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Civil Society

Civil Society
History and Possibilities


Sunil Khilnani, Anthony Black, John Dunn, Fania Oz Salzberger, Keith Michael Baker, Gareth Stedman Jones, Joseph Femia, Jack Goody, Partha Chatterjee, Luis Castro Leiva, Anthony Pagden, Thomas Metzger, Sami Zubaida, Rob Jenkins, Geoffrey Hawthorn, Sudipta Kaviraj
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  • Date Published: September 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521002905

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About the Authors
  • Civil society is one of the most used - and abused - concepts in current political thinking. In this important collection of essays, the concept is subjected to rigorous analysis by an international team of contributors, all of whom seek to encourage the historical and comparative understanding of political thought. The volume is divided into two parts: the first section analyses 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 the notion of civil society has been invoked in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These essays demonstrate how an influential Western idea like civil society is itself altered and innovatively modified by the specific contexts of intellectual and practical life in the societies of the South.

    • Detailed attention given to the nuances of the idea in various theoretical traditions (most others assume it has a simple, single meaning, or are not attentive to these differences)
    • Uses two axes of comparison between the various Western traditions and between the Western theories and their uses in the third world social and political contexts - which often alter them significantly
    • Shows how practical contexts are as important as purely intellectual ones
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… 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

    • Date Published: September 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521002905
    • length: 344 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 154 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.57kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Theoretical Traditions in the West:
    1. The development of civil society Sunil Khilnani
    2. Concepts of civil society in pre-modern Europe Anthony Black
    3. The contemporary political significance of John Locke's conception of civil society John Dunn
    4. Civil society in the Scottish Enlightenment Fania Oz Salzberger
    5. Enlightenment and the institution of society Keith Michael Baker
    6. Hegel and the economics of civil society Gareth Stedman Jones
    7. Civil society in the Marxist tradition Joseph Femia
    Part II. Arguments in the South:
    8. Civil society in extra-European perspective Jack Goody
    9. On civil and political societies in post-colonial democracies Partha Chatterjee
    10. Civil society and the fate of the modern Republic in Latin America Luis Castro Leiva and Anthony Pagden
    11. The western concept of civil society in the context of Chinese history Thomas Metzger
    12. Civil society, community and democracy in the Middle East Sami Zubaida
    13. Mistaking 'Governance' for politics: Foreign aid, civil society and democracy Rob Jenkins
    14. The promise of 'civil society' in the South Geoffrey Hawthorn
    15. In search of civil society Sudipta Kaviraj.

  • Editors

    Sudipta Kaviraj, University of London

    Sunil Khilnani, University of London


    Sunil Khilnani, Anthony Black, John Dunn, Fania Oz Salzberger, Keith Michael Baker, Gareth Stedman Jones, Joseph Femia, Jack Goody, Partha Chatterjee, Luis Castro Leiva, Anthony Pagden, Thomas Metzger, Sami Zubaida, Rob Jenkins, Geoffrey Hawthorn, Sudipta Kaviraj

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