Civilna družba. Osemdeseta: Pojmovnik novega kulturnega polja 1
Tomaž Mastnak’s "Civil Society" is the first volume of the lexicon The Eighties: A Conceptual Lexicon of the New Cultural Field, a collective work in progress. The Lexicon's aim is to collect, organize, and disseminate knowledge that is needed for understanding the 1980s and, in particularl, the period’s intellectual history. By working through the selected key concepts we aim to set the framework for further research and a reasonable public debate on the period in question, based on historical facts and theoretically informed analyses and interpretations.
In his volume, Tomaž Mastnak deals with the concept of civil society, describing and explaining its usages and discursive potential in a historical perspective. The concept has a long history in Western political thought. Mastnak first focuses on modern conceptions of civil society from the Scottish Enlightenment to Hegel and the Young Hegelians. He proceeds to discuss the “rediscovery” of civil society in the 1970s and 1980s in Eastern Europe, when “civil society” became the driving idea of the democratic opposition on the way out of socialism. The most extensive section is devoted to the debates on civil society in the “eighties” in Slovenia. The author gives a detailed account on the emergence of civil society, with regard both to the formation of a network of civil-society initiatives and shaping of a new ideological, political and cultural field.
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