Polish farmers became politically contentious after democratization in 1989, despite their minimal involvement in the Solidarity movement. I test the effectiveness of social movement theories in explaining this phenomenon by examining frequency and intensity of protest from 1980–1995. I find that grievance models have little explanatory power, political opportunity accounts for the frequency of protest, and resource mobilization offers insight into both frequency and intensity of protests. Supplementing existing theories, I offer qualitative evidence that development programs designed to restructure agricultural cooperatives created mobilizing structures. The reforms were intended to help family farmers adapt to the new market economy, but because most protests targeted liberalization policies, I conclude that in their short-term success, development agencies inadvertently subsidized the cost of collection action against their long-term goals.


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pp. 475-495
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