chapter  5
Social networks, civil society, and the prospects for consolidating Russia’s democratic transition
ByJames L. Gibson
Pages 20

Few concepts have captured the imagination of those studying democratization more than ‘civil society’. Dating back to ancient studies of political systems, theories of civil society claim that democracies require a particular set of autonomous institutions in order to check the power of the state (Putnam 1993). Furthermore, civil society is enhanced by efficacious attitudes and participatory behaviors on the part of the citizenry (Brehm and Rahn 1997). Civil society seems to be an essential condition for successful democratization.