1. bookVolume 11 (2015): Issue 2 (December 2015)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
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2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The Bumpy Road of Civil Society in the New Member States: From State Capture to the Renewal of Civil Society

Published Online: 17 Nov 2016
Volume & Issue: Volume 11 (2015) - Issue 2 (December 2015)
Page range: 7 - 21
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1801-3422
First Published
16 Apr 2015
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

This theoretical paper discusses the controversial development of civil society in the new member states (NMS) over a quarter century of systemic change and after 10 years of EU membership. In doing so, it attempts to elaborate a new conceptual framework for the decline of top-down democracy and the return to democratisation as a bottom-up process. This study of the bumpy course of NMS civil society analyses the gap between large formal legal institutions and small local informal ones and emphasises the need for participatory democracy if democracy in the NMS is to be sustainable. In fact, in this quarter century, two faces of informal institutions have emerged, reflecting the tension between genuine civil society organisations and large corrupt clientele networks. The mass emergence of these “negative” informal institutions has led to a situation of state capture and a democratic façade often analysed in the NMS academic literature. The study concludes that after the political and policy-learning processes of the last 25 years, there are now some signs of a participatory turn in the bottom-up process of NMS democratisation.

Keywords

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