Global Civil Society (global + civil_society)

Distribution by Scientific Domains


Selected Abstracts


The Role of Communication in Global Civil Society: Forces, Processes, Prospects

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY, Issue 3 2001
Edward Comor
The author examines the concept of global civil society (GCS) through the use of theoretical tools and empirical evidence related to the study of International Communication. He demonstrates that scholarship on GCS tends to simplify the process through which information becomes knowledge and that the state system,GCS relationship often is presented in terms of an ahistorical power dichotomy. In relation to these problems, what the author calls "GCS progressives" tend to underplay political-economic factors shaping GCS, including the implications of structural power; they tend to emphasize the importance of spatial integration while neglecting related changes in temporal norms; and, more essentially, they often under-theorize the importance of socialization processes and relatively unmediated relationships in the ongoing construction of "reality." The author concludes that through a more focused analysis,concentrating on how new technologies can be used to organize nationally and locally, and on lifestyle changes associated with communications developments,more precise analyses and fruitful strategies for GCS progressives may emerge. [source]


Problems in the Theorisation of Global Civil Society

POLITICAL STUDIES, Issue 5 2002
Gideon Baker
Existing theories of global civil society are problematical for two reasons. First, they assume that transnational organisations can assist world-wide democratisation without questioning either the representativeness of such organisations, or their accountability, or the potentially negative ramifications of their actions for international political equality. Second, despite placing new emphasis on political agency outside of the state, many accounts of global civil society ultimately reproduce statist discourse by reducing action in global civil society to a struggle for rights. This misrepresents global civil society since arguments for rights are, inter alia, arguments for the state, whereas the agency of global civil society immanently questions the legitimacy of the state. [source]


From Local to Global to Transnational Civil Society: Re-Framing Development Perspectives on the Non-State Sector

GEOGRAPHY COMPASS (ELECTRONIC), Issue 6 2007
Cathy McIlwaine
This article outlines the meanings of civil society covering theoretical and development policy debates. It traces the evolution of conceptualisations of civil society noting how diversity in type, function and scale are critical in understanding these changes. The role of non-governmental organisations within development policy is explored highlighting how the euphoria over civil society has been tempered over time, reflecting how Gramscian interpretations have begun to replace neo-Tocquevillian viewpoints. The article also examines how civil society operates over different scales from local to global to transnational, assessing and critiquing the rise of global civil society or what is more appropriately called ,transnational civil society'. The article finishes by highlighting the importance of diasporic civil society in relation to migrant groups especially from a development viewpoint as well as the need for more research on this issue. Conceptually, the article argues for a more sophisticated Gramscian interpretation of civil society that also recognises the importance of spatiality in the complex interpenetration between an increasingly extra-territorialised state and an increasingly transnational civil society. Thus, it presents a re-framing of development perspectives on the non-state sector from local to global to transnational scales. [source]


The Role of Communication in Global Civil Society: Forces, Processes, Prospects

INTERNATIONAL STUDIES QUARTERLY, Issue 3 2001
Edward Comor
The author examines the concept of global civil society (GCS) through the use of theoretical tools and empirical evidence related to the study of International Communication. He demonstrates that scholarship on GCS tends to simplify the process through which information becomes knowledge and that the state system,GCS relationship often is presented in terms of an ahistorical power dichotomy. In relation to these problems, what the author calls "GCS progressives" tend to underplay political-economic factors shaping GCS, including the implications of structural power; they tend to emphasize the importance of spatial integration while neglecting related changes in temporal norms; and, more essentially, they often under-theorize the importance of socialization processes and relatively unmediated relationships in the ongoing construction of "reality." The author concludes that through a more focused analysis,concentrating on how new technologies can be used to organize nationally and locally, and on lifestyle changes associated with communications developments,more precise analyses and fruitful strategies for GCS progressives may emerge. [source]


Problems in the Theorisation of Global Civil Society

POLITICAL STUDIES, Issue 5 2002
Gideon Baker
Existing theories of global civil society are problematical for two reasons. First, they assume that transnational organisations can assist world-wide democratisation without questioning either the representativeness of such organisations, or their accountability, or the potentially negative ramifications of their actions for international political equality. Second, despite placing new emphasis on political agency outside of the state, many accounts of global civil society ultimately reproduce statist discourse by reducing action in global civil society to a struggle for rights. This misrepresents global civil society since arguments for rights are, inter alia, arguments for the state, whereas the agency of global civil society immanently questions the legitimacy of the state. [source]


Transnational political action and ,global civil society' in practice: the case of Oxfam

GLOBAL NETWORKS, Issue 3 2009
CRAIG BERRY
Abstract The term ,global civil society' has taken on increasing significance within scholarly debate over the past decade. In this article we seek to understand transnational political agency via the study of a particular transnational actor, Oxfam. We argue that various schools of thought surrounding the global civil society concept, in particular the prevailing liberal-cosmopolitan approach, are unable to conceptualize transnational political action in practice , due largely, in the case of liberal-cosmopolitanism, to a shared normative agenda. We also assess what contribution literature on development and civil society has made to the analysis of groups such as Oxfam. In investigating Oxfam's own perceptions of its context and the meanings of its agency, we discover an anti-political perspective derived from an encounter between Oxfam's longstanding commitment to liberal internationalism and globalization discourse. Existing scholarship has insufficiently identified the local or parochial nature of the identities of global civil society actors. [source]


Unsettling connections: transnational networks, development and African home associations

GLOBAL NETWORKS, Issue 2 2009
CLAIRE MERCER
Abstract With the transnational turn in the social sciences attention has now turned to ,global civil society', ,transnational civil society', ,transnational networks' and, most recently, ,migrant' or ,diasporic civil society'. Claims are being made about the developmental potential of these new configurations of civil society, and the global connections forged by migrant and diaspora associational life have been reified into things called ,networks' for the purpose of enrolling them into development policy. In this article, we challenge the network model through an analysis of transnational Cameroonian and Tanzanian home associations. The idea of a network suggests an overly robust and ordered set of linkages for what are in effect often loose and transient connections. African home associations draw attention to the historically-embedded and mundane ways in which forms of associational life can be ,transnational' outside the formalized structures and Eurocentric development hierarchies created by international NGOs and other development institutions. Although they form largely invisible connections operating outside these hierarchies, African home associations unsettle assumptions about the geography of civil society and its relationship with development. Close attention to the histories and geographies of African home associations reveals that power and agency more often lie with migrants and elites within Africa than with the transnational diaspora. [source]