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This book examines the ways in which nongovernmental organizations (NG's) contribute to the development and maintenance of global civil society. Basing his argument on the contention that "people make politics," the author investigates eight NG's and connects their organizational activities to global civil society's dynamics and processes. In constructing an analytical framework for understanding global civil society, the author reviews traditional understandings of civil society, integrates these with a classical theoretical approach that places people at the center of world politics, and conceptualizes global civil society in terms of three elemental characteristics: dynamism, inclusiveness, and cognizance. This framework is then used to present case studies that evaluate the roles of the Internet and of environmental and development NG's in an age of globalization. Visit the author's Web site for this book.
Chapter 1 List of Acronyms Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Introduction Chapter 4 Global Civil Society and NG's Chapter 5 Global Civil Society and the Internet Chapter 6 Environmental NG's Chapter 7 Development NG's Chapter 8 Online Resource Networks Chapter 9 Reshaping World Politics Chapter 10 References
Posted November 22, 2001
Warkentin presents his thesis in a straightforward and readable manner: people make politics as agents of social change. His focus on the meaning of global civil society underlines a human-centered perspective that brings us back to an analysis of world politics at Waltz's first level. However, where Warkentin emphasizes 'understanding networking as communication' and its role placing 'people at the center of Internet technology', the relevance of his argument beyond communication, to encompass creative Internet education, is critical to explore. This extension of his thesis would allow us to consider the normative role of innovative educators and the options emerging in attitudinal structuring through the organization of curricular offerings beyond borders. This is significant to Warkentin's argumentation in so far as the transnational learning experience does not consistently highlight the three basic characteristics he argues are exhibited by global civil society: dynamism; inclusiveness; and cognizance. Here the author's acknowledgement of the limits imposed by the digital divide is critical. He rightly points out, however, that this situation is in flux and addresses the implications of the potential revolution for people as the World Wide Web evolves. The case studies chosen for the book are notable in this context. Warkentin's assertions are particularly relevant to assess in the context of those areas where 'grassroots nationalism' calls for a greater implication of people in decision making. In areas where civil society is traditionally weak, what role (s) can people play as a potential counterweight to violent conflict, i.e., Kosovo/a? More concretely, how can a global civil society exist when most underdeveloped states face the twin challenges of an exploding population and limited education within their borders? As Warkentin turns our attention away from a state-centric approach, he forces us to reconsider state-society relationships. We do this not in the image of Waltz's international system, but in terms of the larger ethical issues these queries raise about the creative tensions inherent in world politics.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.