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date: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter compares political consumerism in Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) as well as within the CEE region, using European Social Survey, Special Eurobarometer, Fairtrade sales, and qualitative data. The chapter begins by discussing the largely neglected legacy of the socialist era for political consumerism. The discussion then compares European countries along twenty-two aspects of political consumerism, encompassing everyday consumer choices, attitudes, and awareness. The chapter shows, first, that certain forms of political consumerism cross-cut the East-West divide. Second, it proposes a threefold classification of the CEE countries (Mainstreamer, Reluctant Comfortable, and Passively Willing). Finally, the chapter outlines a version of political consumerism, referred to as the embedded politics of everyday life, prevalent in CEE, which differs from its Western counterpart in that it is less linked to political action and more to everyday ethics, such as thrift and patriotism.

Keywords: political consumerism, ethical consumption, Central and Eastern Europe, postsocialism, cross-national

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