• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Civil society is often expected to rise above historical and contemporary socio-economic forces such as the neoliberal economic policy and undertake the transformation of a stratified society to an egalitarian society conducive to democracy. Democracy, Civil Society and Governance is an endeavour to critically examine such expectations. The book focuses on the interplay of democracy, civil society and public policy implementation, and addresses the role of civil society in terms of the changing nature of the economy and the condition of the working class. It highlights the reinforcement of hegemonic value systems by the contemporary mainstream civil society as well as the role of the pro-poor civil society in supporting and mobilizing the disadvantaged for their rights and justice. The book also critically evaluates government ...

Civil Society: Historical Background
Civil society: Historical background

The State/political authority had a minimal role in day-to-day social affairs in pre-colonial India. Before the formation of the modern state under the British rule, social organizations at the local level enjoyed considerable independence from the State. The elders of these organizations (ethnic communities) and/or feudal lords/chieftains were regulating customs, rituals and social relationships. The Bombay Code of 1827 enacted by the British rulers recognized caste as a ‘self-governing’ community and accepted that the court would not interfere in ‘internal affairs’ of caste (Shodhan 2001). Tribes, Muslims and other religious communities were also granted a similar autonomous status in the social sphere; this legitimized caste and institutionalized religious communities as a ‘discrete’ category for governance. However, in ...

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