9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS03 East and West in Europe

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Democracy and Social Structure Building I, 1E4

Political convergence of Polish peasants with European alter-mondialist movements: a matter of time?

The polish family-like farming systems have not been driven to disappear by the new liberal context settled in Poland since 1988, as initially announced by economical analysis. On the contrary, small and medium sized farms showed an unexpected ability to resist within this new context, thanks to a complex strategy of autonomy, based on a combination of both farm activity (based themselves on autonomy), and on external job. Both ecological and social positive impacts of those farming systems have been measured here thanks to specific indicators, built in order to measure their sustainability. Within this frame, the performances of those farms are globally excellent.
These performances would let assume that some national-wide political or social movement would have recently emerged in Poland, aiming to bring this category of farms closer to western movements identified as alter-mondialists, as it is the case for peasant-like movements in other European countries. An overview of the position of the main Polish syndicates and political movements will show that until now it is not the case: the good performances of this wide group of farms (representing 60 % of the national agriculture) are not accompanied by a national-wide social movement revendicating their positive value (as sustainable) and their importance for the country on the European scene. The political referential of market and modernisation still dominate the national scene.
This situation can be interpreted as the fact that until now the western contestation of this European dominant political frame has not been imported in Poland while importing this model it-self: is this temporary? The political future of those farming systems remains uncertain at the moment, and will depend on the emergence or not of a national positive political representation.