Images of Nature as Designs for Czech Post-Socialist Society



The environmental conflict about the construction of a large cement factory in Tmaň, a small town South of Prague, bordering the nature protected area of the Česky Kras, embodies some of the central features of post-socialist society: the privatisation of state-owned firms by foreign capital, the emergence of citizen initiatives, the formation of new democratic structures on the local level, and the creation of a public sphere through independent media. Nature conservation and limited resource use entered as new elements into the debates of opposing political fractions that had previously turned around concepts of planned and market economy. Differences of worldviews and projects for society that went beyond the divide into capitalist or socialist ideas took shape and became visible. The article analyses the arguments of the proponents and opponents of the project and examine what ideas about society the images of nature recreated and nature preserved evoke. It then shows in what larger historical and political context these ideas inscribe themselves and how they are negotiated and transformed in the current local political context.

Keywords: post-socialist society, privatization, conservation of nature, images of nature, local politics, Czech Republic

How to Cite: Müller, B. (2004) “Images of Nature as Designs for Czech Post-Socialist Society”, Journal of Political Ecology. 11(1). doi: