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Beyond the Boundaries of Nation-State: Images of Global Civil Society
Beyond the Boundaries of Nation-State: Images of Global Civil Society

Author(s): Daniela Angi
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Polskie Towarzystwo Socjologiczne
Keywords: global civil society; globalisation; democracy; global politics; governance; nation-state

Summary/Abstract: In the past decade, the inventory of concepts from the sphere of social and political writings enriched with a new concept: global civil society. The extensive talk on this issue emerged alongside the seeming supra-national amplitude gained by social, economic and cultural processes that appear to integrate national societies in a trans-national network. Furthermore, the apparent expansion of global politics and global governance, alongside the concern with sustaining global democratic politics required, at least in theory, an agency that would assist them; this task has been ascribed to a nascent global civil society. At any rate, there is a significant lack of agreement in the literature, concerning the status of global civil society, as well as the very value of this concept, as a category of social or political theory. Global civil society is considered—sometimes indistinctly—as a tangible reality, a theoretical model or a normative requirement. At the end of the day, the question what does global civil society mean remains without a definitive answer. Throughout this paper, I am less concerned with the empirical realities of global civil society; I try instead to call attention to a number of approaches on global civil society that are currently available in the literature. This would further help us to sketch at least a preliminary image of global civil society and of the way it has been conceived of by the existing theories. In doing so, I contrast the approaches on global civil society with the classic viewpoints of civil society, in its “not yet global” version, pointing to the definition, functions, and relationship of this sphere with the political structures. Global civil society is being discussed in relation to the perspectives on globalisation, assumed as the background for any consideration of a global-scale evolving civil society.

  • Issue Year: 149/2005
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 15-29
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: English