Civil society, it seems, is the new big thing, enthusiastically embraced by international organizations that hope to address their crisis of legitimation through 'multi-stakeholder dialogue', but also by a host of non-governmental organizations that have been waiting for a statist international system to finally acknowledge the work of non-state actors and develop mechanisms for their incorporation. The term is is often suspected of complicity with neoliberal projects of state transformation, contributing to a homogenization of a multiplicity of social movement phenomena, and offering no more than a 'system maintenance' perspective. And yet, it is because both World Bank and World Social Forum mobilize the term that its employment deserves close attention. Whatever the analytical merits of the concept, its current spread allows for a mapping of the way in which a host of institutions are linked in/by a shared conceptual and organizational idiom - across various 'imperial' terrains usually demarcated as mutually exclusive by the traditional topographies of sovereignty.
Global Civil Society
Submitted by fls on Sun, 02/22/2004 - 02:39.