♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-13 Understanding the State

♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-13 Understanding the State

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30 Understanding the State UNIT 13 STATE, CIVIL SOCIETY AND COMMUNITY Structure 13.0 Objectives 13.1 Introduction 13.2 Meanings and Relationship 13.2.1 State and Civil Society 13.2.2 Democracy and Civil Society 13.2.3 Community and Civil Society 13.3 Characteristic Features of Civil Society 13.4 Let Us Sum Up 13.5 Some Useful References 13.6 Answers to Checks Your Progress Exercises 13.0 OBJECTIVES This unit deals with the theories of civil society and its relationship with the state and the community. After reading this unit, you will be able to: Know the meanings and theories of civil society; Understand the reasons of its origin; Comprehend the relationship between civil society and community; and Assess the significance of civil society for democracy 13.1 INTRODUCTION The concepts of state, civil society and community are very important in social sciences, especially in the discipline of Political Science. Any debate on democracy, rights, citizenship, social capital, etc., is related to these phenomena. What is the relationship between the particular and the universal rights? How the citizens are able to enjoy their rights, achieve basic development depend on the role the state, the civil society and the community play. There exists conflicting opinion on their relevance to democracy and development. In the following section, you will understand these concepts and their relationship. 13.2 MEANINGS AND RELATIONSHIPS 13.2.1 State and Civil Society You have already read about the meaning and the nature of the state in Unit 11. We shall not repeat it here. In this sub-section, we shall discuss straight the nature of relationships between the civil society and the state. The state is among the most important concepts discussed in political theory. As you know, the state is distinct from other associations of the society, i.e., government, civil society, community, nation, etc. According to the liberal tradition, the state is supposed to remove the constraints for the development of the society as well as provide measures for social welfare. On the other hand, the Marxist tradition views the state as partisan to the propertied classes. With the concept of civil society gaining currency, the relationship of the state to the civil society has again occupied an important place in the discourse of political theory.
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31 State, Civil Society and Community Recently, especially from the 1980s onwards, the concept of civil society has acquired a special significance in the discourse on political theory. The rise of new social movements having their organisations, structure and ideology aiming at social change and development in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have generated interest in the civil society. Both these developments show the erosion in the credibility of the state and emergence of parallel centres of power. The origin and evolution of the civil society owes a lot to its relationship with the state. As you have read above,
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This note was uploaded on 03/13/2012 for the course IR 101 taught by Professor Harfancoofers during the Spring '12 term at Sunway University College.

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♥Political Ideas and Ideologies Unit-13 Understanding the State

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