Summarizing the political process model says that social movements get established with cognitive liberation and develop further because of the indigenous strength of individual citizens. Social movements can develop as long as the particular political situation supports and/or allows them to do so. The latter might be extremely interesting for the fast changing political situation in the Central European countries. In fact the political process model tells us that the ability of social movement organizations to collect resources depends on the support, chances and limits of their political surroundings. At this stage the RMA identifies the features of the participants and leaders in the social movement organizations as the only decisive factor instead of the particular political situation. [Duyvendak, 1992, p. 11-12] Since we are dealing with the environmental movement in Central Europe, where the political situation is in transition and changing rapidly, the political surroundings are an expected factor of influence on the behavior of environmental NGOs. Here the political process model can prove its usefulness.
The political opportunities structure includes in fact several surrounding factors. Influence on the development and behavior of environmental movement organizations might come from the economical situation, the legal structure, the technological developments, the political climate in a country and of course from the cultural and historical background of the potential participants. All these factors might show their influence on macro- and micro level. An example on macro level is that the (lack of) interest of policy makers for environmental issues might influence the activities of environmental NGOs. On micro level, where the focus is on the motivation and activities of individual participants, the importance of the political situation can be illustrated by looking at repressive regimes. Potential activists will weigh their personal costs and benefits before joining an activity or organization. If activists belief they will be beaten up during a protest action, this action will not attract a lot of participants. [Duyvendak, 1992, p. 20] The chance for success of both a particular activity and of the development of the NGO itself is supposed to increase if the political opportunities structure is in favor of the goals and activities of a social movement.
The underlying assumption in the above is again the rationality of the individual participant as we have seen in the RMA. The definitions of social movement and social movement organization are also similar to those in the RMA.
The political process model does not discuss the relationships between NGOs, although the political opportunities structure will have its influence on the possibilities for establishing East-East cooperation. The economical, social, legal and pure political surroundings of the environmental movement will play a role in their attitude and behavior with regard to East-East cooperation.