The SAGE Handbook of Political Sociology offers a comprehensive and contemporary look at this evolving field of study. The focus is on political life itself and the chapters, written by a highly-respected and international team of authors, cover the core themes which need to be understood in order to study political life from a sociological perspective, or simply to understand the political world. The two volumes are structured around five key areas: PART 1: TRADITIONS AND PERSPECTIVES PART 2: CORE CONCEPTS PART 03: POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND MOVEMENTS PART 04: TOPICS PART 05: WORLD REGIONS This future-oriented and cross-disciplinary handbook is a landmark text for students and scholars interested in the social investigation of politics.
Chapter 22: Civil Society
Western societies are currently faced with a constellation of multiple crises whose exact contours and backgrounds we are only beginning to comprehend. In political science debates, the state of Western democracies is often referred to as ‘post-democratic’ (Crouch, 2007). Violent conflicts are intensifying around the globe and increasingly affect our societies directly, e.g. in the form of terrorism. Mass migrations of refugees make the tensions and inequalities within transnational relations more immediately palpable in our everyday lives. The critical effects of these developments are being aggravated by stagnating rates of economic growth in Western countries which go hand in hand with a significant increase in social inequality (cf. Piketty, 2014) and the rise of populist ...