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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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Global civil society: myth or reality?

Global civil society: myth or reality?

(p.197) Eight Global civil society: myth or reality?
The politics of civil society

Fred Powell

Policy Press

This final chapter asks the question ‘Is global civil society a political myth or a vibrant social reality?’ It is concluded that global civil society will not become a reality until there is agreement about the need for social justice based on an equitable redistribution of the world’s wealth. That is not simply an economic policy objective: it involves a need to reframe the issue within the context of social justice. Global civil society can be the agent of that change. The significance of the idea of global civil society comes down to its symbolic power to influence the way people think about the developing world. Its capacity to transform world poverty is primarily constituted in its capacity to be a communicative social change actor that promotes a cause that only international governance has the resources to tackle.

Keywords:   global civil society, globalisation, poverty, development, NGO’s

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