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The politics of civil societyBig society and small government$
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Fred Powell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781447307150

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447307150.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

The renaissance of civil society

The renaissance of civil society

(p.31) Two The renaissance of civil society
The politics of civil society

Fred Powell

Policy Press

This seminal chapter provides a panoramic overview of the relationship between civil society, democracy and politics. It offers a meta-narrative of civil society from antiquity to postmodernity. This chapter analyses philosophical debates about the nature and meaning of civil society in Europe and America, identifying three distinct ideological strands: liberal, conservative and radical. It also seeks to locate the renaissance of civil society within ‘the end of history’ debate. Finally, it considers the role of civil society in terms of the construction of a new political imaginary in postsocialist society.

Keywords:   civility, antiquity, enlightenment, postmodernity, active citizenship

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