The Idea of Civil Society in the South: Imaginings, Transplants, Designs

Science and Society 69 (3):458 - 486 (2005)
The genealogy of the most influential understanding of the term "civil society" can be traced to what has been described as the "Americanization" of the concept in the last two decades. Through the instrumentalization of this neo-Tocquevillian conception of "civil society," a new social space is being designed in the global South. With the growing flow between academic theories and knowledge and the world of aid agencies, policies and practical politics, civil society is becoming a means to an end — democratization, economic growth or sustainable development — rather than an end in itself.
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