Gov 2148: Civil Society, West and East





This seminar explores the rise of civil society in states worldwide. It examines the debates over what civil society is, and looks at the complex relationship between civil society and the state. It considers related concepts such as public space and social capital, and the relation between civil society and the market. The seminar looks at the rise of civil society and its role in political change under a variety of conditions, authoritarian and democratic, focusing first on the U.S. and Western Europe, and then looking at Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and finally at a number of states in Asia. This fall we will also have a session on the recent changes sweeping the Arab world. The seminar considers the role of civil society in democratic transitions and consolidation; the forms protest may take under authoritarian conditions; the role of international norms and transborder NGO networks in political change; the relation between religion and civil society, the role of religious groups as civil society actors; and many other issues.