Idea Of Civil Society

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Adam Seligman
10,43 MB
Idea Of Civil Society.pdf


As the countries of East-Central Europe struggle to create liberal democracy and the United States and other Western nations attempt to rediscover their own tarnished civil institutions, Adam Seligman identifies the neglect of the idea of "civil society" as a central concern common to both cultures today. Two centuries after its origins in the Enlightenment, the idea of civil society is being revived to provide an answer to the question of how individuals can pursue their own interests while preserving the greater good of society and, similarly, how society can advance the interests of the individuals who comprise it. However, as Seligman shows, the erosion of the very moral beliefs and philosophical assumptions upon which the idea of civil society was founded makes its revival much more difficult than is generally recognized.

For Hegel, civil society was an intermediary institution which will ultimately lead to the formation of a democratic state. He clearly states that "Civil Society is the [stage of] difference [Differenz] which intervenes between the family and the state, even it its full development [Ausbildung] occurs ... Civil society and social movements in an age of social distancing The conceptual framework of democracy, as advocated by International IDEA's Global State of Democracy, builds on tenets such as the conduct and fairness of elections, the practice of human rights and civil liberties, or the oversight mechanisms on the executive. I shall begin with the idea of civil society, recently revived by Central and East European intellectuals, and go on to talk about the state, the economy, and the nation, and then about civil society and the state again.

However, as Seligman shows, the erosion of the very moral beliefs and ... In one aspect Mr. "Seligman's book is an exploration of the idea of civil society in all its contemporary and historical ironies and ambiguities, one that is richly learned and subtly reasoned.