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By the masses or for the masses?: the transformation of voluntary action in the Czech Union for Nature Protection

Carmin, JoAnn and Jehlicka, Petr (2005). By the masses or for the masses?: the transformation of voluntary action in the Czech Union for Nature Protection. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary Nonprofit Organizations, 16(4) pp. 397–416.

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After the fall of state-socialism, efforts were made to build democracy by creating civil society organizations (CSOs) and forming independent nonprofit sectors across Central and Eastern Europe. However, most of these efforts ignored the mass organizations, state-sponsored interest groups, and quasi-independent associations in existence for many years. To understand how the transition affected existing associations and the forms of volunteerism they promoted, this paper investigates changes in the Czech Union for Nature Protection (ČSOP), an organization that has endured since 1979. Here, it is found that rather than retaining its emphasis on classical modes of voluntary action and participant interaction, ČSOP favors professionally managed activities designed to attract financial support. The case suggests that some of the participatory practices and collectivist norms advanced by associations in socialist times are being weakened as these groups attempt to secure the resources necessary to survive.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1573-7888
Extra Information: The original publication is available at
Keywords: democratic transition; mass associations; civil society organizations; civic engagement; nature conservation; Czech Republic
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 4474
Depositing User: Users 13 not found.
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 20:18
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