Thinking about Civil Society

Introduction

There is no one generally accepted definition of civil society and there is no major agreement between social scientists as to the substance of this phenomena. Definitions range  from very general, like that of Michael Waltzer : “the space of uncoersed human association” [1] to much refined, as that of E. Gellner, identifying civil society with social formations of liberal character (which appeared in line with the emergence of a so called modular man – a specific product of the early stages of modern western civilizing process) [2]. One of them (of a very  widespread type) declares: civil society — is “a sphere of autonomous institutions, protected by the rule of law, within which individuals and communities possessing divergent values and beliefs may coexist in peace”. [3]

Some scholars are very skeptical about the notion of civil society in general. N. Rosenblum sites Reinhard Bendix who complained that the term seems to “have much resonance and little content” [4]. Skepticism did not impede, however, the revitalization of  interest to the topic in the last two or three decades. Since the late 1980s such known scholars as A. Arato, J. Alexander, E. Gellner, J. Keane, R. Putnam, A. Seligman, Ch.Taylor, K. Tester, M. Waltzer and many others were involved in the theoretical discourse about civil society. This interest has been encouraged , as J. Keane reasonably points out, by some objective social developments both in the West and in the East. In the West crisis of the welfare state challenged former reliance on the state and invited to the discussion of alternative ways of solving poverty problem, health care and educational problem and so on. In this context some political analysts proposed the resurrection of civil society institutions as major agents in solving social problems by citizens themselves. Others argued that though this idea may be good in itself  there is a large room for doubt about its implementability. Social situation in advanced countries has changed sharply during the XX century and there is a question whether the very phenomenon of civil society now exists.

Charles Taylor points out  that there is still  “a web of autonomous associations, independent of state, and these have an effect on public policy. But there has also been a tendency for these to become integrated into the state, the tendency toward what has been called … “corporatism” [5]. M. Thatcher tried to check this trend. But it the long run such efforts, Ch.Taylor thinks, may prove utopian (or, at least, distopian) because “the really successful economies in the late twentieth century are resolutely corporatist, for instance, Germany and Japan”. [6] What should we do in this circumstances with the notion “civil society”: reject it altogether as a term that specified some peculiarities of Western society in the past and now has only a  historical  meaning or change its content in accordance with changing reality. Probably, the last option is a preferable one. But in what direction and to what extent should we modify this notion that it served our research purposes and did not lost its relevance to the same notion in the past. These are the questions to which Ch.Taylor, N. Rosenblum and many other Western scholars are trying to find an answer.

Rather different situation may be observed in post-communist world. Civil society discourse started here in time when communist totalitarian regime had been shaken by a chain of events and when the resurrection of normal public life appeared to be possible. Huge literature devoted to reemergence of civil society and changing political structures from below has been evoked by true revolutions of citizenship in East-Central Europe in the late 1980-s. In the former USSR a flow of articles devoted to general theory of civil society (mainly, as explicated in the writings of Hegel, Gramshi and some other authors somehow contacting with Marxism) appeared at the height of “perestroika”. But here the sprouts of civil life were much weaker and their exploration was much vaguer. Predominantly, authors expressed general views about desirability of civil society and highlighted its main features, often – in a quite contradictory way. The debate over the question of probability of the installment of full-fledged civil society in post-communist countries prevented scholars from the discussion over some more subtle questions about the nuances of the concept in its various interpretations. It was generally assumed that civil society could be the only firm background for democratic institutions. But, at the same time, a kind of disappointment and of uncertainty had arisen with regard to the prospects of  “building” civil society along the lines of what was considered to be the western model (taken usually in its historically definite form) and with regard to its possible modifications that might be suitable for the post-communist countries.

To make further progress in discovering the topic in both groups of countries it is necessary, I believe, to clarify all the nuances of the notion and to solve the question whether it is possible to speak about its historical and geographical modifications. It seems to me, that Ch. Taylor anticipates success on this road when he writes: “The nuances are worth exploring because they color the models of the political process we want to steer our lives in coming decades”. [7]

On the pages that follow I want to summarize: (1) N. Rosenblum classification of  civil societies (and of current approaches to them) from the point of view of their moral purposes and congruence/noncongruence with the structures and purposes of liberal state; (2) Ch.Taylor’s interpretation of the civil society from the point of view of its content, origin, western model in the past and at present; (3) to outline my own understanding of the most practicable definition of civil society and of the Ukrainian perspectives of its development.

I

Actually, the concept itself seems to be much contradictory.  It is usually assumed, that civil society is a characteristic feature and an outcome of liberal society. It is also often said that civil society institutions make people more tolerant, cooperative, and, at least, minimally concerned with common good. They serve as a school of democratic experience for those participating in their activities. At the same time, civil society  is supposed to be a network of associations with divergent values  (that means, not necessary liberal democratic) interplaying within the framework of civil society and serving as buffers against government power.  In this respect they reflect plurality of interests and outlooks. It was by the reason of this diversity that James Madison considered civil society as a major prevention mechanism against “the consolidation of a permanent tyrannical majority”.

Thus, contradictory expectation with regard to civil society proceed in two directions:

  1. civil society is supposed to support liberal institutions and in this case it has to be able to foster civic culture which is favorable to liberal political institutions (this approach stresses integrative and constitutive effects of association life).
  2. civil society is supposed to be in a position to resist government, giving space to diverse (including potentially illiberal and undemocratic)  beliefs and practices (this approach stresses countervailing role of civil society).

N. Rosenblum shows that tension between the integrating and countervailing purposes of civil society is more than structural and political. It penetrates the personal experience of the people in liberal societies. Americans are included into two interlocking public realms: realm of liberal public culture where they have equal public standing; and realm of pluralist groups and associations where inequality and social exclusion are widespread everyday practices. [8]

How do these two aspects of civil society correlate with liberal democracy and what is the main moral function of civil society? Does it actually exercise liberalizing effect on the people and if yes, in what way?

Probably the largest part of Western authors are preoccupied with moralizing purposes of civil society, making emphasis on fostering civility and liberal values. N. Rosenblum stresses: “one purpose dominates liberal thought today: civil society’s role in the cultivation of moral dispositions judged essential to a flourishing liberal democracy” [9]. They are liable to overstate the importance of congruence” of internal structure of voluntary associations with the liberal values while in practice “reciprocity between liberal government and civil society is uneasy” [10]. Others emphasize potential power of civil opposition. They may go so far as to recognize the outright resistance to despotic rule or to state power in general. (By this reason, in my view, it constituted prevalent interpretation of social society functions and purposes in the period of overthrowing totalitarian one-party rule in communist countries). Some others pay also attention to its role in promoting economic efficiency and welfare.

N. Rosenblum actually tries to do this using some of the least exploited Hegel’s ideas. Among them:

  • Hegel’s account for a corporation as an “ethical entity” that provides members of civil society with “work of a public character over and above their private business… which the modern state does not always provide”; it fosters the disposition to work, contract, recognition of rights and has a genuinely moral character;
  • Hegel’s recognition that “civil society is at once an economic system of acknowledged mutual welfare, an arena for free expression, and a public juridical culture”;
  • Hegel’s illumination “of the limitations to moral uses of civil society, with the “most disturbing” problem of poverty. Poverty is marked by “dissoluteness, misery and physical and ethical corruption”. It disconnects people from formative associations, with “a consequent loss of the sense of right and wrong, of honesty and the self-respect which makes a man insist on maintaining himself by his own work and effort”. [11]

According to Rosenblum’s view, Hegel did not anticipated a lot of things and trends, that now are taking place in the development of civil society; neither was he a liberal. But his ideas are useful for correcting some biases in current approaches to civil society purposes and functions. Taking them into account she identifies 3 types of civil society as potrayed by political scientists and philosophers:

  • democratic civil society
  • mediating civil society
  • elective civil society

“In democratic civil society secondary associations are schools of virtue. The principal business of civil society is shaping citizens with a sense of political efficacy, a capacity of public deliberation, and an inclination to deliberate on behalf of the common good. To this end, they should be internally liberal-democratic ‘mini-republics’ oriented toward public arenas of discussion and policy-making”. The crucial questions concerning democratic civil society are: “how much congruence … should be enforced by law?” [12]

“In mediating civil society, the idea just the opposite: to orient the people towards the social networks believed to inculcate civility, sociability and responsibility, which hold any society and particularly pluralist liberal democracy together. “Mediating civil society instills habits of responsibility and cooperation above all, and these are compatible with the cultivation of a variety of particularistic values and personal qualities in social formations ranging from cultural subcommunities to workplaces. Moreover, secondary associations are not expected to cultivate political virtues, and social collaboration need not translate into political representation”. [13]

N. Rosenblum argue that  “the problem with “democratic civil society” is that it gives undue priority to political participation, depreciating other uses of civil society…The danger is the colonization of social life by political culture. The problem with “mediating civil society” is that enthusiasm for associational life eclipses the political and legal institutions necessary to sustain it. The danger is the balkanization of public life …” [14]  Instead, N. Rosenblum proposes messy, unsystematic “elective civil society”, which recognizes that “liberalism is home for every imaginable formal organization and informal association …” (), make possible “moral uses of pluralism by men and women personally and individually” (p. 556.). “It exploits incongruity and has advantages” over both types of civil society described above, combining, as I understood,  the features of both but adding in some way “Hegel’s moment: arrant self-interest, fearful anomie, and gripping group affiliation co-exist in civil society and require different correctiveness”. [15] Though picture of the third type of civil society is not described in the whole, it may embrace, I think, corporations of a certain type, combining individualistic values with some forms of communitarian vision, and, probably, it may exercise various forms of intercourse with government. At any rate, the typology is useful because two first types of civil society clarify contemporary accounts of the functions of civil society while the third one opens the door to further discovery. In this respect it may be considered to be compatible with some other searches for new interpretations of civil society.

II

Charles Taylor describes civil society as being explicated currently in three different senses. They reflect its structure, functions, intensity and way of interactions with a state. In minimal sense, civil society is equated with mere existence of voluntary associations independent of a state. In a stronger sense, it is supposed to be a whole social structure that coordinates its actions through a set of voluntary associations. And, at last, it may be assumed that civil society should make significant impact on the governmental policies. [16]

The major indictment of contemporary state in the West (both from the right and the left) is that it suppresses civil society. Therefore, the question of existence of civil society as such in its traditional meaning stands now as more problematic that it often assumed, especially in post-communist countries which have an intention to follow Western model.  According to the views of contemporary critics of corporatism, contemporary state / civil society relations have ceased to be an interplay of independent social and political agents. Powerful voluntary associations (for example, trade unions) were integrated into a state apparatus and became semi-state structures unable to bear independent influence on state policy. Others are insignificant and their social role may be ignored.

Charles Taylor disagrees with this judgment and invites readers to rethink the concept of civil society. With this aim in mind, he reviews West-European history of civil society and analyses trends in its interpretation by philosophers and political thinkers. What is new and interesting in this investigation?

Fist of all, Ch.Taylor highlights the early presuppositions of the future development of civil society in the West. that appeared. He mentions the fact that society was not defined in Mediaeval Europe “in terms of its political institutions”. [17] Due to the powerful and independent position of a church political authority was viewed just as only “one organ among others”. The social life was organized in accordance with the features of Latin Christendom, which “was in its essence bifocal”. Development of a legal notion of subjective rights and the existence of  relatively independent self-governing medieval cities are also regarded as factors of great importance. [18]

Between this period of dual structure of mediaeval society and the modern period when civil societies developed and flourished there was a period of absolute monarchies. At this time Thomas Hobbs develops “a notion of sovereignty which quite undermines or supersedes the medieval understanding of society” [19]. On the other hand,  the counter-trends in state / society relations as well as in political philosophy were taking place. One of the most influential was Lockean theory of natural rights. Locke himself have often used the term civil society in its traditional sense, identifying civil society with political society. But his assertion that society existed before government and his definition of government as trust became very popular when it merged with the untiabsolutist doctrines of the XVIII century. As a result, theoretical ground for two modern trends in understanding civil society was prepared.

The first trend has developed directly out of Lockean notion of mankind as prepolitical community. Ch.Taylor calls it L – stream. Second one, M – stream,  was connected with Montesquieu’s ideal of strong monarchical government checked and limited by law and by corps intremediares. According to his view, “society is not defined independently of its political constitution. On the contrary, the free society is identified with a certain such constitution”. [20] Montesquieu retained a thoroughly political definition of society, like the ancients, but, unlike the ancients, he made a ground for a society / state distinction “poising  a society between central power and a skein of entrenched rights”.

Later, L – stream  and M – stream interpretations merged to some extent and a new vision of civil society appeared near the turn of the XIX century. It was (and probably still is) uneasy coexistence between the two combined perceptions of civil society and of its relation to the state. And both streams were represented in Hegel’s writings, particularly in his famous Philosophy of Right. According to L – stream tradition Hegel gives the central place to the self-regulating, entrepreneurial economy. According to M – stream interpretation “his civil society incorporated bodies engaged in conscious self-management — the corporations — which were also integrated in their own way into the state”. [21] Ch. Taylor underlines, that even in L – stream economy was not the only component; from the XVIII century on another important component developed: autonomous public with its own “opinion”. [22]

I don’t want to discuss here in detail the concurrent emergence of public opinion as a social factor, of a nation as a self-conscious cultural and political community, and of civil society in its particular Western form. But I want to note, that this part of Ch.Taylor article sounds very fresh, helping to grasp what constituted the main realm of civil activity from the very start: these were all matters of common concern and all matters that were commonly recognized to be of common concern.  “The self-regulating economy and public opinion — these are two ways in which society can come to some unity or coordination outside the political structures”. [23]

What are the contemporary implications of these historical observations? The most important, I think, is recognition that civil society:

  1. is not a private but public sphere; (“Hegel distinguishes tree terms: family, civil society and the state”);

  2. ”It comprised a public, but not politically structured domain”;
  3. it should be identified with a pattern of public social life, not simply with a set of autonomous associations;
  4. it gave birth to the term “civilization” which includes political constitutions and such features of social life as peaceful production, enlightenment, technical development, arts and sciences, polished mores and oth.;
  5. it can inspire radical political aspirations and movements, sometimes directed against the state; “…society has its own prepolitical life and unity which the political structure must serve. Society has the right and power to make and unmake political authority…” It may constitute new state according to the right of self-determination; it can also inspire radical non-political and anti-political dreams and plans: to make non political spheres more and more self-sufficient and independent and even to build, in the end, society without politics. Both trends at their extreme jeopardize freedom. The first one might do it through the overestimation of the factor of common good and common will, while the second might do it through “a flight from the public into the narrower and less significant sphere of private satisfactions, “the petty and paltry pleasures” of which Tocqueville speaks in Democracy in America”. [24]

Ch.Taylor claims that in order to solve contemporary problems of state / society relations we need not appeal exclusively to the L – stream tradition which prevails in contemporary liberal discourse of civil society. (This is precisely what N. Rosenblum asserts). Combination of that vision with M – stream understanding reflected in the works of both Hegel and Tocqueville would be much more preferable solution.Tocqueville, the greatest disciple of Montesquieu, warned against possible degeneration of the democracy based on the general will into a kind of mild despotism, while Hegel simply “did not believed in autonomous, unregulated economic sphere”. He depicted civil society as an autonomous but not self-sufficient sphere. (“Not only did its constituent economic process need regulation, …but this society could only escape destruction by being incorporated in the higher unity of the state, that is society as politically organized”. [25])

In short, Ch.Taylor describes Tocqueville’s contribution to the theory of civil society  in the following words: “The only bulwark against mild despotism is free associations. Voluntary associations for all purposes are valuable. But their significance is that they give us the taste and habit of self-rule, and so they are essential for political purposes. But if they are to be real loci of self-rule, they have to be non-gigantic and numerous, and exist at many levels of the polity. This itself should be decentralized, so that self-government can be practiced also at the local and not just the national level. If it dies out of the former, it is in danger to the latter”. Hegel’s conception of civil society is summarized as follows: “…different element’s of Hegel’s political society take up their role in the state, make up the different estates, and form the basis for a different constitution, whose formula was partly inspired by Montesquieu. In this way we avoid both the undifferentiated homogeneity of the general-will state, which Hegel thought must lead inevitably to tyranny and terror, and also the unregulated and ultimately self-destructive play of blind economic forces, which then seemed to be menacing England”. [26]

Ch.Taylor  tries to explicate both interpretations in connection with  contemporary situation and to use them as the pillars for his main assertions: “…to the extent that the modern state is still drawn to the vacation of mobilizing and reorganizing its subjects’ lives, the distinction (between state and civil society) would mean to be guaranteed a continuing relevance”. Generally accepted concept of civil society can make a considerable impact on political practice and must be, therefore, well advised and balanced. It should combine the L – stream and M – stream interpretations of civil society and avoid the dangerous simplification of social ideal by interpreting it as “non-political freedom” and of civil society, depicting it as politics-free sphere.

III

Up to this point we have considered civil society as a specific phenomenon and a concept of the West, a product of the historical path gone by the peoples of Western Europe and of North America. A particular model of civil society has appeared in those countries in the course of modernization.  It does not mean, however, that this model has not varied in historical and geographical dimensions. Passing from country to country, or from one historical period to another we may encounter different representations of the same substance outlined along some general lines. There is no surprise that French count Alexis de Tocqueville was amazed greatly when, during his famous journey throughout the USA, he witnessed so much inclination of ordinary American people to enter voluntary associations and to use them as a means of solving their common problems peacefully and independently of state. Shared culture of political accommodation and compromise was an outcome of such practice. Though French republic was a counterpart of the USA in many aspects of social and political achievements, the forms of social communication, solidarity and political action were quite different here (more politicized, more revolutionary, organized along class lines etc.) and more dependent on state policy.

It seems to me, that a pure liberal model of civil society that usually is represented as a western one (first of all, I have in mind Gellner’s perception of the attributes of civil society), might be characterized more exactly as an Anglo-Saxon model. It does not mean that in other democratic countries civil society was underdeveloped; simply it might have larger portion of communitarian characteristics, or be more politicized, or posses any other divergent features. Using the term of N. Rosenblum, we may assert, that democratic civil societies are more widely spread in Europe (both Western and especially East-Central, than in the USA) and, without no doubt, the concepts adopted by scholars to a significant degree depend on the particularities of social patterns, observed in any region and any country.

Taking into account the factor of time, we may come to conclusion, that some deep transformations occurred in the very nature of American civil society which passed slowly from what N. Rosenblum calls mediating society to a democratic one (in the late 60-s and in the early 70-s) and then, probably, to a kind of electoral civil society (I must recognize, however, that I am not sure that this characteristic is very precise). The discussion in “Time” in 1995, started by R. Putnam’s article “Boling alone”, over the question whether civil society still exists in the USA undirectly testifies those deep changes, as well.

Intuitive conclusion may be made that both N. Rosenblum and Ch.Taylor are making

cautious attempts to find justifications for currently changing institutions and functions of civil society within the framework of welfare state, as well as for the new forms of its interaction with state apparatus. Still,  their works provide useful information and generalizations for scholars in post-communist countries, engaged in solving different research problems but using the same theoretical means. Of special interest for me are approaches which recognize complexity of the civil society concept, as well as the need for its modulations.

Insofar as question of the development of civil societies in post-communist countries is concerned, I don’t think that the better way of resolving it is to apply standard western model (it its historically concrete form) to these societies and to judge whether it is applicable to very different conditions. As we have already seen, even for Western countries it represents something that lies in the past, not in the future. Critical arguments of those looking for some new modulations of the notion are mainly directed against pure liberal (libertarian?) interpretation of civil society.  It seems to me, therefore, that another approach may be more promising:  to outline the most general meaning of the notion which is applicable for all its historical modifications and then look for specific features and presuppositions of their development in various countries countries

I don’t regard the broadest definition based on references to any kind of voluntary associations as most suitable for this goal (like that of Waltzer, cited at the beginning of this paper). But I appreciate the ideas of the American post- (or neo-) Parsonian scholar Jeffrey Alexander who starts from the analysis of what is often called “social realm” and defines civil society as a  “sphere of social solidarity” which may exist or not as an independent substructure of society under various political regimes, but the sprouts of which, of course, are more common for human society than any concrete model of civil life. From this general ground we may easely pass to the study of particular forms of civil life and voluntary cooperation. Taylors’ assertion that only public dimension should be taken into account and that civil society should function as a whole (as a subsystem of social system) is very important for this approach.

What implications all this may have for post-communist countries, especially for Ukraine, which have started “rebuilding”, and in some regions, probably, just “building”, social institutions which compose civil society?

In my view, a combination of Hegelian (with its appeal to the state as a highest authority) and Toquevellian (underlining the grass-roots forms of social organisation and activity) approaches to civil society may serve here as a good point of departure. Toquevellian understanding must be of special concern not only because it is less known in those countries, but because it better serves the needs of current period. Young democracy requires not only structured opposition but favorable social condition and social links between people. This is exactly what mediating type  of civil society proposes.  And the best presentation of its features is Toquevelle’s “Democracy in America”. Toquevelle’s concept of civil society has been successfully used by R. Putnam in his brilliant analysis of Italian regional differences in democratic performance. [27] Paying special attention to civic community as a definite cell of cultural life he managed to break the vicious circle of a perpetual debate on the theme what determines what: culture or structure, and convincingly proved that the only thing that has made significant and stable impact on the success of democracy in Italy was historical tradition of civic attitudes and behavior.  Putnam’s methodological achievements may prove very useful for the studies of historical and contemporary aspects of civil society development in various regions of Ukraine because similarity between Italy and Ukraine in this respect is striking. This approach may help to perceive both preventive (opposing, directed against possible abuses of power) and upholding (encouraging efficacy of democratic rule) functions of civil society.

Historical references and comparisons with the western model also should be made. It is widely recognized that, in contrast to the West,  Eastern paradigm of state / society relationship deals not with civil but  with “state society” and with  “paternalistic culture” inherent to it. Russian empire either in its tsarist or Soviet form had been highly dedicated to this Eastern pattern of state / society alliance. As Andrzeij S. Kaminski states, “in Russia the autocratic tsar symbolized order, justice, salvation, and the state”. The equilibrium between government and society was absolutely lost by the end of 17th century and there were not grass-roots social institutions that might have helped government to implement reforms and to contribute to development of civil society and Russian national identity. Though Russian foreign influence grew in parallel with the strengthening of autocracy it was achieved at the expense of the rights of Russian people.

Ukraine, being for century incorporated into the Russian empire, is also supposed to be devoted to Eastern pattern of state/society relationship. And partially it is true, especially when one speaks about recent Soviet experiences and their impact on political culture. However it is only half-the-truth. The whole truth consists in the assertion that Ukraine is and always was a border-line country, situated at the crossroads of the Western and Eastern worlds and cultures. In the second half of the 17th century interests of two great powers — Great Russian autocratic state and Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth — encountered on its terrain and since that time it was and still is a country divided against itself.

In its Western part, like in many countries of East-Central Europe, civil society, though destroyed by Soviet regime, has survived in people’s memories as an alternative value-model that allowed them to overthrow communist regime unanimously and quickly. From these very regions the revival of independent civil institutions began to spread all over the country in the years of perestroika. In other parts of the country traditions of civil life were forgotten or almost did not exist as far as two last century are concerned. But in the more remote past, particularly in the 17th-18th centuries, original forms of religious, cultural and community life and of democratic self-governance aroused on the whole territory of contemporary Ukraine. They were not only separate, but opposing to the state. And after 1648 the unique Cossack Republic spread its control Zaporozhzhia on the most part of Ukrainian ethnic territory and become a decisive source of democratic spirit and proto-civic culture for centuries. Some traditions of Cossack’s self-government and specific system of judiciary remained in Ukraine even in the 19th century. (They were described by Ukrainian scientist O Kistiakivski in the book with an interesting title: “Rights used by Ukrainian people in trials”; interesting because even realm of law was considered as a realm of  people’s concern, but not that of a state).

Thus, historical pre-conditions of the civil society in Ukraine existed and they were original in form and quite intensive. Do they really matter today? And do we have any possibility to draw out of them some theoretical  inferences? I think, yes, and not just because nobody discovers theoretical problems of Western type of civil societies without invoking history. Trying to identify all factors that contribute or impede re-emergence of civil society institutions and democratic consolidation we cannot exclude some persistent patterns of divergent social behavior in various countries that are rooted either in national mentality, or historical memory, or even in broken patterns of national tradition which became accessible for elite through written sources of information. Deriving some conclusions from the past one may come up to unexpected but in many aspects illuminating conclusions: for example, that in Ukraine democratic consolidation may be most obviously endangered not by the high propensity of some old or new form of dictatorship (which seems to be much more probable in Russia) but by traditional for the country anarchization of a polity with all possible unpredictable consequences. Still we are not sure whether indigenous democratic and, partially, anarchical way of thinking and doing has become an integral part of Ukrainian political culture and whether it may not be balanced by the ability and inclination to self-sustaining and independent forms of organization. Of course, post-communist stereotypes are on the surface and poverty plays its destructive role.

If civil society is supposed to be flourishing on Ukrainian terrain ever in the future, it, certainly, should be less individualistic, more communitarian and egalitarian than that in the West. Probably, it could not be fully separated from the state, if we would count for transition from totalitarian regime, as well as for the danger of anarchy.

This paper has been presented
at the seminar of Professor Mechta (Harward U)
on Contemporary Political Phylosophy
Mierki, Poland, 1996


[1] Michael. Waltzer. The Idea of Civil Society” // Dissent (Spring, 1991),  p. 293; cited by Nancy L. Rosenblum. Civil Societies: Liberalism and the Moral Uses of Pluralism // Social Research, Vol. 61, No. 3 (Fall 1994),  p. 543)

[2] See: Ernest Gellner. Conditions of Liberty: Civil Society and Its Rivals. 1994. (Unfortunately, I have no any material here for more prices quoting of this author).

[3] John Gray. Totalitarianism, Reform and Civil Society /// Post Liberalism: Studies in Political Thought. – London: Poutledge, 1993,  p. 157 (cited by N. L. Rosenblum, op. cit., p. 539).

[4] See: Reinhard Bendix. State, Legitimation, and Civil Society // Telos, vol. 86 (Winter 1990-1991), p. 143-152 (cited by N. L. Rosenblum, op. cit., p. 543).

[5] Charles Taylor. Invoking Civil Society / in: Contemporary Political Philosophy. An Anthology. Ed. by R. E. Goodin and Ph. Pettit. – Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997. P. 67.

[6] Ibid., p. 68.

[7] Ibid., p. 67.

[8] See: Ibid., p. 543.

[9] Ibid., p. 540

[10] Ibid., p. 547, 541

[11] See Hegel G. W. F. The Philosophy of Right. – Oxford: Oxford University Press,  1952, pp. 123-124 (cited by: Ibid. p. 548-51).

[12] See: N. Rosenblum. Op. cit., p. 551-552.

[13] Ibid., p. 553-554.

[14] Ibid., p. 555.

[15] Ibid. p. 543; 555-556.

[16] See: Charles Taylor. Op. cit., p. 68.

[17] Ibid., p. 69.

[18] See: Ibid., p. 70.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid., p. 71-72.

[21] Ibid. p. 73.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Ibid., p. 74-75.

[25] Ibid., p. 76.

[26] Ibid.

[27] See: Robert D. Putnam. Making Democracy Work. Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. — Princeton (NJ), 1993.

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