Bruce Sievers In The Place of the Arts in Multi-focus FoundationsBruce Sievers writes that the rationale for supporting both the arts and the nonprofit sector as a whole is integrally linked to their capacity to advance pluralism, promote voluntary action, accommodate diversity, and champion individual visions of the public good. As Sievers reported, the group of foundation leaders who gathered in June found that civil society was a useful conceptual framework for their discussion of the place of the arts in their institutions. Strengths of nonprofit arts activity were seen to be essential features of a healthy civil society. Especially today, with civil society so closely linked with themes in Barack Obama's administration, a familiarity with the many meanings of civil society becomes a valuable underpinning for understanding and promoting the role of arts and culture.
Western antiquity[ edit ] The concept of civil society in its pre-modern classical republican understanding is usually connected to the early-modern thought of Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. However, it has much older history in the realm of political thought.
Generally, civil society has been referred to as a political association governing social conflict through the imposition of rules that restrain citizens from harming one another. The concept of societas civilis is Roman and was introduced by Cicero.
The philosophers in the classical period did not make any distinction between the state and society. In addition, human beings have the capacity to voluntarily gather for the common cause and maintain peace in society.
By holding this view, we can say that classical political thinkers endorsed the genesis of civil society in its original sense. The Middle Ages saw major changes in the topics discussed by political philosophers.
Due to the unique political arrangements of feudalismthe concept of classical civil society practically disappeared from mainstream discussion. Instead conversation was dominated by problems of just wara preoccupation that would last until the end of Renaissance.
Pre-modern history[ edit ] The Thirty Years' War and the subsequent Treaty of Westphalia heralded the birth of the sovereign states system.
The Treaty endorsed states as territorially-based political units having sovereignty. As a result, the monarchs were able to exert domestic control by emasculating the feudal lords and to stop relying on the latter for armed troops. In order to meet administrative expenditures, monarchs controlled the economy.
This gave birth to absolutism.
These questions led them to make certain assumptions about the nature of the human mind, the sources of political and moral authoritythe reasons behind absolutism, and how to move beyond absolutism. The Enlightenment thinkers believed in the inherent goodness of the human mind.
They opposed the alliance between the state and the Church as the enemy of human progress and well-being because the coercive apparatus of the state curbed individual liberty and the Church legitimated monarchs by positing the theory of divine origin.
Therefore, both were deemed to be against the will of the people. Strongly influenced by the atrocities of Thirty Years' War, the political philosophers of the time held that social relations should be ordered in a different way from natural law conditions. Some of their attempts led to the emergence of social contract theory that contested social relations existing in accordance with human nature.
They held that human nature can be understood by analyzing objective realities and natural law conditions. Thus they endorsed that the nature of human beings should be encompassed by the contours of state and established positive laws. Thomas Hobbes underlined the need of a powerful state to maintain civility in society.
For Hobbes, human beings are motivated by self-interests Graham Moreover, these self-interests are often contradictory in nature. Therefore, in state of naturethere was a condition of a war of all against all.
In such a situation, life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" Ibid: Upon realizing the danger of anarchy, human beings became aware of the need of a mechanism to protect them. As far as Hobbes was concerned, rationality and self-interests persuaded human beings to combine in agreement, to surrender sovereignty to a common power Kaviraj John Locke had a similar concept to Hobbes about the political condition in England.civil society would play a major role in politics in the decades ahead.
They have seen the incapacity of governments alone to fulfill the dreams of a sustainable future. The idea of civil society, in the eyes of very different analysts, still provides a basis for contemplating the human condition.
Origins of Civil Society The origins of civil society date back to the Greek Empire and the thinking of great teachers such as Socrates, Plato, and ultimately Aristotle (DeWeil, ).
At that time, there did not exist as concrete a. Debating Civil Society: Contested Conceptualizations and Development Trajectories Jussi Laine1 models have led to different manifestations of civil society. This article aims to show that the societal arguments in order to find the proper balance between the needs of the two (Setianto.
Jillian Schwedler points out that civil society emerges with the resurrection of the public sphere when individuals and groups begin to challenge boundaries of permissible behaviour – for example, by speaking out against the regime or demanding a government response to social needs – civil society begins to take shape.
Without the rivalship of nations, and the practice of war, civil society itself could scarcely have sound an object, or a form. Mankind might have traded without any formal convention, but they cannot be safe without a national concert.
CIVIL: ACTIVISTS PAY FOR COMMONS, SOCIAL: ACTIVISTS FORCE OTHERS TO PAY FOR COMMONS. Civil: Personal Choice. The Civil Society (meaning voluntary organization of commons) Activists Pay. Civil society is the "aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens.".