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BAD CIVIL SOCIETY Are civil society organizations always good? As Norton (1995) states, “societies do not take two tablets of civil society at bedtime and wake up the morning undergoing democratization” (p.6). BAD CIVIL SOCIETY Empirical research on civil society should study the nature of the relationship between civil society organizations and democracy/democratization, rather than assume it. Civil society, like other realms, is an arena of power, inequality, struggle, conflict, and cooperation among competing identities and interests. BAD CIVIL SOCIETY Simone Chambers (2002): “Civil society can be a place where particularism and difference define participation and where the self-organization of citizens contributes to a general atmosphere of distrust and misunderstanding. It is not the case…that active associational life is good in and of itself. Associations, clubs, churches, and of course, families can and do promote antidemocratic illiberal ideals and when they do, bad civil society emerges” (p.101). BAD CIVIL SOCIETY CS organizations promote democracy but sometime promote division and intolerance! BAD CIVIL SOCIETY When does bad civil society emerge? 1. In the absence of a strong and responsive political institutions! Sheri Berman: German case The dense networks of civic engagement provided the Nazis with cadres of activists who had the skills necessary to spread the party’s message and increase recruitment. Those networks also served as a fifth column, allowing the NSDAP to infiltrate and master a significant sector of bourgeoisie society before emerging to seize control of Germany’s national political structure… (p.409). GERMAN CASE The party also skillfully exploited their organizational contacts and social expertise to gain insight into the fears and needs of particular groups and to tailor new appeals to them—using them, in other words, as “focus groups.” The activists, finally, provided the movement with unparalleled local organizations. In contrast to the other bourgeois parties, Nazis were able to develop flexible and committed local party chapters that enabled full and accurate two-way communication between the national party and its frontline troops (p.409). BAD CIVIL SOCIETY 2. When civil society organizations emerge as defenders of state power! In weak democracies, loaded with an anti-democratic past, they are often creatures of governments, parties or individuals who employ them to enhance their power, prestige or material interests. In that case, dominant groups in civil society, far from constituting a sphere that is oppositional to the state, might actually defend and extend state power in the domain of civil society. Indian Case BAD CIVIL SOCIETY 3. When they become nationalists! Indian Case 4. When they are polarized Turkey during the 1970s Civil society became a mechanism, not for generating civility and ‘social capital,’ but rather for magnifying sociopolitical conflict and transmitting it to the very bases of society BAD CIVIL SOCIETY What about social capital? Social networks might also cut members’ connections with the wider world, be exclusive for some, or serve selfish and/or antisocial as well as “civic” goals Social capital is context dependent! WHAT KIND OF PARTICIPATION IS GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY? Bonding social capital vs. Bridging social capital Particularistic civility vs. Democratic Civility WHAT KIND OF PARTICIPATION IS GOOD FOR DEMOCRACY? “Among its members, the Ku Klux Klan may cultivate solidarity and trust, reduce the incentives for opportunism, and develop some I’s into we but the associational premises of these solidaristic ties are hatred, degradation, and denigration of fellow citizens and fellow human beings.” Nation of Islam Bowling with Farrakhan? ECONOMICS OF HATE Not the existence of bad groups is a big deal but reasons to join bad groups is more important. BAD CIVIL SOCIETY Do the organizations contain the violence or hate? Choosing between a racist in an organization or a racist at home? FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION Does freedom of association overcome bad civil society? Does pluralism reduce bad civil society? TO WHAT EXTEND SHOULD THE STATE RESTRICT BAD CIVIL SOCIETY? Would state intervention work? Ex: Domestic organizations funded by international organizations!