The idea of civil society is gathering momentum today as the search continues for forms of democracy outside of what is often seen as a discredited state. But what can we really expect from civil society? In particular, could citizen self-organization ''beneath'' the state provide for the democratic self-determination that so many feel is lacking in modern society, despite promises to the contrary from liberal democracies?
This book explores these pressing and topical questions by introducing radically alternative models of civil society that have been developed outside the liberal democratic frame of reference, models which suggest that civil society does offer new and non-statist democratic possibilities. Drawing on a wide range of civil society theory-practice from Eastern Europe and Latin America (including the Zapatistas in Mexico), and from visions of global civil society too, this book is uniquely positioned to consider the questions posed by these alternative voices for democratic theory and practice.
* Are there alternatives to the liberal democratic vision of civil society?
* Is a democracy located in civil society rather than the state either possible or desirable?
* How and why has the concept of civil society come to be used so widely today?
* Can global civil society further the struggle for democracy initiated by national civil societies?