John Keane | Civil Society: Monitory Democracy and Media in John Keane
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Civil Society: Monitory Democracy and Media in John Keane

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An English synopsis of the PhD by Ramón Feenstra
University Jaume I of Castellon (Spain)

January 2010

There are essentially two basic reasons for the preeminent position that
reflection on civil society has acquired among theorists of democracy today. The first of these is directly linked to the problems and crises experienced by different types of state, whether communist, military or welfare, in the contexts of the former Eastern bloc, Latin America or Western Europe, respectively. The second reason is directly related to the process of globalisation and the increase in cross-border problems that go beyond the frontiers and the regulatory capacity of nation-states.
Since the 1980s, the current context of political thought has been marked by the
vigorous resurgence of the concept of civil society that, although used by some political theorists, had fallen into disuse throughout the second half of the 20th century.

What is new about reflection on civil society is that the growth of global interrelationships and the globalisation process have led to a situation in which many democratic theories no longer focus exclusively on the regulatory role of the state, and open up the way for opportunities offered by a global civil society.

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