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Abstract

Changes of university should not be a result of administrators’ and university managers’ decisions (as a top-down approach), but of initiatives caused by academic community. These engaged initiatives may take a different forms – associations, foundations, membership in academic committees, as well as different kinds of new social movements. An example of such a social movement are Obywatele Nauki (the Citizens of Science). Its members are young (usually post-docs), as well as more experienced scholars, who – despite the fact of achieving scientific and academic success – are working for the common good and the good of the university seen as an important social institution. Thus the Citizens of Science propose and encourage other scholars to seek constructive and parallel solutions, that, on the one hand, will respect the cultural, social, economic roots building the identity of the university, and, on the other hand, that will have will to use the vitality of young academic. There are three main possibilities of interpretation of the activity of the movement. First of all, these are the modern conceptions of social movements (Gorlach, Mooney 2008; Krzeminski 2013; Sztompka 2010; Żuk 2001; Touraine 2010, 2011, 2013), analyzing measures in the dimension of macro, meso and microstructure. Another important interpretation path is a reference to the history of Social Solidarity Movement (Touraine 2010, 2011, 2013; Ost 2007; Staniszkis 2010; Koczanowicz 2009). The third possibility of interpretive is theory of performative democracy (Matynia 2008; Austin 1993; Searl 1980, 1987), which is a particular dimension of public life, what creates an alternative to the undemocratic, unjust practices of power.
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to reflect on the role of non-governmental organizations in contemporary cities. It is assumed that post-socialist cities are subjected to changes related to new models of citizenship as well as new models of urban social movements. First, a general picture of Polish non-governmental sector is presented. Next the idea of social movements in a post socialist city is given. The following part presents the idea of NGO as agents of a social change.Th e notions of social conflict, common good and a collective identity are used. The paper sums up with conclusions and a demand to built coalitions between different social actors.
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Abstract

Urban social movements present themselves as an answer to de3 ciencies of local politics. In this way, they situate themselves in agreement with popular diagnoses of crisis of democracy, and propose their own model of involvement in politics. However, is this model a chance for renewal of democracy, or is it just another version of politics understood as an enlightened management? Does it have the potential for broadening the political, or does it stop halfway? Presented article is an attempt in rethinking those questions. First part compares different political languages, in which critiques of contemporary democracy are formulated. Subsequently, Jacques Rancière’s conception is presented, as emphasising egalitarian and emancipatory dimensions of democracy. Examples of rhetorics and actions of urban social movements are considered in this double context of different political languages and radical character of democracy. The problem of ‘deficient political articulation’, which makes urban social movements unable to fully keep the promises they make, is stressed.
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