Publication details

Czech Republic



Year of publication 2017
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Economics and Administration

Description Even if civil society organizations do not play a significant economic role in Czech society, some of them have a strong societal and political role. Around 125,000 CSOs are active in different thematic fields and perform different functions in society. One of the defining features of Czech civil society is its relationship to the state. On the one hand, the state represents the most important source of funding for CSOs, both from grant schemes and contracts for the delivery of services. On the other hand, most of the CSOs profess a liberal stance toward state authorities and perceive them as suspicious and potentially dangerous. This suggests that the prevailing mode of civil society-state relations is close to a neoliberal one in which the welfare state is criticized as authoritarian, ineffective and bureaucratic, and in which we can witness a shift of service delivery to nonstate actors. However, the Czech Republic also exhibits some corporatist features aimed at preventing social and political conflicts between (civil) society and the state. In terms of recent developments, the new Civil Code (2014) has updated the legal forms of nonprofit organizations and launched intensive discussions on how to define the concept of “public benefit”, which will bring in more recognition and resources for CSOs. At the same time, CSOs have been targeted in the recent public discussion on immigration and are criticized by parts of the public for taking public money and advocating only a “narrow-minded” (pro-minority) political stance. Generally, it can be expected that the role of new urban grassroots civic initiatives will continue to grow and supplement professionalized CSOs, that we will witness a new cycle of their professionalization, and that politically affirmative and non-controversial attitudes in Czech civil society will prevail.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.

More info