Civil society as a concept played a key role in global discourses on democracy in the late years of the Cold War, and in the “victorious” years of neoliberal globalization. In the context of postsocialist transition, recent East-Central European history was a regional model for that normative concept. Civil society was the slogan of the democratic transitions in East-Central Europe in the aftermath of 1989. Nowadays it has become an issue of hope for significant mass participation or disillusionment with the lack thereof primarily. Both the public discourse and academic research in and on the region have implied a normative vision of what civil society should be. On the one hand, it has relied on a rather geographically and historically outright (or arguably ahistorical) opposition of “the state of society”: the market was excluded from the definition or implicitly involved in it as a most natural expression and warrant of human freedom. On the other hand, it has been bounded to the strict power hierarchy of an East-West slope in which the backwards East needs to live up to the standards of the advanced West (Melegh 2006).