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Civil Society and Democratisation

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  1. Civil society is an interesting concept to work on when linked to processes of democratisation for it accounts for democratisation for the people, by the people
  2. However, it is useful to deconstruct the common view of civil society, often ethnocentric and idealistic
  3. Facts show a strong dichotomy between the liberalisation and democratisation phases of processes of democratisation, when civil society is mobilised and very active, and the phase of consolidation, often characterised by a leadership of the elites and a weakness of civil society, whereas this crucial moment should be characterised by the mobilisation of civil society

Civil Society organisations are responsible to explain the processes of democratisation, ever since the fall of the wall, and the collapse of the Communist regime in Central and Eastern Europe. Civil Society organisations have often been seen as the key for the success of the 'Velvet Revolution', that avoided civil war in Central Europe, not to name the famous Polish trade union 'Solidarnoc'. Generally, the Civil Society is at the centre of western democratic issues, when considering how to enhance the representative democracies. But we generally accept the role of the Civil Society and never deeply question it.

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