chapter  12
28 Pages

The East European Environmental Movement and the Transformation of East European Society

The 1980s saw the proliferation of spontaneous popular movements in Eastern Europe. During the decade, public participation in these movements progressively expanded from the activities of a small core of dissidents to demonstrations by thousands. By 1989 the protest movements had succeeded in eroding the power of the established communist regimes. When Gorbachev refused to back the perpetuation of the communist command-administrative model, one by one, in rapid succession, the regimes crumbled and fell. Only in Romania and Bulgaria was the transition accompanied by violence.