The Civil Society in the Transformation Process

Given the specific legacies of post-communist countries, the civil society has become very important in the trans­for­mation process. The classic trans­for­mation model has three stages: liber­al­ization, democ­ra­ti­zation and consol­i­dation. With the insti­tu­tional and personnel vacuums partly due to the trans­for­mation process, actors in civil society have much scope, partic­u­larly in the democ­ra­ti­zation phases, to influence and accel­erate the trans­for­mation process. When democ­ra­ti­zation moves more fully into consol­i­dation, the civil society finds itself tested. This is an important period when the civil society needs to be able to assert itself against newly estab­lished political elites within the economic and social realities of trans­for­mation.

The trans­for­mation states of eastern, central-eastern and south-eastern Europe experience very specific problems and issues in the insti­tu­tion­al­ization of active struc­tures of civil society as a result of their post-communist legacies. Given little experience with inter­me­diary struc­tures, the civil societies of trans­for­mation states lack, for example, political pluralism and wide political partic­i­pation.

These issues are addressed by practice-oriented workshops run by the Institute for European Politics. Through political education seminars, the IEP supports citizen engagement in the democ­ratic process and thereby aims to assist in consol­i­dating civil society struc­tures in these new democ­racies.

Projects to promote civil society processes have been conducted in Moldova.

Should you be inter­ested in learning more about our programmes, the staff in the Training & Political Education Section of the IEP will be glad to help you with your enquiries.