Civil society is defined by the London School of Economics as:
“Civil Society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family, and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil societies are often populated by organizations such as registered charities, development non-governmental organizations, community groups, women’s organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trade unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy groups”
I’d like to put the emphasis on “uncoerced collective action” in that definition, because I’d like to talk about how civil society might be challenged or at least threatened in an era where we organize using digital communication technologies.
Continue reading “Civil Society: Gone to the Bots?”