UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Civil society in a non-Western setting : Mongolian civil society Jargalsaikhan, Mendee


Civil society development is one of the measures of the democratization process. Yet the examination of civil society is complicated due to varying understandings and approaches. This thesis suggests an analytical framework that enables us to investigate the existence of civil society space, its institutionalization, its actors, and the internalization of democratic values and norms. Using the framework advanced here, it examines Mongolian civil society, which is often described by scholars, politicians, and civil society practitioners as ‘vibrant’ and ‘strong’. The thesis concludes that while civil society space does exist in Mongolia, it is neither fully institutionalized nor respected by the state, by politicians, by business or by other actors. Moreover, democratic values and norms are not internalized because internalization is something that takes several generations to accomplish. The widespread reliance on informal networks undermines efforts to promote democratic values and norms as well as trust in democratic institutions. Mongolian civil society is therefore vulnerable.

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