Participation and Democracy East and West: Comparisons and Interpretations

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Since Alexis de Tocqueville first made the linkage in his writings on America, a healthy democracy has been associated with the flourishing of civil society, as measured by popular participation in voluntary and civic activities and the vitality of organizations that mediate between the individual and the state.

Eminent social scientists from Europe and North America take a fresh look at the vitality of civil society in the context of post-communist Eastern Europe, the West European welfare states, and the United States. This volume takes a fresh look at this classic theme in the context of post-communist Eastern Europe, the West European welfare states, and the United States, asking:
-- What patterns of participation characterize the new democracies of Eastern Europe?
-- What levels of civic activism are characteristic of contemporary Western democracies?
-- What factors account for differences among countries and changing patterns over time?
-- What do the findings suggest about the prospects for democracy in the 21st century?

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Editorial Reviews

Approaches the classic problem of intermediary social organizations and democracy in a fresh way, bringing together theoretical and empirical investigations dealing with several countries in Eastern Europe, selected Western European countries with strong policies of social provisions, and the US, one of the democracies that has not developed welfare policies as comprehensive as the countries of northwestern Europe. Topics include the vanishing legacy of Communist and Solidarity types of participation in Poland, and the Social Democratic Party in Eastern Germany. Paper edition (unseen), $29.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765602305
  • Publisher: Sharpe, M. E. Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/21/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

About the Editors and Contributors
1 Introduction 3
2 The Self-Organization of Society and Democratic Rule: Specifying the Relationship 9
3 Institutions and Actors in a New Democracy: The Vanishing Legacy of Communist and Solidarity Types of Participation in Poland 26
4 Local Democratization in the Czech Republic After 1989 51
5 An Emerging Paradox: Civil Society from Above? 83
6 The Social Democratic Party in Eastern Germany: Political Participation in the Former GDR After Unification 99
7 The State, Associations, and the Transition to Democracy: Early Corporatism in Sweden 132
8 The Norwegian Voluntary Sector and Civil Society in Transition: Women as Catalysts for Deep-Seated Change 157
9 Social Alliances and Coalitions: The Organizational Underpinnings of Democracy in Western Germany 203
10 Democracy in America at the End of the Twentieth Century 233
11 Conclusion: Contrasting Patterns of Participation and Democracy 266
Index 285
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