Julia Cizova – Research & CV

“Green Echoes: Exploring the Slovak Environmental Movement under Socialism”

Research areas – 1

Contact : julia.cizova@savba.sk

In my research, I focus on the history of the Slovak environmental movement in the period between 1969 – 1989. Despite playing a prominent role in the process of challenging and delegitimising socialism, so far, environmentalism is a topic that has received very limited scholarly attention. In my thesis, I explore the complexities and specificities of the local environmental movement and the processes it underwent to gain a respected position in society. Since much of its activities were done under the auspices of a state nature protection association, the movement exemplifies a process in which a grassroots movement effectively colonised official state structures. What resulted was a specific space of quasi-independence. I want to explore what strategies activists used to promote their goals and to what extent they contributed to socio-political changes in the late 1980s.

My work is also focused on the historical origins of environmentalism in Slovakia and its dynamics and strategies. On the one hand, I want to analyse the nature of the dialogue between official state structures and environmental activists, on the other, I want to investigate what kinds of alliances the environmental actors forged with alternative public spheres. In my work, I make use of community theories, theory of collaborative circles, as well as
sociological theories of social movements.

Contextualising the local environmental movement within the broader Central European framework is an essential part of my work. One might argue that no environmental movement
after 1945 existed in isolation, but on the contrary, their existence was a complex interplay of various influences, global environmental discourses and socio-political factors that defined the movement’actions and agenda. To construct an image of transnational influences, I will examine various communication networks that existed between environmental groups in East-
Central Europe and I will determine the contemporary global environmental discourses that were influential in shaping the Slovak environmental movement.



  • 2015 – 2020: Comenius University in Bratislava, Faculty of Arts
    Master’Degree in English Language and Literature and History
  • 2020 – : The Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences PhD Studies in General History

Research projects 

  • 2021 – : Science and Emotions: Rethinking Environmental Movements under Communism in Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s, Czech Science Foundation Project, The Institute of
    Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague
  • 2021 – : Political Socialisation in Slovakia between 1848 and 1993, Slovak Research and Development Agency, The Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences
  • 2022 – : The Transfer of Ideas and Cross-border Migration in a Divided World: Actors and Structures. Society in Czechoslovakia in the period of State Socialism, Scientific Grant Agency of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic and Slovak Academy of Sciences, The Institute of History, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Recent publications

Conference papers:

  • October 2021: “Environmentalism in Czechoslovak samizdat and exile journals in the 1980s“, Nation’s Memory Institute, Bratislava.
  • September 2022: “Environmental History in Slovakia in the Context of Social and Intellectual History“, J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Faculty of Arts.
  • May 2023: “Environmentalists and Artists: Formation of Alternative Public Spheres in Bratislava (1979 – 1989)“. University of Hradec Králové, Faculty of Arts.


  • ČÍŽOVÁ, Júlia – ĎURČO, Michal. Pozitívna deviácia v Československu v 80. rokoch: Prípad Bratislavského environmentálneho hnutia [Positive Deviance in 1980s Czechoslovakia: The Case of the Bratislava Environmental Movement]. In Historický časopis, 2022, vol. 70, no. 3,
    pp. 461 – 486.
  • ČÍŽOVÁ, Júlia. Ochranárstvo a environmentálne iniciatívy v Československu do roku 1989 [Conservationist Movement and Environmental Initiatives in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
    up to 1989]. In Česko-slovenská historická ročenka 2019-2020. Bratislava : Ústav politických vied SAV, 2020, pp. 169 – 182.