Research Journal # 10

I finished the literature review that I will use to critice the Yemeni experince of Civil Socity involvmnet in transition period with accopying to two case studies.

Literature review:
The role of the civil society in democracy and peace building is debatable between some authors’ embrace their important in consolidation of democracy and other authors warn against civil society intentions and role (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). This started from the definition of the civil society is different throughout history and governmental stages. There are three general arguments for the meaning of civil society. The first one, treat civil society as a domain for associational life that educates the ground for democratic value and contribute to strength the mutual trust and the horizontal connection in their society( build the social capital) (Putnam, 2001). The Second argument sees the civil society as a base for organized citizens face and request the government to widen bottom-up participation and protect civil and political rights (Seligman, 1992). The third argument refers to the German philosopher Hegel, that contrast the other two as he considers the civil society as not- independent actor in the society and it is an instrument for the government to impose and spread their culture and order in the society.
In the past, the civil society role in politics and transition to democracy was not clear and non-appreciable (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). As O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986) who give the credit to the political elite in demise the of authoritarian regimes rather than the civil society movements and as Gunther and Higley (1992) who argue that the choices of political elites and the institutional setup is the reasons behind the success of the post-transition period, rather than participation and the action of the civil society groups.
However in the late 1980s-early 1990s, the role of the civil society in democratization and any political transition started to be noticeable and valued and that was only after the mass mobilizations in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.” Civil society had become important in promote political liberalization, prepare the way for democratic reform, support institution building and improve the quality of democracy” (Diamond, 1992; Ignatieff, 1995; Monshipouri, 1997; Pearce, 1997). And it became agreeable that “a vibrant civil society is essential for consolidating and maintaining democracy than for initiating it” (Diamond, 1994: 7).
Interestingly even the Consolidation of democracy and the role civil society are understood in two conceptual. First is the negative way because the grey area between maintaining democracy against a slow erosion towards hybrid regimes due to the residual presence of antidemocratic forces and the weakness of the state (O’Donnell, 1992, 1994, 1998; Carothers, 2002; Valenzuela, 1992; Zakaria, 1997)and for that the civic engagement is relatively less than the institutional arrangements, however the civil society could support the democratic erosion by community mobilization(Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010). On the other hand, other authors view the central and positive role in the consolidation of democracy as a process of constant transmission of democratic practices at both elite and mass levels (Karl and Schmitter, 1991; Pridham, 1995). Civil society could promote vertical accountability through encourage popular engagement (Geremek, 1992). Also Larry Diamond has argued that promotion of the popular participation by civil society could lead mitigate and reduce the polarity of political conflict through structure channels for articulating, collecting and representing interests people (Diamond, 1999). And for Juan Linz and Alfred Stepan (1996; 1997) democracy consolidation “is necessary to secure more than the behavioral loyalty of elites and the constitutional arrangements of institutionalized democratic methods of conflict resolution” (Lerenzo&Fiori, 2010, p.87).
Guillermo O’Donnell believes that developing countries there is a ‘brown area’ Guillermo O’Donnell (1993, p.1360) termed between the urban and rural in democratic development. So that lead for the remaining of the authoritarian reserves longer the local level, especially in rural and less developed areas of a country but the civil societies can contribute to change that. Worth mentioning that Philippe Schmitter (1993) believes that the civil society negatively impact the democracy by making the construction of the majority difficult since each CSO has their own interests and passions and this also, by imposing complicated processes of negotiation in political life (Schmitter, 1993).

 

 

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