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The Civil Sphere in East Asia
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Book description

Leading sociologists who live and work in East Asia examine their region's most dangerous and explosive social problems, and some of their most stunning success stories, from the viewpoint of Civil Sphere Theory. This new and increasingly influential sociological understanding of democracy aims to describe and explain the moral codes and institutional foundations of democratic solidarity, as it manifests itself within a distinct social sphere. Part of a multi-volume project, this collection includes cases from Japan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea, bringing together efforts by sociologists based in East Asian academic institutions. Through an extraordinary blend of sophisticated social theory and path-breaking empirical research, The Civil Sphere in East Asia aims to advance civil sphere theory by globalizing and regionalizing it at the same time.

Reviews

'At a time when civil spheres are being threatened both by internal forces and external opposition, Jeffrey C. Alexander’s seminal work on Civil Sphere Theory gives a powerful sociological account of sources of fragility and resilience. With contributions from a superb team of scholars, this book demonstrates the breadth of Civil Sphere Theory.'

Richard Madsden - University of California, San Diego

'Jeffrey C. Alexander, one of America's leading cultural theorists, has been wrestling with the broad intellectual issue of how social space shapes the moral codes of societies. He has set the ambition of looking at societies around the world. For this path-breaking volume, he has collaborated with scholars of East Asia to look at the various moral codes of mainland China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.'

Ezra F. Vogel - Harvard University, Massachusetts

'The Civil Sphere in East Asia is an ambitious work that theorizes civil society using the East Asian experiences from a comparative perspective. It will be a must read for those who seek to understand East Asian society and politics.'

Gi-Wook Shin - Stanford University, Connecticut

'Combining innovative case studies, comparative leverage, and theoretical strength, this landmark volume provides a new benchmark for comparative studies of political culture. Greater than the sum of its excellent parts, it demonstrates a robust development of civil sphere theory beyond the West and offers a new view of East Asian political cultures.'

Lyn Spillman - University of Notre Dame, Indiana

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