East European Civil Societies in the 90’s, A Legacy of Solidarnosc or Different Historical paths?
Governance and Globalization
Governance and Globalization : 18
Analyzing civil societies in the aftermath of 1990 in Eastern Europe leads to a paradox: although democracies there seem to be well embedded in different polities, a lot of authors mention the weakness of their civil societies. Hence the concern about the causal link between both terms (democracy and civil society), and the reasons which can explain this paradox. How is it possible to consider the disconnection of both terms ? Indeed, in western literature, democratic order is deeply connected to civil society, and several philosophical and sociological studies are based on such an assumption. Nevertheless, in Eastern Europe, a lot of arguments have been raised since 1990 explaining the lack of civic commitment either by asserting the lack of civil society under the communist regimes or by questioning the true impact it had before 1989 when it existed. The article questions the possible new concept of democracy in Eastern Europe that seems to be not necessarily connected to the modernization process, which the democratic order – following the western literature - is supposed to be the best support of.