Arab liberalisms: translating civil society, prioritising democracy

This article examines some of the earliest engagements of Arab thinkers with the now global idea of civil society. It focuses on Arab liberal thinkers who encounter ?civil society? as something that must be interpreted in order to be understood and view ?translation? as part of that process of interpretation. I argue that the ?transition phase? of contestation amidst loosely formulated, partially translated understandings of ?civil society? both proves productive for the transformation and appropriation of the concept, and reveals the constraints of democratic theorising in the context of Arab liberalism
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DOI 10.1080/1369823042000235976
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