Since Alexis de Tocqueville first made the linkage in his writings on America, a healthy democracy has been associated with the flourishing of civil society, as measured by popular participation in voluntary and civic activities and the vitality of organizations that mediate between the individual and the state.
Eminent social scientists from Europe and North America take a fresh look at the vitality of civil society in the context of post-communist Eastern Europe, the West European welfare states, and the United States. This volume takes a fresh look at this classic theme in the context of post-communist Eastern Europe, the West European welfare states, and the United States, asking:
-- What patterns of participation characterize the new democracies of Eastern Europe?
-- What levels of civic activism are characteristic of contemporary Western democracies?
-- What factors account for differences among countries and changing patterns over time?
-- What do the findings suggest about the prospects for democracy in the 21st century?