This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to bring together the normative and empirical sciences on the terrain of civil society. The premise is that societies are not governed by power alone and are not fueled only by the pursuit of self-interest. Feelings for others matter, and they are structured by the boundaries of solidarity. The discussion then turns to the concept of civil society as a civil sphere, a world of values and institutions that generates the capacity for social criticism and democratic integration at the same time.
Keywords: civil society; civil sphere; solidarity; values
Chapter. 2727 words.
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