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Languages of Civil Society

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Volume 1

Studies on Civil Society

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Languages of Civil Society

Edited by Peter Wagner

264 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-118-9 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (May 2006)

ISBN  978-1-84545-119-6 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (May 2006)

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“Overall, this is an insightful book, which will be of relevance to academics and students in the fields of political theory, philosophy and history. Besides a fine example of historical and theoretical analysis, those interested in civil society debates will find in this volume a wide range of arguments for reflection.”  ·  In-Spire Book Reviews


The past two decades have witnessed a revival of the concept of ‘civil society’. From East Central Europe to Latin America and East Asia to the recent calls for a ‘European civil society’ and a ‘global civil society’, the concept signifies the need for national and supra–national forms of civic commitment against both unjustified state domination and neo–liberal marketization. Reviewing the long history of the concept, its use in various regional contexts and its place in critical political theory, this book takes comprehensive stock of these debates and asks about the potential of the concept of civil society in guiding political transformations towards fuller understandings of liberty and democracy.

Peter Wagner is Professor of Social and Political Theory at the European University Institute, Florence, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick. His publications in social and political philosophy and historical and political sociology include A Sociology of Modernity (1994), Theorizing Modernity (2001), A History and Theory of the Social Sciences (2001), and The Political Constitution of Modern Capitalism (co–editor, forthcoming 2005).

Subject: Cultural Studies (General)Political and Economic Anthropology


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