Article

Development of Civil Society

Jose Harris

in The Oxford Handbook of Political Institutions

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548460
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199548460.003.0008

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

 Development of Civil Society

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This article studies the development of civil society, starting from the end of the Roman Republic until modern times. It identifies four traditions of writing about civil society. This article determines that civil society remains to be a curiously obtuse, malleable, and much contested idea that is difficult to define categorically, by reference to either what it is or what it is not. It also shows that due to the gradual build-up of diverse meanings over the centuries, it is impossible to treat civil society as a Weberian ‘ideal type’.

Keywords: development; civil society; traditions; writing; meanings; Weberian ideal type

Article.  5811 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics

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