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DemocratizationTheory and Experience$
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Laurence Whitehead

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253289

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199253285.001.0001

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On Civil Society

On Civil Society

Chapter:
(p.65) 3 On Civil Society
Source:
Democratization
Author(s):

Laurence Whitehead (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253285.003.0004

Outlines first the genealogy of current theories of civil society, and then (given their diversity) settles for a stipulative definition. This definition highlights the issues of ‘civility’, and therefore directs attention to the scope for ‘incivility’ within a democratic framework. After reviewing the potential for tension between ‘civil society’ and ‘democratic citizenship’, it outlines some relevant experiences from new democracies. It concludes that the civil society debate helps to situate processes of democratization in their long‐term societal context, but it also confirms the gap separating theory from ‘really existing’ democratic experiences.

Keywords:   citizenship, civil society, civility, incivility

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