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Civil Society Lecture: Interest Groups, Pressure Groups, Social Movements, Pluralism & Polyarchy, Corporatism, Civil Society Definitions, Implications,

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Presentation on theme: "Civil Society Lecture: Interest Groups, Pressure Groups, Social Movements, Pluralism & Polyarchy, Corporatism, Civil Society Definitions, Implications,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Civil Society Lecture: Interest Groups, Pressure Groups, Social Movements, Pluralism & Polyarchy, Corporatism, Civil Society Definitions, Implications, Problems and Questions

2 Pressure Groups Grew from the idea that democracy not so much a matter of parliament, MPs or Congressmen, but about managing demands of competing groups Permanent or ad hoc? Insider or outsider? Campaigners or defenders? Single-issue or multi-issue?

3 Interest groups More permanent connotations: idea that there are lots of permanent groups that have to defend their interests Finer produced 10 categories: things like churches, chambers of commerce, trade unions Distinguished from parties because didn’t run for office or try to become government Distinction more blurred now

4 Social Movements SMs are defined as ‘a set of opinions and beliefs in a population which represents preferences for changing some elements of the social structure and/or reward distribution of society’ (McCarthy and Zald, 1977) SMs are broadly conceived: They differ from interest groups and pressure groups which are specific organisational phenomena Interest groups and pressure groups can become part of a SM (eg trade unions in the broader labour movement), as can political parties (eg the Labour Party in the Ban the Bomb movement and CND in the 1980s) When referring to organisations within a SM they are described as social movement organisations (SMOs).

5 Pluralism or Polyarchy Two of those 1960s political science terms Simply mean that there are lots of centres of power in a particular political system Supposed to be the case that all democracies are liberal and this is one of the things that distinguishes them from totalitarian regimes

6 Problematic term Has authoritarian & pluralist connotations: A system of interest representation in which the constituent units are organised into a limited number of singular, compulsory, non-competitive, hierarchically ordered and functionally differentiated categories, recognised or licensed (if not created) by the state and granted a deliberate representational monopoly within their respective categories in exchange for observing certain controls in their selection of leaders and articulation of demands and supports. (Schmitter in Rike & Strich (eds.), 1974: 93-94). Mexico up to 2000 is a perfect example of corporatist state Corporatism

7 Classic Definitions Revised Ideas Current Uses of the term I Current Uses II Current Uses III Current Uses IV Problems with the term Obstacles to Civil Society Civil Society and Democratisation I: Latin America Civil Society and Democratisation II: the Middle East Conclusions…

8 CS is an arena of activity for the protection of individual property rights from the state (Two Treatises of Government)  statist conception  without state, CS carries no meaning Hegel: 1- CS entails the protection of individual rights & the needs of the rich in order to secure freedom in eco/soc/cul arenas; 2- CS describes eco/soc/cul activity outside state control or coercion Classic Definitions: John Locke & Georg Willhelm Friedrich Hegel

9 Classic Definitions: Karl Marx &Thomas De Tocqueville Marx: “Bourgeois Civil Society”: an “economic” definition of CS CS is independent of government, separates the economic sphere from the personal and the political spheres, and has the bourgeoisie as its engine De Tocqueville: CS Vs State The need to defend CS from state’s tendency to smother individual and social freedoms CS as the private sphere, independent of government intervention

10 Reinterpretations of Civil Society: Antonio Gramsci Gramsci’s critique of Lenin’s universality Differences between West and East Europe required different tactics from Western revolutionaries Existence of strong (bourgeois) civil society in West meant revolutionaries couldn’t just seize the state. Need for “intellectuals” to win over institutions of civil society

11 Current Uses of the term I: E. Shils and M. Walzer E. Shils: CS is “beyond the boundaries of the family and clan and beyond the locality…[lying] short of the state” (1992). M. Walzer: CS is “the space of uncoerced human association & also the set of relational networks - formed for the sake of family, faith, interests & ideology – that fill this space” (1995) For both, CS incorporates trade unions, SMs, cooperatives, neighbourhoods, societies etc., which promote particular interests

12 Current Uses of the term II * Challenging Authoritarian Regimes: -Counterweight to state power (return to de Tocqueville) -Independent sphere of free expression and association (Hegel) -Place from which to develop new or “counterhegemonic” political projects (Gramsci)

13 Current Uses of the term III * Contribution to democracy -CS as sphere of “civility”: a normative interpretation (Gramsci: role of intellectuals) -CS as sphere of pluralism & participation: an institutional interpretation (Gramsci: structures of civil society) -CS as a check on state power (Locke, Hegel, de Tocqueville)

14 Current Uses of the term IV * Becoming an International Actor -NGOs and INGOs – “NGO-isation” of “World Society” (Meyer, 1997) -World Economic Forum, WTO (?) -Transnational Advocacy Networks -International Social Movements: Seattle, Genoa, World Social Forum, “Anti- globalisation”

15 Problems With the Term… Fuzzy: Where are the boundaries? Are multinationals part of an internationalising civil society? Are they part of governance structures? Should we reserve “civil society” for progressive pro- bono actors? Idea of CS is rooted in western philosophy and historical development…Orientalism?

16 Obstacles to Civil Society… State restrictions on freedoms, civil liberties etc. Social and economic inequalities Political culture, ideological & religious beliefs (can civil society co-exist with ideological totalitarianism? Can it exist within a religious state governed by a theocracy?) Backlash: Iran 1979 (?)

17 Transitions to Democracy I: Latin America Mexico: Corporatist state: Central Party (PRI) CNC (peasant cadre), CTM (workers cadre), CNOP (middle classes, bourgeoisie, civil servants) PRI CNC CNOP CTM Independent Associations, Movements, Societies, independent Press etc EXCLUDED!!!

18 Transitions to Democracy I: Latin America 1968: Massacre of Students as Tlatelolco coincides with international attention of Olympic Games Condemnation from “World Society” (“reverse panopticon”) 1970: New President – Luis Echeverria – Initiates sweeping social reforms enabling free associations, free speech, free press etc., granting legitimacy to civil society organisations (CSOs) previously OUTSIDE the corporatist structure Growth of independent social movements and independent CSOs Still corruption at electoral level: PRI maintains grip on power 1982: Rise of Neoliberalism & closer ties with America and multinationals = need for further transparency and liberalisation 1988: Neoliberal drive intensifies under President Salinas 1994: NAFTA 1994: Zapatista movement – dramatises PRI totalitarianism for World Society 2000: Eventual defeat of PRI via free elections after over 70 years in power

19 Transitions to Democracy II: Middle East “Civil society interpreted in specifically Western (Lockean, Hegelian…) terms is unlikely to emerge in the Middle East, but this should not exclude the development of other kinds of inclusive solidarity communities” (M. Hudson, 1988: 168) “[In] a secular, liberal state that subscribes to the principles of religious toleration, historical religions...are part of civil society” (T. Asad, 1992: 9)

20 “[There is] confusion in the Arab public mind, at least about the meaning of democracy. The confusion is, however, understandable since the idea of democracy is quite alien to the mind-set of Islam” (E. Kedourie, 1992: 1) Transitions to Democracy II: Middle East

21 Summary… What have we looked at…? - Classic Definitions (Hegel, Locke, Tocqueville, Marx etc.) - Revised Ideas (Neo-Marxist ideas of CS as revolutionary) - Current Uses of the term I (Walzer, Shils) - Current Uses II (Challenge to authoritarian regimes) - Current Uses III (Contribution to Democracy) - Current Uses IV (Internationalisation of CS) - Problems with the term (Orientalist? Ambiguous?) - Obstacles to Civil Society (Civil Liberties, Cultural Beliefs) - Civil Society and Democratisation I: Latin America - Civil Society and Democratisation II: the Middle East

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