International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research

International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research


International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research
International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research
Vol. 7, Issue 3 (2021)

Civil society as a concept and analytical category in social sciences


Ashwani Sharma

In the context of the increasing salience of the civil society in liberal democracies, the concept of civil society is examined as a concept and analytical category in social sciences. The conceptualization of civil society in the existing literature remains wide and imprecise. The essential characteristics of civil society as reflected in the contemporary usage of the term are delineated. The social movements are considered to be the most significant actors in the realm of civil society. A distinction is made between the old and new social movements by highlighting the characteristic features of new social movements in contemporary liberal democracies. Within social movements, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are considered as the most important actors as they represent the organizational nodes. These NGOs cover a wide spectrum: from grassroots organizations to national to international nongovernmental organizations operating across continents. The nature and forms of NGOs are also examined. The last section concisely reflects on social and political dynamics of social movements in the Indian context. The conclusion reflects on the democratic deficits of the civil society and the way forward: need to reconceptualize social movement in the context of changes in the national as well as the global system.
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How to cite this article:
Ashwani Sharma. Civil society as a concept and analytical category in social sciences. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research, Volume 7, Issue 3, 2021, Pages 130-133
International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research