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Civil Society on the Move

Transition and Transfer in Germany and South Korea

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Edited By Eun-Jeung Lee and Hannes B. Mosler

Following the transformation of the Soviet-controlled Eastern European system, there has been a renewal of discourses on civil society. The collection of essays discusses this complicated and controversial concept and explores the possibility of new approaches for the study of Korean civil society and democracy. Combining interdisciplinary and transregional research, it contributes directly to the field of democracy after democratization and sheds light on concepts of civil society, developments of various civil society organizations and student movements in Germany, Korea, and Eastern Europe.
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Introduction

Workshops on civil society

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This book joins a long series of scholarly projects that attempt to unpack the complicated and controversial concept of civil society. Very few other political concepts have undergone more reformulations and reconfigurations than the concept of civil society. The debate that began back in ancient times, when civil society was conceptualized as societas civilis or politike koinonia, has now resurfaced in the contemporary world. The last several decades saw a resurgence of civil society discourses, particularly during and following the transformation of the Soviet-controlled Eastern European system. Against this backdrop, this volume begins with a series of questions designed to examine the concept of civil society organizations in all of its facets. What is and is not civil society? Which kind of components does civil society encompass? Are civil society organizations distinctive new phenomena, or do they merely reflect a repackaged form of more familiar organizations? To what extent is the boundary of civil society demarcated within the democratic political system? What kind of role can or should civil society organizations play within the democratic system? In what specific ways can civil society organizations impact the political principles of community, citizenship, social structure, the rulers and the ruled, authority, justice, and change, among others? Should entities such as transnational advocacy networks be considered part of any conventional democratic system at all? If not, do we need to expand upon, if not entirely re-imagine, our current theories on democratic politics and the state? What kind of interests do civil...

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