"To Heal the Sick" : Women As Creators of Civil Society in Pre-Modern Poland

Author
Wladyslaw Roczniak
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, City University of New York
Abstract
Philanthropy, voluntarism and other non-profit activities comprise a branch of historical studies that is currently blossoming. The recent collapse of communism and the democratization of Eastern Europe have added stimulus to such studies. Today's Eastern Europe offers the third sector practitioner and researcher a strange and contradictory prospect. On the one hand, the collapse of communism and the continuous democratization of the region open new and exciting vistas for the development of civil societies. On the other hand, the re-emergence of old ethnic conflicts and traditional power structures can act as deterrents to the establishment of a viable civil society, as such a society is known in the west. The modern not-for-profit practitioner wishing to do work in the countries of Eastern Europe must keep it in mind that today's events reflect the historical complexity of the region; what we learn about the past of Eastern European society teaches us about its present models of voluntarism.
Topic
Gender Issues, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
Political Geography
Europe