The non-profit sector in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia

Authored by: David Horton Smith , Alisa V. Moldavanova , Svitlana Krasynska

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:


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After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the fifteen newly independent states have followed a range of sociopolitical trajectories – landing a smaller minority on the path toward democracy in the European Union (EU), while leaving the majority in a variation of hybrid regimes. Understandably, civil society/non-profit sector (NPS) developments in these independent countries have likewise taken different turns along those trajectories, showcasing varied levels and kinds of non-profit institutionalization, civic engagement, and citizens’ collective influence on their states. Importantly, however, while hundreds of thousands of voluntary organizations of different kinds have emerged in the post-Soviet region since 1991, contrary to popular expectations and despite significant Western aid efforts, this development has not resulted in the achievement of healthy and robust civil society/NPS, nor any sweeping democratization in the region.

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