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.
- 350 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute
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