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By Sven Eliaeson

This e-book explores the assumption of civil society and the way it's being applied in jap Europe. The implosion of the Russian empire fifteen years in the past and the hot wave of democratization opened a brand new box of inquiry. The wide-ranging debate at the transition grew to become all for a conceptual conflict, the query of ways to outline "civil society". simply because totalitarian platforms shun self-organization, genuine latest civil society slightly existed East of the Elbe, and the emergence of civil society took strangely complicated and confusing varieties, which various with nationwide tradition, and mirrored the deep background of those societies.

This insightful textual content relates the concept that of civil society and advancements in japanese Europe to wider sociological theories, and makes overseas comparisons the place applicable. It discusses specific points of civil society, and examines the problems of creating civil society. It concludes through assessing the issues and clients for civil society in japanese Europe going forward.

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Read or Download Building Democracy and Civil Society East of the Elbe: Essays in Honour of Edmund Mokrzycki (Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe) PDF

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Extra resources for Building Democracy and Civil Society East of the Elbe: Essays in Honour of Edmund Mokrzycki (Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe)

Sample text

Although totalitarian states destroy civil societies, civil societies nevertheless need formal and legal guarantees or at least state toleration. Civil societies prosper best when they are connected with a protective, redistributive and conflict-mediating democratic state under the rule of law. A preliminary circumscription of the concept “civil society” The concept of civil society has been used to describe the relationship of individual autonomy to communal solidarity, with a view to the common good.

Some conclusions The history of the concept shows how this prismatic and polymorphic term reflects a wide variety of historical societies and how the term’s meaning is embedded in historical developments. Instead of a static concept, “civil society” should be seen as a concept in flux with changing meanings, norms, actors and adversaries (Kumar, 1993). From the very start, civil society was a normative concept with universalist claims and an exclusive reality (social, ethnic or gender). To understand the attractiveness of the concept it is crucial to know against whom or what it was vectored – whether against fanaticism and barbarism, a profit-orientated economy, a clientelistic private sphere or a power-ridden state.

95–8; Ekiert and Kubik, 1999, pp. 21–46). In Latin America too, the term has been used since the early 1970s, linked with a political struggle against military dictatorships. For the Brazilians, “Sociedade civil” primarily conveyed a non-military world – in the words of Francisco Weffort: “We want a civil society, we need it to defend ourselves from the monstrous State in front of us” (Weffort, 1989, p. 349). The reception in Latin America was based mainly on Gramsci’s model of civil society and combined with social movements and/or unions aimed at transforming capitalist class conditions.

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