Much potential has been ascribed to the emergence and possibilities of a “global civil society,” one that takes the concept of civil society and civic activism and involvement beyond the traditional confines of the nation-state, and moves it instead into a globalized and increasingly politically integrated context. In general, the concept of global civil society has been treated as a positive development, with considerable attention being paid to the emancipatory and participatory opportunities that it presents. This essay explores the other side of the equation, i.e., the marginalization of national and European-level civil society and these participatory and emancipatory benefits in Central and Eastern Europe during a process of globalization and EU integration. Drawing from the emerging literatures on global civil society, this paper compares the normative and empirical emphases of that literature with the experiences and opinions of Central and Eastern European environmental NGOs. It examines how Central and Eastern European environmental movements have moved toward becoming more interconnected both in Europe and worldwide, yet are marginalized in favor of a style of environmental policy-making emerging from Brussels that emphasizes technocracy, scientific over public knowledge, and a top-down approach to the policy-making process. As a result, many of the democratic elements of civil society found at the national level have became neglected at the European and the global levels, replacing democratic politics (at least in the form of social movements) with the emergence of supranational technocratic institutions.
Hallstrom, L.K. (2007), "Global Civil Society and Policy Integration: The Marginalization of Polish and Czech Environmental Movements in the Face of Technocratic European Governance", Fábián, K. (Ed.) Globalization: Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe (Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis, Vol. 89), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 327-360. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1569-3759(07)89010-3
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