Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press
Volume 34, 2002, No. 5, p. 389-504
Príhovor (Address) (L. Macháček).....391
Štúdie / Studies
Reflexie / Reflections
Informácie / Information
Recenzie / Reviews
Bibliografia / Bibliography
The Civil Society: an Attempt for a Sociological Reflection. We are analysing the question whether there are any reasons for suggesting and accepting an innovation in terminology that is advocated by the author. The innovation concerns the introduction of a new term into the well established set of categories used in sociology and political science. The term under discussion is citizencracy and its derivatives: a citizencrat, citizencratic, etc. The author is sure this new term citizencracy allows us to express and describe more precisely the reality that is traditionally denoted as the need for restoration of democracy in the situation after the collapse of communism when the main task is to restore the civil society.
The term democracy is being criticised for its close ties with the type of post-feudal way of thinking. It is the ”power of people” that is being asserted in contrast with the ”power of feudal aristocracy”. Per analogiam, a claim for the ”power of proletariat” evolved in contrast to the ”power of bourgeoisie”. The term citizencracy does not suffer from such a burden. It is put into contrast with no concrete historical form of civilisation deficit, but it is in contrast with a civilisation deficit in general.
The innovation should not lead to the elimination of the term democracy from the set of professional terms. The desired relation of these terms is not that of ”either – or”, but that of ”both ... and”. Citizencracy includes the traditional democracy as its historic precursor and thus also as its logical fundament. It includes, however, something ”extra”. This ”extra” is identical with the phenomenon described by the Polish sociologist Jerzy Siracki in connection with the analysis of sources of revival of the idea of civil society. Citizencracy is bringing the traditionally used term of democracy to a more profound and extended meaning, it is pushing this term to a higher stage of development.
Sociológia 2002 Vol. 34 (No. 5: 393-410)
Sociologický ústav AV ČR, Praha
Application of the Modernisation Theory at the Post-socialist Changes. The issue of societal modernization became one of the major subjects of the cooperating Slovak and Czech sociologists already in the 1960s being inspired by the incentives coming from the convergency theory. The industrial concept of modernization was of higher importance for Slovakia, while the post-industrial concepts were more vivid in the Czech Lands. After the normalization period and the ”velvet revolutions” 1989 appeared several international teams in the framework of which Slovak and Czech sociologists and other social scientists continued their cooperation in this field. Historical developments in the post-socialist countries in their early stages demonstrated clearly that positive institutional changes like democratization and marketization represent only first steps towards complex societal modernization. Even these processes had to be more cultivated themselves and their economic, political and social consequences had to be critically evaluated by using the criterion of complex improvements in all spheres of human life. This new situation required a new concept of modernization based on a broad concept of cultural changes in their interconnections with the changes in social systems as well as in the personality structures. Modernization had to be conceived as a complex historical process in which pro-modern, counter-modern and stagnation tendencies clash in the activities of people and institutions. Partial changes can be accepted as pro-modern only as a part of complex modernization. As in the post-socialist societies pre-industrial, industrial and post-industrial cultural segments are intertwining, theoretical inspirations for solving their modernization problems have to be drawn from many streams of modernization theory: from its classical sources, Parsonian and post-Parsonian tradition as well from various variants of neo-modernism, especially from the reflexive modernization theory. Thus conceived modernization approach provides a serious base for analyses and evaluations of the historical processes of European post-socialist transformations in the framework of the Euro-Atlantic cultural while taking into account specificities of individual countries including the Slovak and Czech Republics.
Sociológia 2002 Vol. 34 (No. 5: 411-422)
The Civic Society in the Context of the Settlement Structures Development. The author chose the fourth chapter of the autobiography Slovensko na konci tisícročia (Slovakia at the End of the Millennium) by Róbert Roško as a mainspring to this article that deals with problems of restoration of the civic society. The chapter contains inspiring stimuli related to problems of the evolution of human settlements and their communities. The author summarised those stimuli into four comments.
The first comment analyses the historical context of the settlement development and the civic society within the European area emphasising the Antique Greece and its polis that Romans adopted as a theoretical model and later improved in practice. Herein is mentioned social implication of the understanding of democracy that conduced to the decline and fall of the Roman Empire and to the decline of antique municipalities.
The second comment is concerned with problems of the settlement communities and their municipality on the territory of medieval Slovakia. In that period the skeleton of current settlement scheme of Slovak territory was established and further developed in the course of the 17th and 18th century. Within this scheme, the dominance of approximately 200 settlements appeared to be noteworthy. Their communities also included some segments of citizenship.
The third comment describes the development of the civic society on the territory of Slovakia in the first half of the 20th century – conditioned by agrarian and rural character of the region, but being a part of the developed democratic system of the Czechoslovak Republic.
The fourth comment is of the widest comprehension. It addresses problem of imposition of civic society during the period of the communist experiment and its revitalisation after the year 1989. It analyses conditions of the settlement structure and its territorial communities and residuals of a utopian social engineering from the period of the communist experiment. It particularly concerns an idealised mathematical model by Walter Christaller (a spatial layout of settlements based on the departmental principle) that was modified and implemented in Czechoslovakia. The administrative merge of minor settlements into departmental settlements consolidated the centralism of communist regime and put remains of the civic society into liquidation. Many minor villages were indicated as villages without development and were adjudged to a decline. After the year 1989 the associated settlements became independent en masse with their self-government being restored and the village citizenship being revitalised. The present reform and modernisation of public administration is trying to solve the problem of the big proportion of minor rural settlements (up to 1000 habitants). In this comment the author also pays a considerable attention to the questions of citification and ruralisation from the aspect of the civic society development.
The article is written in honour of Róbert Roško, the late colleague and friend, on the occasion of his memorial jubilee (70th birthday anniversary).
Sociológia 2002 Vol. 34 (No. 5: 423-443)
Sociologický ústav SAV, Bratislava
The Challenges of Globalisation for Social Dialogue and for Social Citizenship. In the environment of democratic national states, systems of political as well as extra-political institutions have been developed to safeguard the civil status and to realise the civil role of citizens of these states. There is a system of democratic political, economic, social and other institutions enabling the participation of citizens in the content of authorisation evolving from the status of a citizen, and also of institutions enabling the participation of citizens in qualitative definition of this status. Above all, the citizens-voters - executing and at the same time legitimising the political power - are de facto legitimising also the fundaments of this alliance in a free election. The design of this alliance can also be influenced by groups of citizens organised in a form of variety of political as well as non-political (interest or civil) associations and organisations including institutions and actors of social partnership.
The social functions of social partnership after World War II in Western (especially Western European) countries crossed the limits of an enterprise, of labour-legal and of employee-employer relations. Activities of social partners have gradually started to be focused more and more on getting involved in the processes of co-determining the shape of social policy, of economic and labour-legal issues on the macro level of the society, as well as on the shape of social meso-level, i.e. on the sphere of regional politics and regional development. The institutions of social partnership in the democratic states with socially-oriented market economy thus gained an important role not only as the institutions helping in the stabilisation of society, and in participation of associations of employers and employees in decision-making, but also a role of co-creators of social policy and labour-market policy. Thus, the social partnership has been contributing to the realisation and extension of social citizenship.
At present, ”traditional” social partners on all levels and in all spheres of participation are struggling for preserving their social functions and actual influence in contemporary environment as well as in the future united Europe. Globalisation, restructuring of production and labour force are bringing internal and external changes to the disadvantage of ”traditional” social partners, especially trade unions. This fact is causing a weakening of their organisational and negotiating potential. Together with the weakening of trade unions also their traditional partner on the macro-level - the nation-state - is becoming weaker. The consequences of globalisation (especially the influence of multinational economic corporations) on one side and the consequences of the integration into multinational political and economic structures (including the corresponding co-ordination and regulation) on the other side are creating a new situation. The authority and power of the nation-state in general are getting weaker (above all in the spheres of economy, taxation and industrial relations) and the state is intentionally assigning them to other subjects – extra-national or regional ones.
Merging of capital and the increasing influence of multinational corporations is not, however, counter-balanced by increasing level of organisation and influence of international organisations of employees. The fact of the weakening of ”traditional” actors of social partnership (national governments, trade unions and ”home” employers) in all ”traditional” positions of their authority is raising two important questions: who is taking over the authority and power that is being taken from the above-mentioned ”traditionals”, and does this overtaking of the authority and power also include the obligations towards the social citizenship, towards economic democracy and participation?
After the year 1989, the social dialogue in Slovakia has been conducted - in contrast with its Western models – in a special way: ”from above” and ”according to a design” ("capitalism by democratic design"); at the same time, the dialogue has been affected by the above analysed processes of globalisation and integration.
Under circumstances of great – and growing – regional differentiation of Slovakia, and in the current situation of its transformation, the State is still an important actor of state policy as well as of employment policy. In the situation when the market and the civil society are not sufficiently developed, and in conditions where the integration into extra-national structures is not finished yet, ”the desertion” of the State would be untimely. In contemporary Slovakia, the capacity of local community to be a guarantor of citizenship in all its three dimensions (political, civil and social) as well as the potential of most Slovak regions to be exclusive guarantors of their own development (or possibly to prevent the marginalisation of the importance of their own regions) is considerably limited.
Sociológia 2002 Vol. 34 (No. 5: 445-460)
Sociologický ústav SAV v Bratislave
Katedra pedagogiky FF UCM v Trnave
Civic Participation and the Education for European Citizenship. A project of education towards European (democratic) citizenship. It is an answer to the process of unification, expansion and integration of European national states into a new community with a new – European – identity that is creating a hope of keeping and developing the European culture in the processes of globalisation (Du Bois Reymond, M., 2002; Eberhard, L., 2002; Chisholm, L. – Kovacheva, S., 2002; Williamson, H., 2002).
The process of the transition of an adolescent into a full maturity must be completed not only by obtaining the real-life experiences of labour process, which examines the efficiency of basic qualifications (language skills, the capacity to use information technologies, entrepreneur spirit and social-communication abilities) acquired in the formal as well as non-formal process of education, but it must also be perfected by obtaining the knowledge of democratic citizenship, the abilities and experiences to use personal citizen rights and obligations. All these points can be defined as the citizen literacy.
The most important thing is that not only the education towards citizenship is being restored in schools, but also the sphere of civil participation of children and youth in extra-class time is being integrated into the educational process.
In the modern concept of the education towards citizenship, the stress is put on both spheres:
The education towards citizenship in schools: through selected school subjects, in specialised subjects of civic education, through school self-governing councils.
The civil participation of children and youth in extra-class time: associations of adult citizens with the participation of children and youth, civil associations of children and youth, non-formal civil movements and initiatives, local-municipal parliaments of children and youth.
Modern concept of the education of youth towards citizenship enables and requires to combine the achievements of formal education in school and those of non-formal education in the structures of work with youth in the civil society, and to use them more intensely.
Sociológia 2002 Vol. 34 (No. 5: 461-482)