Nation and Civil Society: An Attempt at Theoretical Considerations

JVF Conference Papers

The main goal of this article is to examine the relationship between nationalism and democracy, as well as – at the level of social structure – between nation and civil society.

Although my considerations here will be mostly of a theoretical nature, in the future they are supposed to serve a more detailed analysis of an empirical case – Polish society in the 1990s. Why such a problem? Why is the relationship between nation and civil society in Poland important? A famous Polish poet, Cyprian Kamil Norwid, once said that Poles are a great nation, but a very bad or poor society.

These words could become a motto for this article, since they show the character of the Polish heritage: strong nationality, and at the same time, some problems with creating a society under democratic conditions – a civil society.

Download pdf