Civil Society and the Civilizing Mission

Maj Grasten

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    This chapter starts with the liberal conception of a "global civil society". The globalization of the concept of civil society is one aspect of the emergent global civil society, for it shows how civil society ideas and languages and institutions are spreading beyond their place of origin into new contexts. There are two problems in the predominantly liberal conception of global civil society, arising from its emphasis on rule and space. The chapter argues for a critical approach to (global) civil society that reveals how the concept is used as a justificatory discourse in making new political spaces and distributing power. It focuses on dominant international legal thinkers and the entangled history of sovereignty-property. In particular, the chapter traces the entangled history of sovereignty/property in the context of European colonial expansion, when the idea of civil society gained traction as ideology and apology for European colonial expansion and occupation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCivil Society : Between Concepts and Empirical Grounds
    EditorsLiv Egholm, Lars Bo Kaspersen
    Number of pages15
    Place of PublicationAbingdon
    Publication date2021
    ISBN (Print)9780367340957
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429323881
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    SeriesRoutledge Advances In Sociology

    Bibliographical note

    Published November 30, 2020.

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