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11 Jan 2013
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£63.00
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9780230292895
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book examines the ambiguous role played by civil society in state-building, democratisation and post-conflict reconstruction in the Western Balkans. In doing so, it challenges the received wisdom that civil society is always a force for good. Civil society actors have helped create the conditions for new, more constructive relations inside and between former Yugoslav countries. But, their agency has also rekindled nationalism hindering efforts to rebuild the region after the conflicts of the 1990s. The book demonstrates that diverse civil society effects cannot be captured without querying both the nature of civil society and the complexity of the ongoing transformation. So how can the emancipatory role of civil society be harnessed? This rigorous case study-driven reappraisal of the ability of civil society to support progressive transformation from an illiberal regime to democracy and from conflict to peace will be a valuable resource to scholars and practitioners alike.


Description

This book examines the ambiguous role played by civil society in state-building, democratisation and post-conflict reconstruction in the Western Balkans. In doing so, it challenges the received wisdom that civil society is always a force for good. Civil society actors have helped create the conditions for new, more constructive relations inside and between former Yugoslav countries. But, their agency has also rekindled nationalism hindering efforts to rebuild the region after the conflicts of the 1990s. The book demonstrates that diverse civil society effects cannot be captured without querying both the nature of civil society and the complexity of the ongoing transformation. So how can the emancipatory role of civil society be harnessed? This rigorous case study-driven reappraisal of the ability of civil society to support progressive transformation from an illiberal regime to democracy and from conflict to peace will be a valuable resource to scholars and practitioners alike.


Reviews

'This fascinating collection of essays on civil society and war- to -peace transitions in the Western Balkans is a must read. Anyone who is sensitive to the dilemmas currently facing those actors, from the local to the global, involved in peacebuilding or statebuilding will recognise them too. This volume places civility, society and the pressing question of what emancipation actually means in liberal modernity back at the centre of the debate on peace in the region, the function of the state, and the role of international actors.'
 
Oliver Richmond, Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute and Department of Politics, University of Manchester, UK  
 
'This thoughtful volume offers an important contribution to scholarship on the role which civil society plays in post-conflict societies. The contributions rightly challenge the frequent presumption that civil society actors necessarily promote civility, human rights, or democratisation. The nuanced studies of experiences from the Western Balkans demonstrate the range of civil society, with its virtues and vices, offering cautionary tales for international policymakers and programmers who seek to promote civil society often without understanding the pitfalls.
 
Chandra Lekha Sriram, School of Law, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

 
'This book offers wonderful insight and systematic reflection on the paradox of civil society in Eastern Europe, which after returning the concept to both the headlines and the academic curricula in 1989 has found far more difficult since to deliver the promised liberal democracy ideal. A must read for activists, donors and everyone interested in the process of building democratic constituencies everywhere.'
 
Alina-Mungiu-Pippidi, European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building, Hertie School of Governance, Germany


Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
Abbreviations
Civil Society and Multiple Transitions: Meanings, Roles and Effects; D.Kostovicova & V.Bojicic-Dzelilovic
PART I: STATE-BUILDING
The European Commission, Enlargement Policy and Civil Society in the Western Balkans; J.O'Brennan
Civil Society and 'Good Governance' in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia: An Assessment of EU Assistance and Intervention; A.Fagan
Contesting the Rule of Law: Civil Society and Legal Institutions; I.Rangelov
A Practitioner's Viewpoint; G.Venneri
PART II: DEMOCRATISATION
Democratisation Through Defiance? The Albanian Civil Organisation 'Self-Determination' and International Supervision in Kosovo; S.Schwandner-Sievers
Nationalism and Civil Society Organisations in Post-Independence Kosovo; F.Strazzari & E.Selenica
The Diaspora Dilemma: Croatian-American Civil Society Institutions and their Political Role in the Democratisation of the Homeland; A.Brkanić
From Post-Communist to Uncivil Society in Macedonia; N.Markovic
A Practitioner's Perspective; J.Hanson
PART III: POST-CONFLICT RECONSTRUCTION
Civil Society and the Bosnian Police Certification Process: Challenging 'the Guardians'; G.Collantes-Celador
The Paradox of Demobilising a Civil Protection Actor: Build-up and Stand-down of the KPC in Kosovo; J.Narten
Serbian Civil Society as an Exclusionary Space: NGOs, the Public and 'Coming to Terms with the Past'; J.Obradović-Wochnik
Facing the Past While Disregarding the Present? Human Rights NGOS and Truth-Telling in Post-Milosevic Serbia; M.Ostojić
A Practitioner's Perspective; F.Hartmann
Conclusion; J.Ker-Lindsay
Index


Authors

VESNA BOJICIC-DZELILOVIC is Senior Research Fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the Department of International Development and the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. 
  
JAMES KER-LINDSAY is Eurobank EFG Senior Research Fellow on the Politics of South East-Europe at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

DENISA KOSTOVICOVA is Senior Lecturer in Global Politics at the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.