The idea (1) of global civil society
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The idea (1) of global civil society book
The idea of a ‘global civil society’ has now become a common place term of the popular imagination. Starting with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war in 1989, the vision of a growing web of voluntary civic associations engaged in dialogue, debate and struggle over the unfolding direction of the economic and political organization of the world has been a powerful one. This vision has provided us with explanations of the collapse of communism (Keane 2001b), of the demise of rich-country initiatives such as the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (Johnston and Laxer 2003), and even of some of the limits to globalization as demonstrated by such events as the ‘Battle of Seattle’ (Scholte 2000a). It has also invested in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) a new legitimacy based on their political claim to represent citizens more adequately than traditional political institutions (Chandhoke 2002).