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Reference: Left Dissent

Peter Bugge (Aarhus University)

Contradictions: A Journal for Critical Thought V, no. 2 (2021): 207–231

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Keywords: Conceptual history, dissent, dissidence, opposition, left dissent, transnational entanglements

The article examines the conceptual history of the terms “dissent” and “dissidence” and their equivalents in English, French, German, and Czech. It demonstrates that each language has its own terminology with unique nuances of semantics and connotations that require attention when studying expressions of “left dissent” in different linguistic contexts. The second part of the text discusses how scholars and practitioners of dissidence/dissent in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have defined and understood these terms and their relationship to the semantically close concepts of “resistance” or “opposition.” The essay then gives a brief survey of research literature on left dissent in the West and under state socialism before concluding with some reflections on possible new approaches to the topic.

doi: 10.46957/con.2021.2.13

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