Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Diploma DemocracyThe Rise of Political Meritocracy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mark Bovens and Anchrit Wille

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790631.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 November 2020

The Meritocratization of Civil Society

The Meritocratization of Civil Society

(p.91) 6 The Meritocratization of Civil Society
Diploma Democracy

Mark Bovens

Anchrit Wille

Oxford University Press

Civil society organizations are, if not schools, at least pools of democracy. In the ‘third sector’, too, active engagement and participation ‘by the people’ have given way to meritocracy, or, in other words, to rule by the well-educated. Many popularly rooted mass organizations have witnessed a decline in membership and political influence. Their role as intermediary between politics and society has been taken over by professionally managed advocacy groups that operate with university educated public affairs consultants. First, the chapter describes the associational revolution, the enormous increase in the number of civil society organizations. Then it in analyses the education gap in membership and the shift from large membership organizations to lean professional advocacy groups, which has occurred over the past three decades. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the net effect of this meritocratization of civil society for political participation and interest representation.

Keywords:   civil society organizations, third sector, advocacy groups, professionalization, education gap, European Union

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .