Civil Society and Democracy

Civil Society and Democracy

Product ID: 12693

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Author: Carolyn M Elliott
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 508
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195661966


The Themes in Politics series presents essays on important issues in the study of political science and Indian politics. Each volume in the series brings together the most significant articles and debates on an issue, and contains a substantive introduction and bibliography.

The concept of civil society has today captured the imagination of a wide global community. Its proponents find in the idea benefits such as empowering citizens for problem solving, counter-balancing the state, preserving individual privacy, and deepening people's participation in government to increase effectiveness and improve governance.

This volume discusses the idea of civil society and its relationship with democracy and governance in India. It explores how the concept of civil society developed in the western tradition of political thought, and compares India's experience with those of China, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The volume offers a unique combination of analysis by political theorists with empirical studies in comparative politics.

The readings discuss modes of civil society and its articulation in the public sphere. They analyse the relationship of civil society to liberalism, pluralism, and ideas of nationhood in multicultural societies, cultural attribute and entrenched ideals, as also the institutional framework in which the idea operates. The essays also engage with the influence of civil society on important elements in a nation's existence including markets, competing ethnicities, and accumulation of social capital, in addition to its impact on freedom and democracy to offer guidelines for strengthening democratic civil society in India.

Providing both useful models of analysis and benchmarks for India's political development, this volume will be useful for political scientists, sociologists, non-governmental organisations, voluntary agencies, policy-planners, and journalists. Students, teachers and researchers will find it of particular value.


Life of Contributors

Civil Society and Democracy
A Comparative Review Essay


Modes of Civil Society

The Idea of Civil Society
A Path to Social Reconstruction

Rethinking the Public Sphere
A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy

Civil Societies
Liberalism and the Moral Uses of Pluralism

Bowling in the Bronx
The Uncivil Interstices between Civil and Political Society

Beyond the Nation? Or Within?

Civil Society
Cultural Possibility of a Modern Ideal

Civil Society and Its Avtars
What Happened to Freedom and Democracy?

Civil Society and its institutions

Civil Society or the State
What Happened to Citizenship?

The Civil and the Political in Civil Society


Market reforms and the Emergent constellation of Civil Society in China

Civil Society and other Political Possibilities in Southeast Asia

Civil Society and Democratization in Comparative Perspective
Latin America and the Middle East

Civil Society and Ideological Contestation in India

The Coffee House and the Ashram
Gandhi, Civil Society, and Public Spheres

Social Capital, Civil Society, and Degrees of Democracy in India

Ethnic Conflict and Civil Society
India and Beyond


Author Index

Subject Index