Civil Society and the State

Simone Chambers and Jeffrey Kopstein

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Theory

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548439
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Civil Society and the State


This article examines relationships between civil society and state. It explains that civil society refers to uncoerced associational life distinct from the family and institutions of the state Civil society is also often thought to be distinct from the economy, but their separation is a matter of some dispute. Despite differences in definitional boundaries, contemporary interest in civil society focuses predominantly on associational life rather than market or exchange relations. This article describes the six relationships between civil society and state, and suggests that these relations are not mutually exclusive and they do not necessarily compete with each other.

Keywords: civil society; state; family; economy; associational life; market relations; exchange relations

Article.  7201 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Political Theory

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