The Maidan and Beyond: Civil Society and Democratization

Issue Date July 2014
Volume 25
Issue 3
Page Numbers 35-43
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The current crisis in Ukraine raises key questions about the relationship between civil society, protest, and democracy in hybrid or competitive authoritarian regimes. How can we know when civil society is strong or weak? What role does it play in mobilizing antiregime protest? When does civil society aid democratic development, and when does it threaten to harm that process? A closer look at the crisis shows both that Ukraine’s civil society is weaker than it may seem and that not all civil society is good for democracy. In particular, as Ukraine faces potential civil war, civil society must find ways to mobilize society without splintering the polity and encouraging greater violence.