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Comparative Politics

2003

Democracy

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Rethinking Civil Society, Cas Mudde Dec 2002

Rethinking Civil Society, Cas Mudde

Cas Mudde

Most studies of civil society are mainly normative, both in their conceptualization and in their theoretical assumptions. We suggest a new, or better revised, research agenda of the study of civil society, which should include (at least) these four points. First, the concept of civil society should be seen as a heuristic device. Second, the separation between ‘civil society’ and ‘uncivil society’ makes sense only in a normative framework, and then exclusively with uncivil society defined as a sub-set of civil society. Third, empirical research on civil society should study the nature of the relationship between civil society organizations and ...