In CW1 Learning Journal you have to answer 2 seminar questions, each question from aseparate week and each answer for 1000 words. In this Learning Journal you have to showknowledge and understanding on the topic. Therefore, you must go through the lectures, thereadings and the seminar activities to answer the question. Students will be assessed on howwell they have read and understood the lectures/readings and on their ability to criticallyreflect on a topic, applying it to contemporary issues/examples and making connection withrelated concepts and debates. The answer should be clearly structured with an introduction,conclusion and should have a sequential structure where one sections clearly connects to thenext. Sources should be properly cited.
1. NGOs and the policy process
-Khilnani development of civil society
-Hirschman Exit Voice Loyalty
2. GOs and the aid system
-NGOs without aid.pdf
History and Possibilities
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# in this collection Cambridge University Press 2001
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First published 2001
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A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication data
Civil society: history and possibilities / edited by Sudipta Kaviraj and Sunil Khilnani.
p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. isbn 0 521 63344 3 ± isbn 0 521 00290 7 (pb.) 1. Civil society. I. Kaviraj, Sudipta. II. Khilnani, Sunil, 1960± jc337.c563 2001 301±dc21 00±065176
ISBN 0 521 63344 3 hardback ISBN 0 521 00290 7 paperback
List of contributors page ix
Introduction: Ideas of civil society 1
Part I : Theoretical traditions in the West 9
1 The development of civil society 11
2 Concepts of civil society in pre-modern Europe 33
3 The contemporary political signi®cance of John Locke's conception of civil society 39
4 Civil society in the Scottish Enlightenment 58
5 Enlightenment and the institution of society: notes for a conceptual history 84
keith michael baker
6 Hegel and the economics of civil society 105
gareth stedman jones
7 Civil society and the Marxist tradition 131
Part II : Arguments in the South 147
8 Civil society in an extra-European perspective 149
9 On civil and political society in post-colonial democracies 165
10 Civil society and the fate of the modern republics of Latin America 179
luis castro leiva and anthony pagden
11 The Western concept of civil society in the context of Chinese history 204
thomas a. metzger
12 Civil society, community, and democracy in the Middle East 232
13 Mistaking `governance' for `politics': foreign aid, democracy, and the construction of civil society 250
14 The promise of `civil society' in the South 269
15 In search of civil society 287
1 The development of civil society
Fugitive in its senses, the idea of civil society in®ltrates all efforts to assess the possibilities and threats revealed by the glacial political shifts at the turn of the century. In a period of rising political animosities and mistrust, it has come to express a political desire for greater civility in social relations.1 More ambitiously, in light of the mounting unintellig- ibility of the politically created world, it names a desire for analytically more appropriate categories of understanding. Invoked at the same time as the diagnosis and as the cure for current ills, deployed by conserva- tives, liberals, and radical utopians alike, by oppositional movements and by international aid donors, civil society has become an ideological rendezvous for erstwhile antagonists. It is championed across the globe as `the idea of the late twentieth century'.2
In the West, disillusion with the given `boundaries' of politics and with the restrictions of what are seen as the increasingly decrepit processes of party politics, has provoked interest in civil society as a means of rejuvenating public life.3 In the East, the term has come more narrowly to mean ± besides political and civil liberties ± simply private property rights and markets.4 In the South, the collapse of the theoretical models that
This chapter seeks to sketch the broad parameters of recent discussions of civil society. As such, it draws freely on a host of published studies, as well as on the papers and discussions of the Civil Society seminar held jointly by the School of Oriental and African Studies and Birkbeck College, University of London. I am especially grateful to Sudipta Kaviraj for his help in thinking about the subject, and to Emma Rothschild for her initial suggestion that I should tackle it.
1 Cf. V. Havel, `Politics, Morality, and Civility', Summer Meditations (London: Faber, 1992).
2 National Humanities Center, The Idea of a Civil Society (Humanities Research Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, 1992), p. 1.
3 See C. Maier (ed.), The Changing Boundaries of the Political (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987); J. Keane, Democracy and Civil Society (London: Verso, 1988); J. Cohen and A. Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1992); and for a somewhat different use of the idea of civil society, see P. Hirst, Associative Democracy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993).
4 See P. G. Lewis (ed.), Democracy and Civil Society in Eastern Europe (Basingstoke: Macmillan); E. Hankiss, Eastern European Alternatives (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
12 Sunil Khilnani
dominated post-Second World War understandings of politics there has given new currency to the idea of civil society: intellectuals in India and in Latin America, in the Middle East and in China, Africa and South East Asia, are all infusing new and complex life into the category.5 Inter- national agencies and lenders too have turned their attention to this idea. In an effort to accelerate and increase the ef®ciency of development tasks, they now seek ways to by-pass the central state and to assist directly what they identify as the constituents of civil society: private enterprises and organizations, church and denominational associations, self-employed workers' co-operatives and unions, and the vast ®eld of NGOs, all have attracted external interest. They have come to be seen as essential to the construction of what are assumed to be the social preconditions for more accountable, public, and representative forms of political power.6 To all who invoke it, civil society incarnates a desire to recover for society powers ± economic, social, expressive ± believed to have been illegiti- mately usurped by states.
Although central to classical Western political theory, the concept of civil society was largely moribund during the days when models of state- led modernization dominated both liberal and Marxist conceptions of social change and development. It was recovered during the late 1970s and 1980s, as these models disintegrated. Civil society seemed to promise something better and available: it was democracy and prosperity, auton- omy and the means to exercise it. Yet, in those regions that have emerged from authoritarian rule or from close political regulation of the economy ± that is, in regions which seemed to have created what were assumed to be the preconditions for the emergence of a civil society ± the picture has been much darker. The common pattern has been the appearance of a multiplicity of non-negotiable identities and colliding self-righteous
1990); C. Kukathas, D. W. Lovell, and W. Malay, Transition from Socialism (Melbourne: Longman Chesire, 1991): R. Rose. `Eastern Europe's Need for a Civil Economy' (unpublished MS, 1992).
5 See M. A Garreton, `Political Democratisation in Latin America and the Crisis of Paradigms', in J. Manor (ed.), Rethinking Third World Politics (Harlow: Longmans, 1991). See also, for the Indian case, the work of Rajni Kothari: State Against Democracy (Delhi: Ajanta Publications, 1988); for the Middle East, see Zubaida's chapter in this volume; for a discussion of the Southern African case, see T. Ranger, `Civil Society in Southern Africa', paper presented to Civil Society seminar, Birkbeck College and SOAS, London; for Sub-Saharan Africa, see the Introduction and J.-F. Bayart, `Civil Society in Africa', in P. Chabal (ed.), Political Domination in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
6 See G. Hawthorn, `Sub-Saharan Africa', in D. Held (ed.), Prospects for Democracy (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993), pp. 343 and 354: see also World Bank, The Social Dimensions of Structural Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa (Washington: World Bank, 1989), cited by Hawthorn, `Sub-Saharan Africa'.
The development of civil society 13
beliefs, not a plural representation of malleable interests. Civil society remains as distant and precarious an ambition as ever.
Is it a coherent and possible one? As commonly understood today, is it an idea that may usefully guide and in¯uence strategies designed to accomplish `transitions'? In the burgeoning literature on transitions, two models dominate: on the one hand, a `shock-therapy' model, which advocates the sudden institution of, for example, free markets in goods and services, and on the other hand, a `gradualist' model, which stresses the importance of maintaining stable political structures and which emphasizes the unintended results of actions.7 The very notion of `transition' has, however, itself lost much of its coherence: it implies a determinate end-state, yet at no time since the establishment of the professional social sciences has there been a weaker and more indetermi- nate conception of what exactly populations and their territories are changing to, or can reasonably hope for.8 Can the category of `civil society' serve ± as Ralf Dahrendorf claimed ± as the conceptual and practical `key' to such transitions?9 Do the disparate uses of the term amount to a determinate normative ideal? More importantly, are there resources within the concept's history, which can, for current conditions, relevantly specify the causal agencies and capacities needed to achieve and maintain this ideal? Finally, does `civil society' name a systemic entity, an institutional package, or is it most appropriately used to describe a particular set of human capacities and modes of conduct, always only contingently available (even in places where it does, at present, happen to exist)?
In contemporary discussions, there is no agreement about the proper location of the sources of civil society, sources which ought to and actually can restrain and moderate the state. One response, which for convenience might be called a `liberal' position, sees the effective powers of civil society as basically residing in the economy, in property rights and markets where such rights may be freely exchanged. Another view, a `radical' position, locates civil society in a `society' independent of the economic domain and the state, where ideas are publicly exchanged,
7 Both of these models can be found in Adam Smith's An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), the classic analysis of the processes of transition from pre- commercial to commercial society.
8 Despite exhortations such as F. Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Free Press, 1991).
9 R. Dahrendorf, Re¯ections on the Revolution in Europe (London: Chatto, 1990), p. 93. Cf. also J. Cohen and A. Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory, p. 2: `if we are to understand the dramatic changes occurring in Latin America and Eastern Europe in particular, the concept of civil society is indispensable [especially] if we are to understand the stakes of these “transitions to democracy'' as well as the self-understanding of the relevant actors'.
14 Sunil Khilnani
associations freely formed, and interests discovered. Finally, a `conserva- tive' position prefers to see it as residing in a set of cultural acquisitions, in historically inherited manners of civility which moderate relations between groups and individuals: unlike the previous two positions, adherents of this view do not see these acquisitions as being necessarily universally available.10 Each of these domains ± economy, society, culture ± is portrayed by its respective advocates as a domain of special authenticity and ef®cacy which ought to limit the state, and which can accomplish more effectively what states have tried, often with pathetic success, to do for themselves.
Historical pedigrees may be found for each of these views concerning the development of civil society, yet each also betrays a historical partiality and thinness. The purpose of this chapter is to sketch some of the general themes of this book, which hope to caution against such thinness and partiality, and to urge a richer historical sense upon all current efforts directed at the development of civil societies. The ®rst part brie¯y considers three decisive moments in the historical development of the concept: John Locke, the Scottish theorists of commercial society, and Hegel. Each had distinct (if in some respects overlapping) visions, and each had a causal account of how their vision might be secured. Their assumptions may today appear implausible; but contemporary advocates of the idea of civil society must at the very least match these causal ambitions. The second part of the chapter considers the signi®- cance of the category of civil society, both as an analytic tool and as a critical, regulative principle for the politics of the South. Taken at its boldest, the idea of civil society embodies the epic of Western modernity: as such, it raises questions about the signi®cance of the historical experience of Western politics for societies that possess their own cultural and historical logics, yet which have by no means remained untouched by the peculiar Western saga. Is the combination of liberal democracy and civil society a necessary fate for inhabitants of the modern West, but of little or no relevance to the East or the South?11 In what respects might the experience of the West be relevant to these regions? The point is not one about the replicability of institutions and practices, in the manner that modernization theory once assumed was possible, but about the possibility of identifying a common set of goals and purposes, perhaps
10 Cf. F. Mount, Times Literary Supplement, 15 October 1993: `the grammar of civility has been neglected . . . it is the absence of this moral conversation ± and the habitual acceptance of personal obligations arising out of it ± which we lament in the ex- Communist states of Central and Eastern Europe: the way we put it is that “they lack civil society'' '.
11 J. Gray, Post-Liberalism (London: Routledge, 1993), chs. 14 and 20; and see my review article, The Political Quarterly, 64, no. 4 (1993), pp. 481±4.
The development of civil society 15
best described by the idea of political accountability.12 Attempts to strengthen `democratization' and political accountability have assumed that this can be accomplished through the introduction of constitutions, competitive political parties, and markets and property rights. These are taken to constitute a coherent and stable mix for securing autonomy and prosperity, the modern liberty that Benjamin Constant characterized as the liberty to live as one pleases.13 But the category `civil society' can introduce a new complexity and sharpness to assessments of the dif®cul- ties facing democracy in the South, both in establishing preconditions and dealing with consequences.
In the early post-Second World War decades, the concept of civil society received no signi®cant attention in the West. It played no structural role in the arguments during the 1950s of liberal political theorists like Isaiah Berlin, Jacob Talmon, or Karl Popper, all of whom were defenders of liberal values and of individual liberty and all of whom wished to specify the proper sphere and limits of political authority. Berlin, for example, in his classic essay, `Two Concepts of Liberty', insisted that `a frontier must be drawn between the area of private life and that of public authority': likewise Talmon, in distinguishing the liberal from the totalitarian conception of democracy, claimed that the former `recognizes a variety of levels of personal and collective endeavour, which are altogether outside the sphere of politics'.14 Both vividly portrayed the dangers of `absolute politics', and both sought to circumscribe the boundaries of politics: yet neither felt any particular need to invoke the idea of civil society. During the same period, critics of the Left likewise found the term of little interest. Marxists, both orthodox and dissident, used it negatively: it was identi®ed with `bourgeois society', a realm of contradiction and mysti®ca- tion sustained by relations of power. Civil society, understood as bourgeois society, was seen as the sphere of needs, inextricably linked to the productive base of capitalist society, and in need of constant police and regulation by the state. Members of the Frankfurt School, in¯uenced
12 See J. Lonsdale, `Political Accountability in African History', in P. Chabal (ed.), Political Domination in Africa (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986).
13 See B. Constant, `The Liberty of the Ancients Compared with that of the Moderns', in Political Writings, trans. and ed. by B. Fontana (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988).
14 I. Berlin, `Two Concepts of Liberty' (1958), in Four Essays on Liberty (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969), p. 124: and cf. p. 127, J. Talmon, The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy (1952) (London, 1972 edn), p. 1.
16 Sunil Khilnani
by LukaÂcs's interpretation of Hegel, saw the concept as a prism through which the contradictions and con¯icts of capitalism were refracted. The term played no role in critiques of Left totalitarianism which stressed the distortions produced by unbridled state power: Herbert Marcuse, for example, made no use of the category in his in¯uential study of Soviet Marxism.
A serious revival of the term did, however, begin on the Left. In the late 1960s, it gained popularity among radicals disaffected with Marxism. The existing structures of Left politics (dominated by Communist Parties) were rejected, in favour of `social movements' ± these were seen as more authentic embodiments of social demands and interests. Equally, the recovery of Antonio Gramsci's work was a vital spur: his modi®ca- tion of the arrangements of Marx's schema of base and superstructure gave the concept of civil society ± applied to Western Europe ± a wholly novel centrality.15 The consequence of Gramsci's relocation of civil society, at the level of the superstructure, along with the state, and his claim that it was the site of decisive struggle for hegemony, provoked a reorientation towards cultural critique. The term ®nally went into orbit during the late 1970s and 1980s, after its adoption by groups and intellectuals agitating against the authoritarian states and regimes in Eastern Europe (especially Poland) and Latin America. Most recently, the idea of civil society has appealed to those who wish to sustain the project of a `post-modern utopianism', to reconcile socialism and democ- racy. In these usages, `civil society' is employed to designate a conception richer than `constitutional representative democracy': it is seen as a supplement ± and not a substitute ± to the perceived illegitimacies of this system. Conversely, it is also seen as a means of establishing a more integrated relationship between socialism and democracy.16 From this perspective, civil society is understood as a term that identi®es the sociological underpinnings of modern democracy. It follows that the historic inability of socialism to ®nd a democratic form for itself has come implicitly to be explained as largely a consequence of its theoretical ignorance of and practical antagonism towards civil society. For Left radicals, it has thus become a handy term which at once both helps them to acclimatize to liberal political theory, and allows them to revive doctrines of popular sovereignty.
15 See N. Bobbio, `Gramsci and the Conception of Civil Society', in Which Socialism? (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1987).
16 Cf. Keane, Democracy and Civil Society; Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory; and C. Mouffe (ed.), Dimensions of Radical Democracy (London: Verso, 1992), which claims that such categories as civil society and citizenship can produce `a radicalization of the modern democratic tradition' (p. 1).
The development of civil society 17
These rediscoveries of the idea of civil society obscure its historical depth. A typical example of such oversight is manifest in Jean Cohen and Andrew Arato's large volume on the subject, which gives barely seven pages (out of nearly 800) to consideration of the pre-Hegelian idioms which bear on the idea of civil society.17 However, as the following chapters make clear, the languages of Roman law, classical republi- canism, Pufendorf and the natural law tradition, Locke, Montesquieu, the theorists of commercial society, as well as Hegel and the nineteenth- century traditions of civil associations and guild socialism, are all essential components of any historically informed understanding of the idea. These different historical strands often cut against one another rather than combining into a single continuous conceptual history. Restrictions in historical perspective have often promoted confusion in contemporary understanding, which instinctively tends to de®ne civil society in opposition to the state, and to propose a misleading zero-sum relation between the two. Civil society is not a new, post-Hegelian concept. It is a much older term, which entered into English usage via the Latin translation, societas civilis, of Aristotle's koinonia politike. In its original sense, it allowed no distinction between `state' and `society' or between political and civil society: it simply meant a community, a collection of human beings united within a legitimate political order, and was variously rendered as `society' or `community'.18 It was Hegel who ®rst bifurcated the concept, but in a way whereby state and civil society functioned in his account as redescriptions of one another.19
If civil society is de®ned in opposition to the `state' then, as Norberto Bobbio has noted, `it is dif®cult to provide a positive de®nition of “civil society'' because it is a question of listing everything that has been left over, after limiting the sphere of the state'. But such attempts to substantialize de®nitions of civil society are unhelpful. Civil society is not best thought of as the theoretical speci®cation of a substantive model, which actual societies must then strive to approximate. Historically, the term has been de®ned in opposition to several antonyms. In the Anglo- Scottish and French idioms that surround the term, civil society (along with cognate terms) was generally opposed to the condition of despotism and barbarism, or to natural society.20 In these traditions, the problem of
17 Cohen and Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory. 18 See A. Black, this volume; and N. Bobbio, `Civil Society', in Democracy and Dictatorship
(Cambridge: Polity Press, 1989). 19 Hegel himself ignored the pre-modern and natural law history of the concept, as well as
its place in Aristotle's Politics: see M. Reidel ` “State'' and “Civil Society'': Linguistic Context and Historical Origin', in Between Tradition and Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), pp. 133±4.
20 Cf. J. Starobinski, `Le Mot Civilisation', Le RemeÁde dans le mal (Paris: Gallimard, 1989).
18 Sunil Khilnani
the appropriate boundaries between political and civil authority, between public and private, has tended to be discussed in a number of political languages: rights, constitutionalism, mixed government, the rule of law, markets, and the division of labour (all of which may be taken to provide part of the content of civil society). In the German tradition, on the other hand, civil society has generally been situated in opposition either to community or to the state.21
Three moments in the historical development of the term have been of particular signi®cance: the ideas of John Locke, the Scottish theorists of commercial society, and Hegel. For Locke, the fundamental contrast de®ning a civil society was the state of nature: a predicament in which deeply held individual beliefs about how to act collided, and where there could be no authoritative answer to the question, `who will be judge?'. A civil society was one purged as effectively as possible of this condition.22
Locke made no separation between civil society, and political society ± in no sense was civil society conceived of as distinct from an entity termed `the state'. Rather, a civil society was a term accorded to a benign state, a legitimate political order. Locke, in John Dunn's words, `distinguished sharply between true civil societies in which governmental power derives in more or less determinate ways from the consent of their citizens, and political units which possess at least equivalent concentrations of coercive power but in which there is neither the recognition nor the reality of any dependence of governmental power upon popular consent'.23 The Lockean conception of a legitimate political order, however, was vastly different from our own post-Hobbesian conception of the state as an impersonal structure of authority. Committed to a strongly individualist conception, Locke saw political legitimacy as founded upon unbroken chains of personal trust. A legitimate political society was one in which the modality of human interaction was trust: trust was not a variably chosen strategy, contingent upon circumstances, but the very premise of such an order. Both rulers and ruled conceived of governmental power as a trust, and the psychic relation between ruled and rulers was governed by relations of trust. As Dunn has emphasized, what must strike us about Locke's conception was his willingness to entangle two issues which modern traditions of political understanding commonly treat as radically disparate: `the psychic and practical relations between individual citizens
21 Ferdinand ToÈnnies, Gemeinschaft und Gesellschaft (Leipzig, 1887), is the classic statement of this distinction. See J. Samples, `Kant, ToÈnnies and the Liberal Idea of Community in German Sociology',History of Political Thought, vol. 8, no. 2 (1987), pp. 245±62.
22 J. Dunn, this volume. 23 J. Dunn, `Trust and Political Agency', in D. Gambetta (ed.), Trust (Oxford: Blackwell,
1988), p. 83.
The development of civil society 19
across the space of private life, and the structural relations between bureaucratic governments and the subjects over whom they rule'.24 He wished above all to resist the depersonalization and demoralization of political authority which he saw as characteristic of his times.
In contrast to the state of nature, Locke understood civil society as a condition where there exist known standing laws, judges, and effective powers of enforcement. Such a condition was necessarily a skilled and precarious political achievement: it did not in any way represent the truth of a developmental process or a theoretical system. For Locke, `a civilized society was not an essentially systemic entity: it was simply an aggre- gation of civilized human beings', that is, a society of human beings who had succeeded in disciplining their conduct.25 If there was to be any possibility of securing a civilized society, certain minimal conditions were clearly necessary: these included a representative political order, a system of private property rights, and toleration of freedom of worship (although this did not, for Locke, extend to freedom of speech or to toleration of atheism).26 The creation of such a civilized habitat could also, no doubt, in part be helped by processes of socialization, by the inculcation of a `penal conception of the self '.27 But such processes could never be comprehensive or entirely successful, for Locke `saw no reas- suring array of automatic mechanisms, either within the individual human psyche, in a human society at large, or in the organization of people's productive activities, that ensured the provisions of such bene®t'.28 Unlike many later theorists, Locke gave no primacy to some special mechanism ± for example, the market or the division of labour ± which could engender and sustain a civilized society. Furthermore, such a society was not one where individuals were at liberty to live as they pleased: rather, it was a space where individuals could ful®l the injunc- tions of the Chri
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