The Logic of Civil Society: Poland, Hungary, South Korea and Taiwan. Project's Outline and Preliminary Results Cover Image

Logika społeczeństwa obywatelskiego: Polska, Węgry, Korea Południowa i Tajwan. Krótki zarys projektu i wstępne wyniki
The Logic of Civil Society: Poland, Hungary, South Korea and Taiwan. Project's Outline and Preliminary Results

Author(s): Jan Kubik, Michał Wenzel
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Instytut Stosowanych Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: social movements

Summary/Abstract: The goal of our research project is to reconstruct the logic governing the relations between civil society and the effectiveness of democracy. The project is in early stages, so we present here only its basic assumptions and some preliminary conclusions. The selection of countries was dictated by two considerations: (1) to control the impact of cultural, regional and historical differences, and (2) to set a "natural experiment" of sorts as we have two countries where the democratic transformation was to large degree driven by social mobilization (Poland, South Korea) and two where it was conducted mostly "from the top down" (Hungary, Taiwan). Theoretically, our main task is to explore the possibility of studying various types of civil society (for example: more active versus more passive) and their relationship with democratic consolidation through the tools developed in the study of social movements and protest politics. The main method is event analysis. Team of coders analyzed the content of two main dailies in each country, covering 15-year periods after the democratic breakthrough. Preliminary data analysis indicates that protest intensity increases during periods of economic boom. In Poland, more frequently than in other countries, a significant role in initiating social protests is played by workers' organizations, with Solidarity still being the main protest organizer. An increasing number of protests are caused by other than economic problems; there are also more protests of local nature. We also observe (particularly in Hungary) the emergence of what Bela Greskovits has termed "nasty civil society;" its main manifestation being rallies employing racist framing and resorting to violence.

  • Issue Year: 2007
  • Issue No: 04+05
  • Page Range: 105-114
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Polish