Civil Society in Southeast Europe


Since the fall of communism in 1989 Southeast Europe has been a site of far-reaching societal transformation, much of it marked by political crisis, economic upheaval, ethnic tension, and bitter war. The book comprises articles investigating the history and development of civil society in post-communist Southeast Europe. How is civil society to be grasped, what are the historical factors shaping the civil societies of the region?, what is the function of civil society in the transition to democracy and a market-economy?, and what are the prospects for the future development of the civil societies of the region in an age of globalization?, –these are just a few of the major questions addressed in this collection of articles. Many of the authors are social scientists, philosophers, and activists from the region, offering first-hand critical analysis of the state of civil society in Southeast Europe and suggesting theoretical and practical strategies for the future course of its development. The aim is to provide the reader with insight into the complex challenges that face the civil societies of the region.

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Biographical Note

David C. Durst is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the Arts & Humanities Division at the American University in Bulgaria. He is author of a study of Hegel and Schiller under the title Die politische Őkonomie der Sittlichkeit bei Hegel und der ästhetischen Kultur bei Schiller. Eine Studie zur politschen Vernunft (1993). Recent publications include journal articles in The Germanic Review, Heidegger Studies, Continental Philosophy Review, Contemporary Political Theory, and Res Public, and review-essays in Political Theory and Philosophische Rundschau. His forthcoming monograph is entitled Weimar Modernism. Philosophy, Politics and Culture in Germany 1918–1933. His research focuses primarily on nineteenth and twentieth-century continental aesthetic and political thought.
Dane R. Gordon, born in London, England, served in the Royal Navy during World War II, graduated from the universities of Cambridge, London, and the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, and is currently Emeritus Professor of Philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York. He is editor of the VIBS Special Series, Post Communist European Thought, including this volume and Philosophy in Post Communist Europe (1998) and Criticism and Defense of Rationality in Contemporary Philosophy (with Josef Niznik, 1998). Other publications include Thinking and Reading in Philosophy of Religion (1994), The Old Testament in its Historical, Cultural, and Religious Context (1985/1994), Philosophy and Vision (1998), and Epicurus: His Continuing Influence and Contemporary Relevance (with David Suits, 2003). He is a Presbyterian minister with the Presbytery of Genesee Valley, New York.

Review Quotes

”Description of regimes is coupled to the identification of problems and the search for solutions. The value of such an interactive approach consists in privileging a dynamic analysis that allows readers to participate in the debate by reflecting on a large variety of possible solutions to the problem of constituting a strong and active civil society in South Eastern Europe.” in: Studies in East European Thought, Vol. 57, Issue 2, 2005

Table of contents

Editorial Foreword by Dane R. Gordon Editors’ Introduction Acknowledgments ONE Georgi FOTEV: Civil Society Against Balkanization TWO Dane R. GORDON, Ann HOWARD: Ethics and the Environment in Eastern Europe THREE Scott BROPHY, Charles TEMPLE, Kurtis MEREDITH: Can Civic Virtue be Taught? FOUR Edward F. McCLENNEN: Organizations, Institutions, and Reform FIVE Ugo VLAISAVLJEVIC: The War Constitution of Small Nations of the Balkans, or “Who Is to be Reconciled in Bosnia and Herzegovina?” SIX Agon DEMJAHA, Lulzim PECI: The Development of Civil Society in Kosovo After the “Kosovo Conflict” SEVEN Obrad SAVIC: Concepts of Civil Society in Former Yugoslavia EIGHT Zagorka GOLUBOVIC: Traditionalism and Authoritarianism as Obstacles to the Development of Civil Society in Serbia NINE Silvano BOLCIC: Interests and Civil Action in Serbia in the Nineties TEN Vojislav STANOVCIC: Civil Society and Rule of the Law in Multi-Ethnic Communities ELEVEN Aleksandar BOSKOVIC: Tolerance and Alterity in Southeastern Europe TWELVE Maria DIMITROVA: The Intellectual and Society THIRTEEN Alexander GUNGOV: Wonderland in Southeast Europe: Civil Society in Bulgaria Emerging from a Crisis FOURTEEN Assen I. DIMITROV: Values and Stability During a Period of Social Polarization FIFTEEN David C. DURST: Civil Society in Bulgaria: Prospects for Reconciliation About the Editors and Contributors Index

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