Reconfiguring the Polis, Reconceptualizing Rights: Individual Rights and the Irony of History in Central and Southeastern Europe

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Ramet, Sabrina P. (2009) Reconfiguring the Polis, Reconceptualizing Rights: Individual Rights and the Irony of History in Central and Southeastern Europe , Perspectives on European Politics and Society 10(1): 87–100.

ABSTRACT In communist systems, underground parallel society and underground counterculture functioned as an arena of genuine democratic action, in which citizens played an active role in the production of narratives, activities, and services which rivalled the official narratives, activities, and services generated by the regime. With the collapse of communism, the raison d’eˆtre for this ‘Polis’ has disappeared and, to a large extent, independent activism has become the domain of NGOs specializing in human rights, while citizens participate in politics primarily by voting in

elections. Controversies continue, however, and this article focuses on region-wide controversies about the media, ethnicity, and religion, taking note also of the depoliticization of culture.

Authors

Sabrina P. Ramet

Sabrina P. Ramet

Professor, Department of Sociology and Political Science, NTNU