2. Anti-communist Opposition and Civil Society33
| 33 →
Chapter 2 Anti-communist Opposition and Civil Society
The idea of civil society, which has become a major concept for the analysis of post-communist transformation and democratization worldwide, was revived by the democratic opposition intellectuals and independent movements in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The meaning of the concept of ‘civil society’ they applied, however, was somewhat different from what was meant by civil society in Western Europe and in later post-communist liberal democracies. Civil society is usually understood as a public space outside the state and the economy where citizens organize themselves and pursue their shared goals, and exercise their civil rights (freedom of association, free speech etc.). It is the sphere where free people communicate and interact on the basis of their interests, views, needs, goals, and where they express their opinions and create various social networks. Its primary feature is independence from the government – as a free and independent social space between the state and private citizens it calls for openness and plurality. The civil society that developed under communism involved social unity against the state, whereas civil society in a liberal democracy lacks this kind of unity and has a positive relation to the state. Its primary feature is independence from the government. Being a free and independent social space amid the state and private citizens, it calls for openness and plurality. Democratic opposition movements in Eastern and Central Europe did not aspire to overthrow the communist state, but they did seek a...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.