Article: Volunteers on the Political Anvil – Notes on citizenship and volunteer biodiversity monitoring in three postcommunist countries (2011)

The paper presents comparative ethnographic material on volunteer biodiversity monitoring from environmental organisations in three postcommunist countries: Poland, Slovenia, and Lithuania.

The argument charts and discusses aspects of the heritage from socialism and communist rule in terms of their effect on the present-day running and operations of four case-study organisations in these countries, focusing particularly on challenges posed by the legacy of compulsory volunteering, inherited organisational cultures, economic reorganisation, and internationalisation of the volunteering sector. In closing, the text indicates certain key differences between the case-study organisations, focusing on factors that influenced their ability to operate in the postcommunist nongovernmental organisation sector, and offers some observations of more general relevance.


Bell, S, H Reinert, D Podjed, J Cent, H Kobierska and D Vandzinskaite. 2011. Volunteers on the Political Anvil – Citizenship and Volunteer Biodiversity Monitoring in Three Post-Communist Countries. Environment and Planning C Vol 29 (1: 170-185)