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The 19 century, especially, marked the beginning of this distinction by introducing the market in its conception. Civil society, as it stands now, is not apprehended as the interplay between the two agents – family and the state -; but is, indeed, the sphere in which individuals become public persons who bring the particular (usually expressed through beliefs, interests, skills) into the universal (the social) through self-organized associations and/or institutions.Hegel filled in the gap between the family and the state with the notion of civil society “where the individual becomes public person and through membership in various institutions, is able to reconcile the particular and the universal” (Kaldor, 204). Therefore, Kaldor’s (205) own appreciation of civil society as “the process though which individuals negotiate, argue, struggle against or agree with each other and with the centres of political and economic authority”, perfectly explains the relation between the particular and the universal presented above.In defence of this idea, the paper aims to account for the following questions: (1) what is a global civil society?
(Ehrenberg, 191) The same idea is conveyed by Kaldor (203) – “global rules based on consent”, but current affairs remain way behind this ideal.
More precisely, the universal civil society is an ideal system of civic participation and governance, yet not applicable to contemporary politics.
However, it is impossible to account for unofficially recognized organizations that do not have a rationale or larger purpose that extends to a public or greater good, such as bazaars, religious meetings, motherhood gatherings in public spaces etc.
A global civil society’s goal, in this sense, is not to incorporate “tamed social movements” (Kaldor, 209) that foster consensus as it is impossible, even if this would be the case.
Although the essay is not concerned with dissecting the reasoning against or for cosmopolitanism, it can be perceived as a proponent of it.
Thus, a global civil society, regardless the diverse opinions on its conceptualization, is to be understood as a result of the cosmopolitan philosophical thought.The global civil society is not a master plan for humanity, but as Archibugi and Held (2011) convincingly claim, it is one of the ways worth pursuing in order to attain a global order.Thus, citizen participation in the global forum is the focal point of discussion.Although contemporary Confucianists tend to view Western liberalism as pitting the individual against society, recent liberal scholarship has vigorously claimed that liberal polity is indeed grounded in the self-transformation that produces “liberal virtues.” To meet this challenge, this essay presents a sophisticated Confucian critique of liberalism by arguing that there is an appreciable contrast between liberal and Confucian self-transformation and between liberal and Confucian virtues.By contrasting Locke and Confucius, key representatives of each tradition, this essay shows that both liberalism and Confucianism aim to reconstruct a society freed from antisocial passions entailing a vicious politics of resentment, and yet come to differing ethical and political resolutions.All these forms of association, so much praised by Tocqueville, empowers the formation of a “dynamic non-governmental system of interconnected socio-economic institutions that straddle the whole earth and that have complex effects that are felt in its four corners” (Keane, 20).Furthermore, it is a continuous process of social interactions, reinvention and networking that “consists of pyramids and hub-and-spoke clusters of socio-economic institutions and actors who organize themselves across borders, with the deliberate aim of drawing the world together in new ways” (Keane, 20).Commencing with the Stoic perception of a good citizen as a citizen of the world and culminating with the contemporary institutional and political developments, the essay concentrates on the heated debate around the creation of a global civil society.This idea is neither new, nor extremely futuristic; instead, it is based on a combination of the two core elements of cosmopolitanism: moral universalism and institution building.Engaging in a critical analysis of the two works, I reveal the inefficiency of such a proposition and the impossibility of implementing it.Thus, section three picks on the points raised in the last chapter and describes and explains the model upon which a global civil society can be created without distorting the current international system, yet maintaining its cosmopolitan nature.