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
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
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.
Head of Ukrainian Association of Amnesty International
All texts are available in Ukrainian
- Nancy L.Rosenblum. Civil Societies: Liberalism and Moral Influences
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
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
- Edward Albert Shills. Nation, Nationality, Nationalism and
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
- 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
- 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
- Yaryna Boren’ko. Civil Society and Political Power of Oligarchs.
The characteristics of oligarchs influence on the political life of
- Antonina Kolodiy. Historical Evolution of Civil Society and
Some modern approaches to the theory and applicable aspects of civil
- Robert Dahl. Changes of Democratic Governing Limits.
Changes in the competence area of modern democratic governments are
- 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
- 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”
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.