• 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 ...


Although the Indian Constitution has accepted the Westminster model of a democratic political system, it has gone far beyond the utilitarian philosophy of the liberal democracy of the West. The political system is the outcome of a popular mass movement dominated by the upper strata (predominantly the higher- and middle-caste–based middle class), oriented in Western education. In the course of the anti-colonial movement, the notion of democracy was articulated to mean the original notion of democracy—the rule of all the people rather than the Western liberal notion of the rule of the propertied class or the Marxist notion of rule by the proletariats. ‘It had not been transformed by liberal individualism, nor made over on the definite class pattern of Marxism’ (Macpherson 1973, 24).

The ...

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