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The Weakness of Post-Communist Civil Society Reassessed. CES Papers - Open Forum #11, 2012

Ekiert, Grzegorz and Foa, Roberto (2012) The Weakness of Post-Communist Civil Society Reassessed. CES Papers - Open Forum #11, 2012. [Policy Paper]

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    During the last two decades, scholars from a variety of disciplines have argued that civil society is structurally deficient in post-communist countries. Yet why have the seemingly strong, active and mobilized civic movements of the transition period become so weak after democracy was established? And why have there been diverging political trajectories across the post-communist space if civil society structures were universally weak? This paper uses a wide range of data from various available sources to show that civil societies in Central and Eastern European countries are not as feeble as is commonly assumed. Some post-communist countries possess vigorous public spheres, and active civil society organizations strongly connected to transnational civic networks able to shape domestic policies. Following the calls by Anheier (2004) and Bernhard and Karakoç (2007) we adopt a multidimensional approach to the measurement of civil society. In a series of cross-section timeseries models, we show that our broader measures of civic and social institutions are able to predict the diverging transition paths among post-communist regimes, and in particular the growing gap between democratic East Central Europe and the increasingly authoritarian post-Soviet space.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > civil society
    EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Central and Eastern Europe
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Harvard University, Center for European Studies
    Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2015 16:23
    Number of Pages: 36
    Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015 16:23

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