12 Pages

Learning by Action. The Case of the Polish Environmental Movement

WithPiotr Gliński

The members of the environmental movement do not all follow the same ideology. The environmental movement in Poland is a community bound by only the most general goals. The social composition of the Polish environmental movement's membership only partially reflects the societal structure of Western new social movements. Participants in the Polish environmental movement conduct "new" types of activities and methods of operating, typical of new social movements. Movement activists trained themselves to conduct environmental campaigns and programs, to administer non-governmental oraganizations, and to become familiar with legal codes. The phenomenon of learning by action can be illustrated by the history of Czorsztyn dam protest. The movement is characterized typically by "new" organizational forms. The Polish ecological movement moved gradually into the second phase of development noted in this article – the phase of constructing effective, professional non-governmental organizations. The movement also started to construct an internal information network.