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Studies on Civil Society
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Civil Society Revisited
Lessons from Poland
Edited by Kerstin Jacobsson and Elżbieta Korolczuk
352 pages, 5 figures, 10 tables, bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-551-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2017)
ISBN 978-1-80073-206-3 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Not Yet Published (October 2021)
eISBN 978-1-78533-552-5 eBook
“The book Civil Society Revisited is relevant not only for Polish readers, but for all scholars of civil society and social movements in the region. This is a collection of interesting texts with a strong methodological thesis and equally strong message …. The authors of the chapters challenge a common view that civil society in Poland and other post-socialist countries is underdeveloped: they question the biased image of passive societies, lacking in social capital and ‘intermediary bodies’, in which citizens are poorly educated, unaware of their own rights, deprived of the culture of participation and the necessary resources needed for social activity.” • Przegląd Socjologiczny
“Empirically grounded, methodologically plural, gender aware, theoretically rich, and sufficiently provocative, the editors of this volume have assembled interpretations of Polish civil society that ought not only draw in those dedicated to Polish scholarship. This volume needs to be engaged by everyone who wants to appreciate how social science matters in figuring social change.” • Slavic Review
In much social scientific literature, Polish civil society has been portrayed as weak and passive. This volume offers a much-needed corrective, challenging this characterization on both theoretical and empirical grounds and suggesting new ways of conceptualizing civil society to better account for events on the ground as well as global trends such as neoliberalism, migration, and the renewal of nationalist ideologies. Focusing on forms of collective action that researchers have tended to overlook, the studies gathered here show how public discourse legitimizes certain claims and political actions as “true” civil society, while others are too often dismissed. Taken together, they critique a model of civil society that is ‘made from above’.
Kerstin Jacobsson is Professor of Sociology at the University of Gothenburg. Recent publications include Animal Rights Activism: A Moral-Sociological Perspective on Social Movements (co-authored with Jonas Lindblom, 2016) and the edited volume Urban Grassroots Movements in Central and Eastern Europe (2015).
Elżbieta Korolczuk is a senior researcher in sociology at Södertörn University, Sweden, and a lecturer in gender studies at the University of Warsaw. Recent publications include the volumes Dangerous Liaisons: Motherhood, Fatherhood and Politics (co-edited with Renata E. Hryciuk, 2015) and Rebellious Parents: Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia (co-edited with Katalin Fábián, 2017).