Renewed interest in civil society emerged in the late 1980s; it coincided with the resurgence of political democracy throughout the world. Indeed, it has been increased with the growing tendency towards democratization in Eastern Europe, and several Latin American countries, where authoritarian regimes collapsed after – what was considered as- a “revolution from below” and “being hollowed out by resistance movements of ordinary citizens in voluntary associations who withdrew their tacit support”. That is why most researchers generally agree that a ‘civil society' is linked to the processes of democratization. But let's consider a definition of civil society: “It is that network of free associations where private individuals come together outside the intimate sphere of the family, but in a form of social life not controlled by the state; as a participant in the group, each person is acting as a private individual, not fulfilling an obligatory role; the common purpose of the group ought to be of broadly political significance”.
[...] Moreover, such as in the Polish case, the accession of most prominent Solidarity members to positions of political power has confused allegiances and blurred the distinction between civil society and state, to the extent that, people have refrained from participating in civil society in the belief that the new governments are acting in their name and interests. In other terms, in those countries, civil society has been replaced by the State and political parties- whereas it should have been considered as a complement. [...]
[...] In other terms and to sum up, civil society is helpful to explain the processes of democratization as it is the place where one learns the skills and habits of civility and good citizenship. Civil society can also explain and justify the continuing building of a democracy. Indeed Civil society also constitutes the basis upon which any stable democratic regime which originates from a process of transition must rest. In this sense civil society provides the basic social and political infrastructure which is necessary to back an emergent democratic system. [...]
[...] process that can lead a regime to democratization; then I will show that the presence of civil society is not enough and do not systematically lead to processes of democratization. Civil Society is seen as the basis of democracy; that is why it is considered to be helpful to explain and justify the processes of democratization. Indeed when it can emerge, civil society is fundamental for each stage of the process of regime change- from the onset of crisis to the stabilization of democracy and even to the re-democratization of a society. [...]
[...] According to that first part, the presence of a civil society would be essential in the explanation and justification in the processes of democratization. However, there is no consensus on the role which civil society play effectively in each processes of democratization, that is the issue I will tackle in that second part of the essay while looking at the limitations in the link between civil society and processes of democratization. As we will see, civil society cannot by itself, and systematically explain and justify the processes of democratizations. [...]
[...] Later in the process of democratization, civil society has also a role to play in "containing the power of democratic governments, checking their potential for abuse and violation of the law, and subjecting them to public scrutiny". Moreover civil society is helpful to explain the process of democratization through the creation of a democratic community and citizens. Indeed civil society organizations are considered as fostering the development of democratic culture; and participation in civil society “inculcates skills of cooperation as well as a sense of shared responsibility for collective endeavors”. [...]
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