Creating a Democratic Civil Society in Eastern Germany
This book examines normative theories of civil society and deliberative democracy by using a case study of the East German 'citizen movements' that led the democratic opposition against the communist regime. These movements espoused political ideals and engaged in public activities with striking affinities to recent normative theoretical conceptions of civil society. Tracing the history of the citizen movements from the 1970s through the 1990s, this study analyzes their attempts to transform German politics through a 'politics of civil society.' This case reveals the democratic potential of civil society theories as well as the obstacles facing the realization of alternative visions of democracy in contemporary liberal democracies.