This book explores the idea of civil society and how it is being implemented in Eastern Europe. The implosion of the Russian empire fifteen years ago and the new wave of democratization opened a new field of inquiry. The wide-ranging debate on the transition became focused on a conceptual battle, the question of how to define "civil society". Because totalitarian systems shun self-organization, real existing civil society barely existed East of the Elbe, and the emergence of civil society took unusually complex and puzzling forms, which varied with national culture, and reflected the deep historical past of these societies.
This insightful text relates the concept of civil society and developments in Eastern Europe to wider sociological theories, and makes international comparisons where appropriate. It discusses particular aspects of civil society, and examines the difficulties of establishing civil society. It concludes by assessing the problems and prospects for civil society in Eastern Europe going forward.
Table of Contents
Foreword by George Soros
Introduction by Sven Eliaeson
I. PERSPECTIVES ON CIVIL SOCIETY
Sven Reichardt: Civil Society: Notes on the Revival of a Concept
Lawrence A Scaff: Civil Society and Its Discontents: Reflections on the North American Experience
Jiri Musil: Comments on Reichardt and Scaff
II. THE POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN TRANSITIONAL SOCIETIES.
George Kolankiewicz: Democracy, Inequality and State Crisis
Sally N Cummings and Ole Nørgaard: State-society relations: a comparison of six post-communist countries
Henryk Domanski: The Middle Class in Transition from Communism to Capitalist Society
Nikolai Genov: Transforming Leviathan in South Eastern Europe.
Sidonia Jedrzejewska: Bringing 'class' and 'interest group' back in – Edmund Mokrzycki on civil society
David Lane: Explaining the Transformation: Revolution, Class and Elites
Wolfgang Natter: Glocalization, Civil Identity, and Theories of Difference
Slawomir Nalecz and Jerzy Bartkowski: Is there an Organisational Base for Civil Society in Central Eastern Europe? Social and Economic Potentials of Civil Society Organisations in CEE after 1989
Christopher Adair-Toteff: Weber, Eastern Europe, and Civil Society
III. THE PERILS OF TRANSITOLOGY - THE ROLE OF INTELLECTUALS
Zygmunt Bauman: How to be a Sociologist and a Humanist? Sociology as a vocation in liquid-modern times
Andrzej Zybertowicz: Hidden Actors, Overlooked Dimensions and Blind Intellectuals.
Radoslaw Sojak: The Enchantment of the Social
Stephen P Turner: Was "Real existing Socialism" Merely a Premature Form of Rule by Experts?
IV. COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVES
Axel Hadenius: Democratic Consolidation in Third Wave Democracies.
Li Bennich-Bjorkman: Building Post-Communist States: Political Corruption and Strategies of Party formation in Estonia and Latvia
Helmut Steiner: Similarities and Differences in the Social Reality and Sociological Analysis of Russia with Poland and Hungary
Chris Bryant: Third-Way Politics, Sceptical Voters, Insecure Societies
Joanna Kurczewska: National Myths, Pro-Socialist Capitalism, and the Old and New Mythmakers
Hartmut Kaelble: Civil society. The concept and the European level.
V. DEMOCRACY EAST OF THE ELBE: PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS:
Lena Kolarska-Bobinska: Institutional modernization – a third stage of Polish transformation
Andrzej Rychard: Threats to Democracy: on some Polish paradoxes
Kristian Gerner: Building Civil Society and Democracy East of Elbe: Problems and Prospects
Marek Ziólkowski: Democracy, memory and forgiving. Paradoxes of dealing with the past in postcommunist transitional societies. The Polish case
Sven Eliaeson is professor of sociology at the Centre for Social Studies in Warsaw. His main area of interest is the classics of social science, and his publications include Max Weber’s Methodologies: Interpretation and Critique (Polity Press, 2002). He has also published edited volumes on the Norwegian secession from Sweden and Nordic security policy