Two Theoretical Conceptions of Civil Society Marxist/“Gramscian” (A. Gramsci, 1891-1937) • Gramsci nuances earlier conception Neo-Tocquevillian (A. de Tocqueville, 1805-1859) • Dominant tradition in current literature and the one we will explore today
What is “Civil Society,” Anyway? Adapted from Ekiert & Kubik (1999) and Edwards (2005): • Specific social space or sphere between household (domestic society) and the state (the public sphere) • A set or system of specific social groups. "Civil society" is defined as a set or system of self-organized intermediary groups (i.e., associational life) • Normative idea; collective vision to mobilize people against a oppressive regime or a representation of the “good community” (think Norman Rockwell)
Nuancing Civil Society Further: • Exclusive/inclusive 2. Mobilized/demobilized 3. “Third” sector—civil society or not?
Institutions!!! (II) Distinctions encountered in the readings: • Formal/informal • Elite/mass • Strongly/weakly institutionalized
Political Culture Anthropologist Clifford Geertz famously defined the human as “an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.” (I.e., “culture” is the web.) BUT WHAT IS POLITCAL CULTURE???
Political Culture II Political culture is (adapted and elaborated from http://www.docslide.com/american-political-culture/): A patterned set of ways of thinking about how politics and governance should be carried out. It includes beliefs, values and opinions people have about how well the state or government works, how much influence they have, and how tolerant they are of dissenting beliefs.
Political Culture III Why does it matter? How does it matter? Distinctions: • Elite/mass • Congruent/fractionalized • Mobilized/quiescent