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Importing democracy from abroad: international assistance for civil society in Romania


Tatar, Marius Ioan

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Abstract This study assesses the relation between foreign aid and the contribution of civil society to the consolidation of democracy in Romania. Drawing on questionnaire data as well as internal documents the study specifically looks at the impact of international assistance on the participation of advocacy groups in the governmental policymaking process. On the one hand, it is shown that international assistance enhances the capacity of NGOs to mobilize advocacy coalitions and this in turn increases the effectiveness of their participation in influencing policymaking. But on the other hand, democracy assistance programs have a rather paradoxical effect by impeding NGOs’ civic engagement with their domestic constituencies. Hence, international assistance has a mixed impact on the contribution of civil society to the consolidation of democracy: it fosters advocacy groups’ “link-up” to the governmental decision-makers while in the same time it hinders their “link-down” to ordinary people.
Keywords Romania; democratization; democracy; promotion; international aid; civil society; political influence; non-governmental organization; organizational structure; political participation; freedom of information; right to information; post-communist society
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Publisher Univ. of Oradea Press
City Oradea
Page/Pages XIV, 141 p.
ISBN 978-973-759-116-6
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works