Bottom-Up Approaches to Civil Society
In Chapter 3, we evaluated two prominent models of civil society that approach the concept from the “top down.” These models began with overarching theories of the socio-political realm and, with that structure in mind, explain civil society’s place in those overarching theories. We found defi ciencies in both of these models. First, the model implicit in John Rawls’s A Theory of Justice cannot generate the required liberal democratic political culture without resorting to coercion. Second, the model proposed by Jean Cohen and Andrew Arato would, through democratization and equalization, destroy just those elements of civil society that generate and sustain the required virtues, principles, and practices.