The Role of Romanian NGOs in Democratization Process of the SOCIETY After 1990

Marton BALOGH, Natalia NEGREA


This paper strives to critically discuss the role that NGOs1 played in the democratization process of the Romanian society after the changes from 1990. In the transition process from a dictatorial system to a democratic one, NGOs functioning is absolutely necessary. There is a variety of ways in which the civil society can contribute to the democratization of a country. To some, the very proliferation of civil society organizations - no matter what their type, agenda, or influence are - builds the infrastructure of democracy, because according to the supporters of this view an active associational life is a precursor of democracy. The right to free elections, the freedoms of speech, and citizen’s participation to governance (including free access to public interest information) are only few aspects whose evolution is worth studying in this paper. Also, the existence of a strong NGO sector provides a great opportunity in a society, mainly because its involvement in community development is thought to build skills and foster democratic values and attitudes in individuals that will eventually spread to the broader society. They also enhance the prospects for democratization because they foster associational life, empower individuals, and provide them with the skills and attitudes that are useful for democratization.


NGOs; democratization process; democracy; governance; civil society

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