Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, the post-communist countries in Central Europe have undergone a shift from the authoritarian and socialist East to the periphery of the democratic and neoliberal West. After the abandoning of the ideologically discredited support of the Third World after 1989, they also espoused the Western approach to the global South based on export, investment and development cooperation. The seminar focuses on the role of the Czech civil society in depoliticising the relations between the North and South in the post-communist context and the impacts of the professionalisation of civil society on domestic politics. While acknowledging the different historical developments of South Africa and Central Europe, the pertaining problems of human rights abuse, environmental destruction, low political accountability and the adoption of neoliberalism by the new democratic elites, reveal interesting similitudes between the post-apartheid and post-communist contexts.
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