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The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 7, Issue 3, June 2005

A publication of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor

Comparative Approaches to Civil Society

The Liaison Office as a Tool for Successful NGO-Government Cooperation: An Overview of the Central and Eastern European and Baltic Countries’ Experiences
Maria Gerasimova

Public Benefit Status: A Comparative Overview
David Moore

How Freedom Is Won: From Civic Resistance to Durable Democracy
Adrian Karatnycky and Peter Ackerman

Articles

The Potential for an Independent Regulatory Authority for NGOs in South Africa
Yvonne Morgan

Restrictive Proposals in Kazakhstan
Stephen Larrabee

Women at the Forefront of the Democracy Movement in Iran
Nayereh Tohidi

Economic Constraints, Political Motives: Contemporary Russian Nonprofit Tax Law
Leslie Lutz

Failing to Govern?: The Disconnect Between Theory and Reality in Nonprofit Boards, and How to Fix It
Michael Klausner and Jonathan Small

Imagining Philanthropy
Richard Gunderman

Reviews

Conversations on Philanthropy
Edited by Lenore Ealy
Reviewed by Michael Bisesi

Europe and Civil Society: Movement Coalitions and European Governance
By Carlo Ruzza
Reviewed by Joseph Proietti

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Download this issue (PDF) | Editorial Board

Europe and Civil Society: Movement Coalitions and European Governance

By Carlo Ruzza
Manchester University Press / 272 pp. / $74.95

(Buy Now)
Reviewed by Joseph Proietti*

Europe and Civil Society provides an in-depth examination of how and why public interest associations and social movements seek to influence the policy-making process in the European Union. Carlo Ruzza, a sociologist at the University of Trento in Italy, stresses that the pro-business stance of many EU officials tends to shortchange the issues raised by public interest organizations, though a few groups have broken through to make significant impacts. The book investigates these issues by comparing how certain public interest groups in Brussels operate and how they have affected EU policy.

Ruzza examines the influence exerted by networks of activists and their allies – broadly defined as Movement Advocacy Coalitions – at the European Union in three areas of policy-making, within a framework of multi-level governance: environmentalism, anti-racism, and ethno-nationalist regionalism. He picks these movements because of their high visibility and their promotion of ideals generally shared among Western societies.

He persuasively argues that the coalitions with the most “staying power” are the ones with the ability to lobby at all stages of the policy-making process. Though he acknowledges that business can generally bring greater resources to bear in the lobbying process than under-funded public interest coalitions, he maintains that the coalitions' quiet voices are substantially amplified by their credibility and legitimacy.

Ruzza artfully and intelligently examines the roles of public interest organizations through systematic documentary analysis and an extensive series of interviews with activists and institutional actors. His analysis of the environmental movement, relying on a series of case studies, is particularly effective in portraying the interaction between these groups and the political institutions in Brussels.

Overall, Europe and Civil Society presents a substantial body of research that sheds new light on political legitimacy, information, and how they shape the relationship between governments and civil society in Brussels.

Notes

* Joseph Proietti is a student editor of the International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law and a law student at the University of Baltimore.

 

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ISSN: 1556-5157