Civil Society: Substance or Substitute

The aim of the conference/theory workshop Civil Society: Substance or Substitute was to rethink the position of the civil society (organisations) in the SEE and Turkey today. What is the state of affairs in the civil society (organisations) today, what is their agenda, what are their goals, what their influence is, how they are organized and structured, and above all, what and how they can change/effect in the political and social context? How (and why) the civil society (organisations) changed through years (since the early eighties), organisationally and ideologically from grass-root non-formal civil (citizen) solidarity non-hierarchic initiatives to highly professionalized and clearly managed organisations? What are positive and what negative effects/influences of this process? What can civil society (organisations) really do today for the processes of strengthening the citizens’ participation in society, for the democratization processes and for the radical equality of all? How can the accumulation of activists’ experiences and their influence be used for civil society (organisations) to be more effective in the process of fast social and political change? The specific objectives though are creating tools for further debates and education and exchange experiences of grass-root and public policies initiatives from SEE countries and Turkey with the purpose to raise the level of knowledge for active citizens’ participation and to influence and create a platform in order to achieve more influence in systematic social change towards communities with less violence and more citizen participation.

Worshop Civil Society: Substance or Substitute was held as a part of the project Cross-border Experience.


European Commission