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Netzwerke im Ostseeraum

By Jan Siefkes and Berlin (Germany) Otto-Suhr-Institut fuer Politikwissenschaft Bereich Internationale Politik und Regionalstudien FB Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften Freie Universitaet Berlin

Abstract

Die Studie analysiert die Taetigkeit von Nichtregierungsorganisationen in der Ostseeregion, d.h. die Art ihrer Arbeit und das Ausmass der Mitarbeit in Ostsee-Netzwerken. Forschungsleitend ist die Frage, inwieweit die euphorischen, aber sehr allgemein gehaltenen Beschreibungen der Wirklichkeit entsprechen. Geografisch beschraenkt sich die Studie auf Organisationen aus dem deutschen Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein, der polnischen Wojewodschaft Pomorskie und dem schwedischen Regionalzusammenschluss SydSam. Vier Arten von nicht-staatlichen Organisationen und Institutionen werden untersucht: (1) Nichtregierungsorganisationen im engeren Sinne (buergerliche Organisationen zur Durchsetzung eines altruistischen politischen oder gesellschaftlichen Zieles), beschraenkt auf das Taetigkeitsgebiet Jugendarbeit; (2) mit der wirtschaftlichen Sphaere verbundene (aber nicht selbst Profit erwirtschaftende) Organisationen, die sich ausschliesslich fuer die Belange ihrer Mitglieder einsetzen, wie Arbeitgeberorganisationen oder Gewerkschaften, beschraenkt auf das Beispiel Industrie- und Handelskammern; (3) staatlich getragene, aber in ihrer Arbeit weitgehend selbstaendige Organisationen, wie Universitaeten oder Museen, beschraenkt auf das Beispiel Universitaeten; und (4) Gemeinden. Die Untersuchung zeigt insgesamt, dass sich zu allen untersuchten Taetigkeitsfeldern im Ostseeraum zahlreiche nicht-staatliche Organisationen und Institutionen finden, die den Ostseeraum als eine Einheit, als Ostseeregion betrachten und in diesem Sinne als ihr Taetigkeitsgebiet definieren, die umfassend zusammenarbeiten und starke und vielfaeltige Vernetzungen aufgebaut haben, die sich durch flache oder fehlende Hierarchien auszeichnen, aber trotzdem stabil sind. (ICA2)'After the end of the Cold War with its accompanying partition of Europe, the Baltic sea area is now the region with the largest economical growth rate in Europe, and in just a decade has experienced an astonishing development in political, social, and economical cooperation. This development is all the more astonishing as the driving force behind it is not so much the 'traditional authority of the state as the actions of non-governmental organizations, citizens' groups and sub-state units such as regions and municipalities' (Carl-Einar Stalvant). This paper examines the work of such non-state organizations in the Baltic sea region and the extent of cooperation among them. It starts with a discussion and definition of the concepts of 'civil society', 'non-governmental organization' and 'network'. The definition of civil society is based on two theories: the theory of Manuel Hoehr and Maik Porsch of 'Civil society as an alternative mechanism of societal regulation', which postulates the strengthening of civil society as a result of modern society becoming to complex to be regulated by the traditional means of state authority, and the 'socialization-theory' of Ernst-Otto Czempiel, which postulates the rise of an international civil society taking over competences hitherto held by the state in organizing international contacts and cooperation. The backbone of modern civil society are non-governmental organizations in a broad sense, here defined as all non-profit organizations independent of governmental instructions both in their work and their budget. Such organizations tend to form networks of cooperation, which can be formalized or non-formalized and hierarchical or non-hierarchical and, following Manuel Hoehr and Maik Porsch, can be divided into three types: bidirectional, multidirectional and hybrid. The examination of such non-state cooperation in the Baltic sea region is restricted geographically to Poland and the wojew dztwo Pomorskie, Sweden and the regional alliance SydSam, and Germany and the state of Schleswig-Holstein; and topically to youth organizations, economical organizations, universities and Cities. In the field of youth organizations the 'Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs', the 'Baltic Youth Forum', the 'Landesjugendring Schleswig-Holstein', the 'Centrum Wsp lpracy Mlodziezy', and the 'Landsrad foer Sveriges Ungdomsorganisationer' are examined, in the field of economical organizations, the 'Baltic Sea Chambers of Commerce Association' and Chambers of Commerces in Pomorskie, SydSam and Schleswig-Holstein; in the field of universities, the 'Baltic University Programme' and the 'Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet zu Kiel', and in the field of cities, the 'Union of Baltic Cities' and the Cities of Kalmar, Kiel and Gdynia. In each of three four fields a large numbers of organizations and networks are to be found - for each field at least one large formaly organized international network and an abundance of smaller networks and individual organizations, one of each field at least in the three regions Schleswig-Holstein, Pomorskie and SydSam. The cooperation among the organizations is characterized by a large number of interconnections. On the whole, the resulting networks, whether formal or informal, are non-hierarchically organized and tend to be very stable; all of them are either multidirectional or hybrid networks, and have themselves a large number of connections to other networks. The organizations and networks have connections outside of the Baltic sea area, but on the whole they view the Baltic sea area as a distinct region and as their home ground, and therefore the majority of connections are in this region, forming a very stable, strong and active net of Baltic sea area cooperation.' (author's abstract)Available from UuStB Koeln(38)-20040106321 / FIZ - Fachinformationszzentrum Karlsruhe / TIB - Technische InformationsbibliothekSIGLEDEGerman

Topics: 05J - Political science, public administration, 05D - Economics, economic theory, BALTIC REGION, CIVIL SOCIETY, NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, COOPERATION, SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN, POLAND, SWEDEN, YOUTH WORK, NON-PROFIT-ORGANIZATION, CHAMBER OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE, UNIVERSITY, MUNICIPAL POLICY, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY, POST-SOCIALIST COUNTRY
Year: 2003
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Provided by: OpenGrey Repository
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