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  • 1 City University of New York John Jay College New York USA
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This paper broadly compares environmentalism in Hungary and Slovakia, with a specific focus on Slovakia’s green movement under late-socialism and after. Nature activism in both countries was not directly controlled by the Party, and in each case individuals pushed the boundaries of activism and redefined notions of protest and dissent. But the way these two movements emerged were quite different from one another. In Hungary, the movement coalesced around a big “international” Soviet-style mega-project. This was the flashpoint. In Hungary, the Nagymaros dam project was an infringement — a monument of unhappy partnerships, and a symbol that fueled nationalist rumblings. In Slovakia, the whole notion of megaworks was not an unwelcome idea. But the differences between Hungarian and Slovak greens are more than the story of a dam controversy. While Hungary’s movement had its origins in the Danube River, Slovak greens emerged from the conservation of folk dwellings in the mountains. In Slovakia — the weekend amateur, the Catholic, the writer, the sociologist — instead found traction in the notion of human conservation. I explore these differences and examine how things change in the post-socialist period.

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