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Civil society is the realm of organized social life that is open, voluntary, self generating, at least partially self-supporting, autonomous from the state and bound by a legal order or set of shared rules. It is distinct from "society" in general in that it involves citizens acting collectively in a public sphere. Second, civil society is concerned with public ends rather than private ends. It is an intermediary phenomenon standing between the private sphere and the state. Thus, it excludes parochial society: individual and family life and inward- looking group activity; and it excludes economic society: the profit-making enterprise of individual business firms. Third, civil society is related to the state in some way, but does not seek to control the state; it does not seek to "govern the polity as a whole". Fourth, civil society encompasses pluralism and diversity. It encompasses a vast array of organizations, formal and informal, including economic, cultural, informational and educational, interest groups, developmental, issue-oriented and civic groups. In addition, civil society encompasses what Thomas Metzger calls "the ideological marketplace", the flow of information and ideas, including those which evaluate and critique the state. Diamonds argues that civic community is both a broader and narrower concept than civil society. There have been such diverse analyses of civil society that the term may seem to be confusing. So a look at the features of civil society may help to comprehend the subject. Following, Diamond, the features of civil society may be enumerated as follows: First, civil society is the realm of organized social life that is open, voluntary, self generating, at least partially self-supporting, autonomous from the state and bound by a legal order or set of shared rules. It is distinct from "society" in general in that it involves citizens acting collectively in a public sphere. Second, civil society is concerned with public ends rather than private ends. It is an intermediary phenomenon standing between the private sphere and the state. Thus, it excludes parochial society: individual and family life and inward- looking group activity; and it excludes economic society: the profit-making enterprise of individual business firms. Third, civil society is related to the state in some way, but does not seek to control the state; it does not seek to "govern the polity as a whole". Fourth, civil society encompasses pluralism and diversity. It encompasses a vast array of organizations, formal and informal, including economic, cultural, informational and educational, interest groups, developmental, issue-oriented and civic groups. In addition, civil society encompasses what Thomas Metzger calls "the ideological marketplace", the flow of information and ideas, including those which evaluate and critique the state. Fifth, it follows from the fourth that civil society does not seek to represent the complete set of interests of a person or a community. Rather different groups represent or encompass different aspects of interest. Sixth, civil society should be distinguished from the more clearly democracy- enhancing phenomenon of civic community. Diamonds argues that civic community is both a broader and narrower concept than civil society: broader in that it encompasses all manner of associations (parochial included); narrower in that it includes only associations structured horizontally around ties that are more or less mutual, co-operative, symmetrical and trusting.
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Essay on Civil Society: as the realm of organized social life
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Essay On Civil Society: As The Realm Of Organized Social Life

Words: 536    Pages: 2    Paragraphs: 10    Sentences: 26    Read Time: 01:56
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              Civil society is the realm of organized social life that is open, voluntary, self generating, at least partially self-supporting, autonomous from the state and bound by a legal order or set of shared rules. It is distinct from "society" in general in that it involves citizens acting collectively in a public sphere. Second, civil society is concerned with public ends rather than private ends.
             
              It is an intermediary phenomenon standing between the private sphere and the state. Thus, it excludes parochial society: individual and family life and inward- looking group activity; and it excludes economic society: the profit-making enterprise of individual business firms. Third, civil society is related to the state in some way, but does not seek to control the state; it does not seek to "govern the polity as a whole".
             
              Fourth, civil society encompasses pluralism and diversity. It encompasses a vast array of organizations, formal and informal, including economic, cultural, informational and educational, interest groups, developmental, issue-oriented and civic groups. In addition, civil society encompasses what Thomas Metzger calls "the ideological marketplace", the flow of information and ideas, including those which evaluate and critique the state. Diamonds argues that civic community is both a broader and narrower concept than civil society.
             
              There have been such diverse analyses of civil society that the term may seem to be confusing. So a look at the features of civil society may help to comprehend the subject. Following, Diamond, the features of civil society may be enumerated as follows:
             
              First, civil society is the realm of organized social life that is open, voluntary, self generating, at least partially self-supporting, autonomous from the state and bound by a legal order or set of shared rules. It is distinct from "society" in general in that it involves citizens acting collectively in a public sphere.
             
              Second, civil society is concerned with public ends rather than private ends. It is an intermediary phenomenon standing between the private sphere and the state. Thus, it excludes parochial society: individual and family life and inward- looking group activity; and it excludes economic society: the profit-making enterprise of individual business firms.
             
              Third, civil society is related to the state in some way, but does not seek to control the state; it does not seek to "govern the polity as a whole".
             
              Fourth, civil society encompasses pluralism and diversity. It encompasses a vast array of organizations, formal and informal, including economic, cultural, informational and educational, interest groups, developmental, issue-oriented and civic groups. In addition, civil society encompasses what Thomas Metzger calls "the ideological marketplace", the flow of information and ideas, including those which evaluate and critique the state.
             
              Fifth, it follows from the fourth that civil society does not seek to represent the complete set of interests of a person or a community. Rather different groups represent or encompass different aspects of interest.
             
              Sixth, civil society should be distinguished from the more clearly democracy- enhancing phenomenon of civic community. Diamonds argues that civic community is both a broader and narrower concept than civil society: broader in that it encompasses all manner of associations (parochial included); narrower in that it includes only associations structured horizontally around ties that are more or less mutual, co-operative, symmetrical and trusting.
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