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Civil society in Central and Eastern Europe: The ambivalent legacy of accession

Kutter, Amelie and Trappmann, Vera (2010) Civil society in Central and Eastern Europe: The ambivalent legacy of accession. Acta Politica, 45 (1-2). pp. 41-69. ISSN 0001-6810

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Abstract

Civil society organisations in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have remained weak players compared to their counterparts in established democracies. Given the particular incentives that the EU offered for the empowerment of non-state actors during pre-accession, it has often been assumed that EU intervention improved this situation. We argue that, instead, the EU's impact was highly ambivalent. Although the EU aid and EU-induced policy reform levelled the way for established actors' involvement in multilevel politics, it reinforced some of the barriers to development that the civil society organisations face in CEE. In particular, EU measures have failed to address the lack of sustainable income, of formalised interactions with the state and of grassroot support. Drawing on the experiences of trade unions and environmental groups, we show that this ambivalent 'legacy of accession' is due to an unfortunate interrelation between various, often implicit mechanisms of the EU's enlargement regime on one hand, and particular problems inherited from state socialism and transition on the other. Acta Politica (2010) 45, 41-69. doi: 10.1057/ap.2009.18

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Acta Politica
Uncontrolled Keywords: Europeanisation ; EU enlargement ; civil society ; trade unions ; environmental NGOs ; Central and Eastern Europe ; CANDIDATE COUNTRIES ; WORKS COUNCILS ; ENLARGEMENT ; DEMOCRACY ; POLAND ; UNION ; PARTICIPATION ; INSTITUTIONS ; INTEGRATION ; TRANSITION
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Sociology
ID Code: 49511
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 19 Aug 2011 11:06
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 19:29
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/49511

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