Zavedení nového předmětu Antropologie občanské společnosti

Project Identification
Project Period
1/2006 - 12/2006
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the CR
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
anthropology; civil society; global association revolution; human rights; non-governmental organisations; voluntary organizations; self-organization; social structures; cultural patterns

The subject "civil society" has been introduced as an academic discipline by H. K. Anheier and his colleagues from the Centre for Civil Society London School of Economics. They inspired the founding of the Department of Civil Sector at the Humanities Faculty of the Charles University in Prague. An impulse to produce this project has been the establishment of cooperation with the Department of Anthropology at the Science Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno. Basic courses in anthropology (philosophical, cultural and social) are bound up with natural as well as social science; the methods and results thereof can considerably contribute to a holistic approach to the field of civil sector. The Civil Sector Department, in charge of which I am, as the only one in the Czech Republic seeks interconnections with anthropology, sociology, philosophy, politology and economy in order to provide a holistic reflection of the issue.

Project aims to provide an insight into civil society in European and worldwide aspects from the anthropological perspective. In projects context is civil society an area of institutions, organisations and individuals in the space between family, state and market, where people can voluntarily associate to pursue common interests. With the end of the millennium a phenomena called "global association revolution" is being discussed. People are responding to global and local changes by new or boosted forms of associating. The "associating revolution" serves a basis for consolidation of social relations and for setting reciprocally shared norms and values. It globally supports and leads us toward a civil society. Newly arising norms of reciprocity provide trust.

Spontaneous activities intended to help others have always been present in human societies. During the last decades, more attention has been paid to such activities. They are understood as an independent area of social live and marked as a part of the society besides the state sphere and the market. Non-governmental nature of an organisation is effective in a broad range of fields stretching from humanitarian aid over pursuit of human rights up to environmental protection. Civil society creates conditions for participation in public life in the way every individual finds it meaningful. What individual people want to do from their own in the interest of the society and others. The state, origin, changes and prospects of voluntary organizations, social structures and cultural patterns; opportunities to assess the condition of the civil society in one’s own country and a comparison between countries and across regions; that will be the subject of further inquiry and development of a new field also on the basis of results achieved within international research projects. Publication would like to contribute to the efforts to formulate opinions, inspire and to draw attention to the multidisciplinary (involving natural and social science) nature of the field Anthropology of Civil society, the issues thereof can be best integrated by means of modern biological and especially of socio-cultural anthropology as a scientific discipline.


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