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The Civil Sphere$
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Jeffrey C. Alexander

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195162509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195162509.001.0001

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Civil Society as a Project

(p.549) Chapter 20 Conclusion
The Civil Sphere

Jeffrey C. Alexander

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some concluding thoughts. This book presented a new theory of society by defining a new sphere, its cultural structures, its institutions, and its boundary relations with discourses and institutions outside it. It suggests that in a world of increasingly dangerous weapons and political tactics, a globalized civil sphere may be the only way to proceed. Without a global range, the promises even of civil society in its national form may die. Only the civil sphere can regulate force and eliminate arbitrary violence. It does so through persuasion and civil power and, if necessary, by dispensing force to defend democratic solidarity and to keep the aspirations of civil society alive. As violence becomes global, so must the civil sphere.

Keywords:   civil society, civil sphere, violence, democratic solidarity, civil power

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