Introductory Essay

  • H. Gordon Skilling

Abstract

The striving of individuals and groups to lead an independent life within a society they regard as alien or hostile is an ancient phenomenon. One need only think of the early Christians under Roman rule; Jews in the ghetto or the shtetl of Eastern Europe; dissenting or non-conformist Protestants in 17th century England; Catholic or Buddhist monks in monasteries; Mennonites or Hutterites; communes in early 19th century America; the counter-culture of the 20th century. Sometimes these individuals and groups sought to remould the society of which they were an unwilling part; sometimes they tried to withdraw entirely from society and live their own life in communities isolated from the world around them.

Keywords

Europe Flare Assure Turkey Arena 

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Notes

  1. 13.
    Skilling, Samizdat and an Independent Society in Central and Eastern Europe (London, 1989).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 16.
    S. Frederick Starr, ‘Soviet Union: A Civil Society’, Foreign Policy, no. 70 (Spring 1988), p. 33.Google Scholar
  3. Vera Tolz, ‘Informal Groups in the USSR’, Washington Quarterly, 11, no. 2 (Spring 1988), pp. 137–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 24.
    Cited by James P. Scanlan, ‘Reforms and Civil Society in the USSR’, Problems of Communism, XXXVII (2) (March-April 1988), pp. 42–3.Google Scholar
  5. 27.
    John Keane (ed.), Civil Society and the State: New European Perspectives (London and New York, 1988), especially Keane, ‘Despotism and Democracy; The Origins and Development of the Distinction Between Civil Society and the State, 1750–1850’.Google Scholar
  6. 28.
    For a full discussion of opposition, see Tony R. Judt, ‘The Dilemmas of Dissidence; The Politics of Opposition in East-Central Europe’, Eastern European Politics and Societies, 2 (2) (Spring 1988), pp. 185–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© H. Gordon Skilling and Paul Wilson 1991

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  • H. Gordon Skilling

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