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Civil Society, Democracy and Democratization

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Dorota Pietrzyk-Reeves

The book contributes to the ongoing discussion and research on civil society in the context of democracy and democratization. It provides a theoretical analysis of civil society, participation, the public sphere and democratic consolidation in light of normative democratic theory and the challenges of democratic transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. It also offers a novel approach to some of the key issues in that debate including corruption and democratic consolidation, active citizenship, civic unity and the rule of law as well as theories of democratization. Finally, it asks the question as to whether a properly functioning democracy must be complemented with civil society and the numerous roles it plays in a political community of free citizens.
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9. Habituation to Democracy in a Divided Society167

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Chapter 9Habituation to Democracy in a Divided Society

The previous chapters aimed at presenting an analysis of various aspects of democratization and civil society development in the post-communist context. Twenty six years after the collapse of the Soviet bloc the story of democracy in the region is still unfinished, especially in such countries as Ukraine or Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are numerous lessons for democratic theory that can be learnt from the processes of political transformation that took place and are still taking place in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. One of these lessons is that there is not one story of democratization or one pattern of democracy and civil society building, which makes it ever more difficult for political scientists to come up with an effective methodology and research tools that allow the formulation of a plausible explanation and comparison of ongoing processes. This chapter focuses on one such unfinished story, that of Ukraine, attempting to discern some possible explanation of the very specific conditions of democracy and civil society building in Ukraine’s divided society. My aim is to link the social and institutional dimensions of democratization, and provide a theoretical analysis of recent developments in Ukraine, focusing on two rarely discussed concepts: civic unity and the rule of law.

The theoretical analysis presented here attempts to bring a novel approach to the study of democratization in a divided society such as Ukraine following the approach of those political scientists...

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