The "Long History" of Civil Society in Denmark and Western Europe: Civil Society – in the Shadow of the State (Eighteenth to the Twenty-first Century)

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This chapter presents an analysis of the rise and development of modern civil society in Denmark. It presents “the long history” of the Danish civil society and its special trajectory, but it also contextualizes Denmark as a state in Western Europe. The theoretical and methodological framework is inspired by G.W.F. Hegel’s work on civil society. Hegel’s conceptualization of the modern state and civil society is the point of departure for presenting the development and trajectory of the Danish civil society from the late eighteenth century to the twenty-first century. The chapter demonstrates that Denmark, like most European states, developed a civil society that gradually emerged in the eighteenth century. The chapter also shows that the Danish civil society took on a special trajectory from the nineteenth century and onwards. The state supported the civil society, and the civil society associations became a vital part of the development of the welfare state in the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCivil Society : Between Concepts and Empirical Grounds
EditorsLiv Egholm, Lars Bo Kaspersen
Number of pages22
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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