The purpose of this study is to analyse the role of civil society in the de facto states of the South Caucasus in the process of conflict transformation. It is based on a field research of the civil society organizations in Abkhazia and Nagorno Karabakh. The data were collected by the methods of expert interviews, semi-structured interviews and participant observation. The role of Abkhazian and Karabakh civil society organizations in the conflict transformation is identified as not only positive, but also as having some negative aspects. The study also makes some general remarks concerning the theory of conflict transformation. Adapted from the source document.
The article addresses issues related to the growing importance of non-governmental organizations & social movements in world politics. The key question that the article deals with is whether there are structures of global political activism in the making? In other words, is a "global civil society" being constituted? If yes, how does this "global civil society" relate to local actors? Are global actors partners in the building of local activism? In addition, how do the actors of the "global civil society" relate to states? Do they transcend the confines of the state? In order to answer these questions, the article first describes the evolving debate around the issue of transnational relations. During the last decade this issue has become an important research problem in at least two social scientific disciplines -the theory of international relations & the theory of collective action. Moreover, the attention paid to transnational social movements & net-works of non-governmental organizations has influenced debates in certain fields of political theory where actors described as "global civil society" came to be perceived as the manifestation of reformist hopes associated with globally organized civic activism. This activism is believed to hold the promise of future global democratization. In sum, the issue of transnational relations & transnational political action is an interdisciplinary problem. The aim of this article is to answer the specified questions above. It reflects the most important aspects of the debate on transnational political action. The ambition of the article is to critically assess both empirically oriented approaches & normatively motivated explorations of the possibilities for global democratization through political involvement of transnational movements & non-governmental organizations. The paper maintains that the concept of "global civil society" is applicable for the description of political action "beyond borders" only under the condition that it is not understood as an alternative to the institutions of the modern state & that it is not used in an ideological way. References. Adapted from the source document.
A review essay on a book by Pavel Barsa & Ondrej Cisar, Levice v postrevolucni dobe. Obcanska spolecnost a nova socialni hnuti v radikalni politicke teorii 20. stoleti ([The Left in the Postrevolutionary Era. Civil Society and New Social Movements in Radical Political Theory of the Twentieth Century] Brno, Czech Republic: CDK, 2004). References.
This paper seeks to find out to what extent the process of EU accession has influenced legal regulations concerning the creation & functioning of social & political actors. Through the analysis of various statutes & changes made to them, the paper tries to determine the role the EU plays in amending assembly legislation. The actors under scrutiny include political parties, professional organizations, labor unions, & civil society organizations. The paper concludes that the most influenced field of actors was the area of chambers of professionals which was obliged to conform to requirements for the free movement of people & services in the European Union in order to comply with European law. The Czech Republic was quite leisurely in their harmonization of statutes, with the majority of them passed just before accession to the EU. An interesting part of the problem concerns the question of political party membership, which is still reserved only for Czech citizens. However, European citizenship, with its voting rights to the European Parliament & local magistrates, is arguably going to push slowly for change even in this domain. Adapted from the source document.
The article aims to review the political developments in African states throughout their recent post-colonial past. Uprooting political violence & anchoring a stable structure based on a society-wide consensus being just two of the several prerequisites for solving so many other problems which trouble Africa today, this article aims to diagnose at least some root causes & consequences of the generally unsatisfactory political situation on the continent. Having identified a set of political instability symptoms (coups d'etat, civil wars, failed putches etc.) the author first ranks African states according to their political instability rate. On the basis of statistical correlation analysis, the author then investigates the relation between political instability in Africa & a number of quantifiable geographical, demographical, military & economic variables. The author has identified some dispositions increasing -- though with only small statistical significance -- the probability of instability in African states. In order of importance, these include: large territory, high illiteracy rate, low urbanization, high number of ethnic groups living within the territory, & large population. Also, there is a close link between political instability & governmental military spending. It probably has a negative impact on a number of key economic indicators, be it GDP growth, GDP per capita levels, domestic savings, or price level developments. In the final part of his article, the author makes a brief summary of political developments in African countries in the 21st century. Tables, Appendixes, References. Adapted from the source document.