The central topic of this work is the relationship between critical knowledge and the counter-hegemonic activist struggles in Belgrade, Sarajevo and Zagreb. While looking at the “cognitive background” of activism, both non-theoretical and theoretical knowledge is taken into account. The accent is nonetheless on the theoretical knowledge. Critical ideas, on the other hand, have been inspiring social and political actions for centuries. The question of the nature of this relationship, including the mechanisms of diffusion, concrete sources and reasoning behind it, has thus far remained under -researched. Which type of knowledge is considered to be “movement relevant” today? Where does it come from, through which channels and which social, structural and organizational factors influence its consolidation and operationalization within social movement collectives? All these questions are addressed through a research conducted in a specific context of the post-socialist former Yugoslavia.