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Civil Society, Democracy and Democratization


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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This book is the result of over ten years of research which concentrated on three interconnected phenomena: civil society, democracy and democratization. These three topics are of such significance that they should not be purely confined to academic interest. The aim of this book is to contribute to the ongoing discussion on civil society in the context of democracy and democratization. The theoretical perspective presented here combines my interests in political philosophy, normative democratic theory and the concepts and practice of civil society, as well as the recent processes of democratization in post-communist Europe. A normative rather than purely descriptive approach is the common ground from which my analysis in different chapters advances.

My major goal in this book is a conceptualization of civil society, democracy and democratization in the light of normative political theory on the one hand, and the challenges of democratic transformation in post-communist Europe on the other. The first objective is to provide a justification for the continued usefulness of the term ‘civil society’, its normative and explanatory potential, and a contribution to the ongoing discussion on the role of civil society in the processes of post-communist democratization in East-Central Europe. My second objective, pursued in the second part of the book, is to make a contribution to normative democratic theory which has recently developed a strong focus on the participatory and deliberative models of democracy. In chapter four I examine the problem of citizenship in deliberative democracy, and in chapter five...

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