchescu

9. Domesticating the Taste of Place: Post-Socialist Terroir and Policy Landscapes in Tokaj, Hungary

June Brawner

10. A Geographical Political Ecology of Eastern European Food Systems

Renata Blumberg

11. What is Not Known about Rural Development? Village Experiences from Serbia

Jovana Dikovic

12. Failure to Hive. A Co-narrated Story of a Failed Social Co-operative from the Hungarian Countryside

Éva Mihalovics and Zsüli Fehér

Concluding Thoughts

Eszter Krasznai Kovacs, György Pataki, Arnošt Novák, Mikulás Černìk, Jana Hrckova, Balsa Lubarda, Alexandra Coțofană, Imola Püsök, George Iordăchescu, June Brawner, Renata Blumberg, Jovana Dikovic, Éva Mihalovics and Zsüli Fehér

List of Figures