Monday, January 25, 2010

Obstacles for Civil Society Development in the South Caucasus

What are the reasons for low public engagement in the South Caucasus? Why, despite the large number of non-government organizations, civil society remains weak in all three countries?

Marc Howard gives one of the most convincing explanations about the weakness of civil society in the post-communist countries.

According to Howard, three factors contribute to the weakness of civil society: citizen distrust towards formal institutions; general dissatisfaction with economic and political conditions; and the persistence of strong pre-transition social networks.

While Howard concentrates on the post-communist Europe, CRRC’s Data Initiative and EBRD’s Life in Transition survey data support the relevance of Howard’s argument to the South Caucasus. Read the full article in a recent issue of Development&Transition here.

1 comment:

Gregory Levonian said...

Beyond wishful thinking, I can't see any reason to use the expression "Transitional" as it refers to ex Soviet states.

Let's be fair, these systems may change, but their change is not a feature of their current structure, and the change is far from inevitable.