Twenty years after the epoch-making change in 1989, which affected the post-Yugoslavian space in a way entirely different from other former “real-socialist” European countries, this study is an effort toward an analytical view on the past two decades of development of civil society in the western Balkans. The development there does not correspond to the theoretical outlines of the democratic transition or transformation. The primary reason lies in the fact that in socialist Yugoslavia, like in other societies of the “real socialism” in the East, the relation between state and society substantially differed from this relation in free capitalist societies. This difference in the relation between state and society, as the author of this study Srđan Dvornik points out, had a decisive impact on the emerging civil societies. The study shows: Without civic engagement, there will be no changes, and the engagement of seemingly marginal actors achieves more than would be expected on the basis of their “systemic” place.
Publication series on democracy, Volume 15:
Actors without Society - The role of civil actors in the postcommunist transformation
A study by Srđan Dvornik
Edited by the Heinrich Böll Foundation
Berlin, Nov. 2009, 156 pages
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