25 Years After

Maecenata Schriften I Band 11 I Mapping Civil Society in the Visegrád Countries

In 1989 and 1990 citizens’ movements in Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia were decisive in overturning the political order in Central and Eastern Europe. Arguably, this was one of civil society’s finest hours. 25 years later, governments all over Europe would like to see civil society confined to service provision under government regulation, while some researchers tend to believe civil society can only exist in a democratic society. Against this backdrop, one may well ask what has become of civil society in Central Europe 25 years after 1989. Committed researchers from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia (now known as the Visegrád countries) joined the research team of the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society, Berlin, in conducting the research project ‘25-Years After. Mapping Civil Society in the Visegrád Countries’, a comparative analysis of organised Civil Society, in 2014/2015. This publication contains detailed surveys of the four countries as well as a comparative chapter.