Civil Society: History and Possibilities

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Civil Society is one of the most used—and abused—concepts in current political thinking. Fifteen leading scholars clarify the theoretical meanings of the concept as well as consider the different historical contexts in which it has been used outside the West. The volume is divided into two parts: the first section analyzes the meaning of civil society in different theoretical traditions of Western philosophy. In the second section, contributors consider the theoretical and practical contexts in which this idea has been invoked in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'… this collection is unusually coherent in plan and consistent in quality. The editors have assembled an excellent group of authors.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'The book is notable also in bringing together a highly distinguished array of contributors.' Contemporary Political Theory

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521002905
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Introduction: Ideas of civil society 1
Pt. I Theoretical traditions in the West 9
1 The development of civil society 11
2 Concepts of civil society in pre-modern Europe 33
3 The contemporary political significance of John Locke's conception of civil society 39
4 Civil society in the Scottish Enlightenment 58
5 Enlightenment and the institution of society: notes for a conceptual history 84
6 Hegel and the economics of civil society 105
7 Civil society and the Marxist tradition 131
Pt. II Arguments in the South 147
8 Civil society in an extra-European perspective 149
9 On civil and political society in post-colonial democracies 165
10 Civil society and the fate of the modern republics of Latin America 179
11 The Western concept of civil society in the context of Chinese history 204
12 Civil society, community, and democracy in the Middle East 232
13 Mistaking 'governance' for 'politics': foreign aid, democracy, and the construction of civil society 250
14 The promise of 'civil society' in the South 269
15 In search of civil society 287
Index 324
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