Civil society

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Civil society is a notoriously slippery and ambiguous concept to use. Indeed, such is the ambiguity of civil society that many analysts today question the ‘usefulness’ of civil society as an explanatory concept at all. Kumar, for example, ended his article tracing the history of the concept of civil society by questioning the extent to which civil society was more useful than other related concepts such as the public sphere or citizenship (1993:391–2).

Yet, in many ways, civil society is relatively easy to define. Most authors would agree that civil society refers to the intermediate sphere between the state...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Political Concepts
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Introduction
EditorsGeorgina Blakeley, Valerie Bryson
PublisherPluto Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780745317960, 9780745317977
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2002

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