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Below the Radar

Below the Radar

Informal Civic Engagement in Ukraine

Svitlana Krasynska

ISBN 9780674291492

Publication date: 07/09/2024

Using Ukraine as a case-in-point, Svitlana Krasynska engages diverse bodies of literature and rich empirical data to reveal the vital role and unique potential of below-the-radar civic engagement in contexts where informal practices abound—a phenomenon largely neglected by scholars of civil society who traditionally focus on formal civic organizations.

Civil society in Eastern Europe has long been labeled weak based on a general lack of citizen participation in formal civil society organizations—a key criterion for assessing civic engagement in comparative studies. However, such assessment of civil society fails to recognize the role and impact of informal civic engagement in contexts where informality permeates economic, political, and social spheres. Ukraine offers a valuable counterargument of the importance of informal civil society in Eastern Europe, especially in the post-Soviet countries.

Krasynska convincingly shows that informality constitutes an essential component of civil society, shaping popular approaches to addressing social, economic, and political issues. The trailblazing findings in Below the Radar will be of interest to scholars of democratization, informality, and area studies, and they will aid development practitioners and policy makers in determining a more effective approach to helping fledgling democracies around the world.

Author

  • Svitlana Krasynska is an interdisciplinary scholar studying civil society developments in contemporary Ukraine with nearly two decades of executive, consulting, and research experience in the nonprofit sector. She is the coeditor of The Nonprofit Sector in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia: Civil Society Advances and Challenges and the editor of Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: A History by Yuri Kostenko.

Book Details

  • 350 pages
  • 6 x 9 inches
  • Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

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