Editorial Staff:

Taras Voznyak (Editor-in-Chief)
Yevhen Zakharov (Issue Editor)
Antonina Kolodij (Issue Editor)
Myroslav Marynovych (Issue Editor)
Andrij Pavlyshyn
Sofia Onufriv
Ihor Balyns'kyj
Walter Mossmann
Alla Tatarenko
Yurij Babik
Andrij Kyrchiv
Olya Sydor

The Independent cultural journal “JI”
Issue No.21 / 2001
Civil Society. Ukraine 2001

This issue is published in co-operation with Heinrich-Boell-Fund (Berlin)

ukr (PDF 2,4 Mb)

The key words for the modern world intellectual discourse in the field of political science and social philosophy – “human rights” and “civil society” – sound often and intensively also in Ukraine during the last ten years. As many other terms, like “democracy”, “freedom”, “social state”, “market economy” they had a couple of problems. The power-keepers and their servants from the intellectual supply surround tried to adapt these terms and to make them working for the existing power regime and to quake simultaneously with the political strain of the post-Soviet elites. The explanation that such effect could be achieved only by brutal deformation of the original ideas or by lying to the public, is hardly to be needed. The short-eyed academical professors with the “scientific communism” background adapted the popular words to the level of their own understanding of the social; processes or simply agressively opposed them. The common people knowing not too much about the details of the long-term research of political scientists, philosophers and lawyers, tried to jump “from feodalism to socialism”, what however had a very sad result. They left the old without reaching the new and loosing the trust in these fruits of Euro-Atlantic civilization even not tasting them.

The calling for the human rights has been the only possibility for the political activists to act in Soviet times. Though they were suppressed by the political repressing machine, the human rights category gave a chance to rely upon the wide support at home and on the solidarity of the Western public opinion which created a powerful institutional network of human rights protecting NGOs in 70eths.

Since Ukraine obtained the independence, a certain crisis stroke the Ukrainian Rights protecting movement. The old political activists got a possibility to work within the parties and to express openly in the national mass media, so they changed the profile of their activities. The society faced dramatic problems connected with simultaneous modernization and transformation almost in all branches. Economic circumstances of all-national robbery by the small group of power keepers became possible only in case of the extreme weakness of civil society in Ukraine and complicated at the same time the process of its development. Almost knowing nothing about the advantages of the free civil associations the Ukrainian citizen got a powerful influence of Western individualist consumential philosophy of values. The youth is especially sensitive to this test being not warmed by the old Soviet myths, yet badly wounded by contemporary difficulties caused by realities of post-colonial semi-reformed “third-worlded” Ukraine. The majority of citizen preferred social rights much more than political liberties and even did not feel themselves being already caught in the “closed cycle”. The new rights protection movement, modern institutes for civil society in Ukraine still need help of world society, financial support of Western foundations, cooperative pressure on our government within the world NGOs network.

The sharp social conflict in Ukraine caused in autumn’2000 by claiming the power vertical in suppressing the freedom of expression, financial machinations and falsification of the elections results denuded the poor condition of rights protection guaranties and civil society development in our young state. But at the same time the society understood the value of this paradigm for its own security and development, though the Ukrainian ruling elites realized the harm and destructiveness of misuse of the axiom well learned by their Western analogues.

We hope that this issue would be helpful to all Ukrainian society as an instrument for awareness of the present situation, to make parallels with the world experience, to concentrate themselves on the contraversions an complications of the world where we live.

Human rights and civil society are not simply theoretical concepts or the subject for speculative thoughts for me, but modus vivendi, a kind of acception of existential challenge and a way of complete valuable adoption of the own cultural identity. Already more than 10 years I co-operate with various NGOs – “Prosvita”, “Memorial”, Publishers Forum of Ukraine, Amnesty International, “Ji” Magazine. They all are different but the co-operative desire of world improvement unites them. And I believe that the world would become better indeed when each of us would find his own place in it, not only as an individual but as a citizen and participant of number of various virtual societies. As a person who does not ask “for whom the bell talls” but acts following the conscience.

Andriy Pavlyshyn,
Head of Ukrainian Association of Amnesty International

All texts are available in Ukrainian (archive Ukr.)

Civil Society

  • Nancy L.Rosenblum. Civil Societies: Liberalism and Moral Influences of Pluralism.
    The relationship between the liberalism and civil society as well as with its main goals is described.
  • Robert Putnam. Playing Skittles Alone: American Social Capital Decrease.
    What is going inside the modern American Society, what kind of changes should be expected?
  • Jackie Smith. World Civil Society? International Civic Movements and Organizations and Social Capital.
    The contemporary investigation of the role of international civic organizations and movements in the world civil society development process.
  • Omar Incarnation. Toqueville Missionaries
    The necessity of new understanding of civil society and its mission is stressed.
  • Edward Albert Shills. Nation, Nationality, Nationalism and Civil Society.
    Contemporary understanding, definitions and relating functions of the mentioned terms are discussed.
  • Venjamin Novik. Christian Basis of Liberalism.
    The eternal roots of liberalism inside the Christian philosophy are proved.
  • Anatoliy Karas’. Liberty and Solidarity Ethics in Civil Society.
    An attempt of characterization of three main aspects of the liberty ethics: relationship between ethics and human rights; human rights and life saving; civil society as an embodiment of the solidarian desire to remove the violence and to prepare the public area for solving the social tasks.
  • Shlomo Avineri. Chances and Obstacles on the Way to Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe.
    The democratization processes in Central and Eastern Europe (and particularly in Russia), nationalistic tendencies and the basic goals of Western help are described.
  • Thomas Paingle. Heideggerian Roots of Post-Modernism
    Discussion on the Nitschean an Heideggerian philosophic concepts concerning cultural trends.
  • Yaryna Boren’ko. Civil Society and Political Power of Oligarchs.
    The characteristics of oligarchs influence on the political life of contemporary Ukraine.
  • Antonina Kolodiy. Historical Evolution of Civil Society and Its Ideas.
    Some modern approaches to the theory and applicable aspects of civil society.
  • Robert Dahl. Changes of Democratic Governing Limits.
    Changes in the competence area of modern democratic governments are investigated.
  • Francis Fukuyama. Primary of Culture.
    The four levels of strengthening of democracy are stressed and different models of civil society are compared.
  • Richard Rohrthy. Post-Modernistic Bourgeois Liberalism
    Comparative analysis of different philosophical approaches to the problem of post-modernism.
  • Boris Markov. After the Orgy
    We are living in the conditions of super-conduction which is not a product of state, individuals or institutions, but of the transcendental structures - sex, money, information, communication.
  • Ryszard Legutko. Conscience Immunity and Inside Life Liberty
    Analysis of living model features described in the pieces of the prominent social scientists and philosophers.
  • Olena Schurko. Yu.Habermas About the Sphere of Public Openness
    The contribution of Yurgen Habermas to the investigation and clarifying of the definition "civil society" is discussed.
  • Oleh Kolyasa. Interest Groups in the “State - Civil Society” System
    Definition, role and place of the groups of interests in contemporary society is studied.
  • Jaroslaw Makowski. Century of Baggars
    Global processes and their influence on the social wealth decrease.
  • Vsevolod Retchytskyj. Ukrainian Constitution in Modern Context
    The problems of adaptation of Ukrainian legal system to the modern democratic demands to legislation.
  • Yurij Koroltchuk. Civil Society: Between the Conflict and Consensus (Through the Prism of Communicative Philosophy)
    Real and false consensus, hesitation in discourse and other categories in the civil society problem context.
  • Elias Canetti. Symbols of Mass
    A short philosophical story.
  • Barnim Regalica. An Air-Cushion Boat
    A satiric futurological sketch.
  • Leszek Mazan. Events from Our Monarch’s Life
    Humorous stories about the Franz-JosefI Habsburg's life.

Human Rights

  • Interview with Myroslav Marynovytch: I Believe in the Idea of Human Dignity Protection
  • Petro Rabinovytch. Human Rights: Unification of Names and Diversity of Content (Theoretic and Methodological Notes)
    The different treating of the same human rights problems in various countries.
  • Peter Jones. Human Rights
    The history of their development and diversification .
  • Nataliya Dulnyeva. No Peace Without Justice, or Meditations on the International Criminal Court
    The preconditions and process of the International Criminal Court adoption, basic goals of its functioning and problems.
  • Anton Borkovs’kyj. Medieval Man and Liberty
    An attempt of analysis of correlation between the Law and Faith in Middle Ages.
  • Leszek Kolakowski. To the Problem Social Democracy Definition: Human Rights Versus Democracy
    Liberty should be reflected as a function of law and could be investigated in the form of restrictions and limits.
  • Roman Romanov: In Case the Society Needs a Defence of Its Rights, It Would Surely Support Them (Interview for “Ji” Magazine)
  • Boguslaw Stanislawski. What Does It Mean to Be An Amnister?
    A story of the high functioner of Amnesty International.
  • Julianna Malevitch. Non-Western Human Rights Concept
    The key differences between the traditional Western human rights concept and some other concepts are analyzed.
  • Waclaw Bielogradsky. For Your And Our Dignity
    The open letter to the President of Czech Republic Vaclav Havel.
  • Yevhen Zakharov. What is Human Rights Defence?
    The main tasks of the human rights protecting organizations.
  • Krzysztof Lozinski. Human Rights Universality and Cultural, Traditional and Historical Experience Diversity
    Two main approaches could be stressed in the influence of cultural differences on the human rights protection.
  • Svyatoslav Dobryanskyj. Human Rights Institute in Contemporary International Law: Some Tendencies in Formation and Development
    International legal formula and support of the human rights.
  • Ivan Lischyna. International Mechanisms of Human Rights Defence
    Human rights have two main features: they are integral with the human being and they proclaim equality of all the people.
  • Svitlana Marintsova. Arguments About the Right for Shelter
    The main arguments to support the refugees in the contemporary world.
  • Aleksyej Tsvyetkov. Execution
    Who could be claimed for the executed by mistake?
  • Robert Walzer. A Farewell. World. A Piece About Liberty
    Three short stories
  • Paul Tibeaut. Human Rights Religion
    An interview to Gazeta Wyborcza (Poland)
  • Pin Gu. Land Red of Blood
    A story of the witness of execution in China
  • Nazar Hontchar. And Her
  • Guenter Grass. A Meal of Prophets. Inside the Egg.
    Two poems


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