Civil Society

Civil Society : Theory, History, Comparison

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This volume of especially commissioned essays explains what is meant by "civil society", paying particular attention to the relationships between civil society and other social forces such as nationalism and more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 152.1 x 228.1 x 25.1mm | 503.5g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0745614566
  • 9780745614564
  • 2,170,506

Back cover copy

The banner of 'civil society' has been raised in recent years by social movements, in East Asia and Latin America quite as much as in Eastern Europe, seeking to push their societies from authoritarianism to democracy. The popularity of the concept is, however, almost inversely related to its clarity. The prime task of this volume is accordingly better to define what is meant by 'civil society', not least so that the extent of its usefulness, descriptively rather than merely prescriptively, can be established. To that end, analysis is comparative and historical quite as much as theoretical. Particular attention is paid to the relations between civil society and other social forces, most notably to nationalism and to populism. The distinguished contributors include Ernest Gellner, David Wank, Victor Perez-Diaz, Adam Seligman, Chris Bryant, Salvador Giner, Hudson Meadwell, Philip Oxhorn, Chris Hann, Serif Mardin, Wlodimierz Wesolowski and Nicos more

Review quote

'Helpful to all students of the subject, and indeed whets the appetite for more.' International Affairs 'The value of the volume is that it reveals the diversity of traditions, concepts and debates that feed into the historical experiences of civil society.' Political Studiesshow more

Table of contents

1. In Search of Civil Society: John A Hall. 2. The Importance of Being Modular: Ernest Gellner. 3. Civil Society in Communist China? Private Business and Political Alliance, 1989: David Wank. 4. The Possibility of Civil Society: Traditions, Character and Challenges: Victor Perez-Diaz. 5. The Nature of Social Ties and the Future of Postcommunist Society: Poland after Solidarity: Wlodimierz Wesolowski. 6. Civic Nation, Civil Society, Civil Religion: Christopher Bryant. 7. Philosophers' Models on the Carpathian Lowlands: Christopher Hann. 8. Post-Marxism, No Friend of Civil Society: Hudson Meadwell. 9. Amimadversions upon Civil Society and Civic Virtue in the Last Decade of the Twentieth Century: Adam Seligman. 10. Modernity, Late Development and Civil Society: Nicos Mouzelis. 11. From Controlled Inclusion to Coerced Marginalization: the Struggle for Civil Society in Latin America: Philip Oxhorn. 12. Civil Society and Islam: Serif Mardin. 13. Civil Society and its Future: Salvador Giner. more