Družboslovne razprave 15-16 (X)

The rise and fall of the civil society project

Ivan Bernik

ABSTRACT: Sociology and social sciences in general failed to predict the imminent collapse of the socialist regimes in Central Europe, but they nevertheless played an important role in paving the way for these changes. This role cannot be ascribed to all social sciences but primarily to a “civil society approach” in social sciences This approach implied that the socialist societies were characterised by a zero-sum game between the civil society and the authoritarian state; the broader were the prerogatives of the state the more limited or even totally suppressed were the faculties of the civil society. It provided a cognitive framework in which the opponents of the regime defined the motives and aims of their activities; they perceived themselves as advocates of societal potentials in front of authoritarian state . This ideology, which was highly operative in the preparatory stage of democratisation, lost much of its influence in the period, lost much of its influence in the period of the institutionalisation of democracy. The fall of civil society project also signalled the decline of influence of nonconformist intellectuals, the main proponents of the project. The democratisation, which was fostered by dissenting intellectuals, as developments in Slovenia show paradigmatically, thus has not brought the most benefits to its most ardent supporters.

KEY WORDS: civil society, intellectuals, transition from socialism

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Life in transition : from socialism to post-socialism and beyond

Gregor Tomc

ABSTRACT: The socialist transition was an example of a partial process of modernisation. As the central project of cultural revolution was soon abandoned, socialist societies had permanent problems with border maintenance. On the level of the person, the situation could be described as one of personal modernity and public socialism, as persistence of public social forms devoid of almost any intimate cultural meaning. In this context, the present-day process is not so much a transition from pre-modernity to modernity as from partial to complete modernity.

KEY WORDS: postsocialism, transition, modernisation, social form vs. cultural meaning

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After four years of democracy: fragility and stability : lessons from an accelerated evolution of the political system

Frane Adam

ABSTRACT: The author proceeds from the (hypo)thesis that is easier to reach a stable political system as a framework of accelerated societal self-regulation within an inclusive and consensual model rather than through majoritarian-competitive policy making. In order to discern the capabilities of Slovenian politics and society in general, to generate a consensual basis for decision-making, he devotes special attention to those tendencies and trends which are directed towards (semi)consociative democracy and the neocorporatist arrangement considered as a part of political crisis management. The analysis reveals ambivalent and fluid configurations, and therefore it is not alltogether clear whether these tendencies and trends are short time experiments or more lasting structures.

KEY WORDS: (semi)consociative democracy, political system, societal (self) regulation, neocorporatism

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How the new political elite in Slovenia understands democracy

Ivan Jan Makarovič, Janez Jug

ABSTRACT: The authors present three variants of the statistical analysis of the answers to the open-ended questions “What do you understand by democracy” – an item in the questionnaire “New Democracy and the Local Governance”; presented to a sample of 275 Slovene political leaders. These definitions of democracy are compared to other data obtained by this questionnaire in Slovenia and 12 other European countries The Slovene conception of democracy stands out as conspicuously libertarian, subjectivist, and individualist. This appears to be typical for countries in the phase of transition from the communist to the capitalist system, but neither for the developed capitalist countries, like Sweden and Austria, nor for those on the territory of the former Soviet Union.

KEY WORDS: emocracy, attitudes of political leaders, comparative analysis

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Families in urban centers

Nevenka Černigoj-Sadar

ABSTRACT: The purpose of the article is to give an insight into the living conditions of families and the activity patterns of employed parents in urban centers in Slovenia . The analysis is based on statistical data, survey data and qualitative interviews. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses are applied to the survey data . The two-parent family is the dominant family type, followed by the extended family and one parent family type. Material living conditions correlate with family type, one-parent families being the most deprived. Until the nineties in young and middle aged generations the dual earner family type had been dominant. Employed parents utilize mainly traditional social networks when informally resolving family problems. Employed fathers in urban centers help their partners, but the division of family tasks to a certain extent, and often free time, remain gendered The lack of financial resources and high insecurity concerning employment status of parents has seriously endangered life in the nineties.

KEY WORDS: family, living conditions, activity patterns of parents, informal support networks

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The catholic church, recatholicization and gender hierarchy

Maca Jogan

ABSTRACT: Contemporary processes of social restructuring (particularly in the postsocialist societies) show the tendency of simultaneous revitalization of church activities and of repatriarchalization. Regarding the modern aims of recatholicization the recognizing of the special role of the Catholic Church concerning gender relationships is undoubtedly justified. The author discusses the basic Christian and Catholic explanations of special gendered personal identity included in the postcouncilian official documents. She reveals the symbolic construction of women’s marginal and subordinate status . Particular attention is devoted to women’s marginal and subordinate status . Particular attention is devoted to women’s dignity. The author’s analysis of the `Apostolic Letter on the Dignity of Woman” (Mulieris Dignitatem, 1988) by Pope John Paul II provides a basis for revealing the continuity of interpretations regarding the `proper’ role of women in this contemporary document and those traditional explanations which have contributed to the petrification of androcentric culture. Finally, the author discusses the results of the latest empirical investigations into gendered secularization in contemporary Slovenian society.

KEY WORDS: Catholic Church, religious revitalization, gender relationships, subordination of women

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Social and ethnic stratification : global social and ethnic relations

Peter Klinar

ABSTRACT: The author deals with problems of social and ethnic stratification. Regarding social stratification, he points to a fast class and stratum polarisation, generated by the increased importance of economic capital. On the other hand, the new nation state causes occurrences of ethnic stratification (immigrants pushed into an underprivileged position). Tolerant ethnic pluralism and interculturalism seem unlikely at the moment.

KEY WORDS: social and ethnic stratification, nationalism, immigrants

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Urban mobility and housing shortages : the case of Slovenia

Barbara Verlič Christensen

ABSTRACT: Slovenia has experienced significant immigration flows within the last few decades. The high rate of urban growth, which we experienced in the 60s, has nevertheless decreased, which led to the development of a polycentric urban network during the 70s. Smaller urban centres have grown, together with a strong trend towards suburbanization. Absolute housing shortages were overcome in the late 80s, but structural shortages persist. The controversial effects of private (as opposed to social) housing policies enabled the application of a specific housing practice, mostly oriented to the construction of one-family houses in the countryside and in suburbs. The consequences of social development and urban planning on both traditional and modern mobility and housing policy are discussed in the retrospective analyses of the specific urbanization patterns in Slovenia.

KEY WORDS: urbanization, polycentric development, immigration, housing shortage

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Deterritorialization and re-territorialization of cultural identities

Zdravko Mlinar

ABSTRACT: Increasing accessibility in space is manifested in a shift from cohabitation to confrontation and interpenetration of (territorial) cultural identities. A simultaneity of the processes of homogenization and diversification can be understood as appearing at different levels of territorial organization. While the traditional cultural identities (communities) are becoming more similar, the diversity of their (sub)groups (sub-cultures) and individuals is tending to increase. In the past, cultural identities were shaped because of limited accessibility (discontinuity in communication); the trends for the future indicate that intensification of selective communication will lead to increasing cultural diversification on the basis of unique combinations of people, goods and ideas in specific locations in space. This implies both deterritorialization and re-territorialization of cultural identities.

KEY WORDS: cultural identities, cultural diversification, deterritorialization, re-territorialization

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The informal postsocialism

Drago Kos, Drago Kos

ABSTRACT: The “development” of the informal sector in socialism was indirect proportion to the unproductive centralized regulative mechanisms, which were constantly overburdened at a relatively low level of complexity. The postsocialist systems thus inherited informal activities developed in almost all domains. This is one of the most important characteristics of postsocialist societies, which considerably increases the transition’s contingency. It is therefore somewhat surprising that the research of these phenomena in postsocialism is in such a disproportion with their frequency. The ignorance of the sophisticated informal sphere is one of the major reasons why systemic formal measures do not attain suitable results. This article recommends research of the informal sector in transition societies not only because of its important structural position but also because the informal activities are a possible supplement to the rigid formal regulation of the developed modern societies as well.

KEY WORDS: transition from socialism, informal activities, formal regulative mechanisms, complex modern societies

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Slovenia and the world - statistical comparison

Bogomil Ferfila

ABSTRACT: Slovenia is compared with three groups of countries: the OECD group, the group of newly industrialized countries and the group of former socialist countries. Different economic, political and social indicators are divided into several groupings. 1. Domestic economic strength (GDP, growth rates etc.); 2. Internationalization (balance of trade, export, import etc.); 3. Government (total debt, government employment, tax system etc.); 4. Infrastructure (telephones, electricity generation); 5. Management (productivity); 6. Science and technology (expenditure on research and technology, personnel); 7. Human resources (labor force, education, employment etc.).

KEY WORDS: economic development, international comparison, economic indicators

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Challenges of Slovenia's technological strategy : some thoughts

Marjan Svetličič

ABSTRACT: The author discusses Slovenia’s technological strategy. Any strengthening of technological capacities calls for cooperation with technological leaders, wherever they might be. ft means that the priority of integration into Europe must not be the only (technological) strategy . It should rather rely on an ideal evaluation of the status of Slovenia as a small country in the world and the present stage of its development in science and technology.

KEY WORDS: technological strategy, limitations of small countries, integration into Europe

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The abortive integration of art and everyday life: the historical avant-garde and its failures

Aleš Debeljak

ABSTRACT: The paper presents the historical avant-garde as a linchpin of modern art and as a standard against which every succeeding art movement must define itself. It further discusses the radical nature of avant-garde’s critical negativity that hoped to transcend the “institution of modern autonomous art” (Peter Burger) . The avantgarde’s critique of art with extra-artistic means, e .g. an affiliation with radical political parties, helped turn the style of (modern) art into the (postmodern) art of lifestyle. The avantgarde thus failed to integrate art into everyday life in the name of social change. What followed was a dissolution of modern art into commercialized aesthetic practice of postmodern art. In it, an individual could no longer se a promesse de bonheur that was merely suspended in everyday life, as it was still possible in the works of autonomous modern art.

KEY WORDS: art, historical avant-garde, everyday life, autonomy, commercialization

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