In this concise, critical study of civil society, Jamie Swift sketches the history of the concept from its roots in the eighteenth century, to the present. Swift looks at its practical application in specific cases, such as Canada's Victorian Order of Nurses, and with community-based groups in South Asia (India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh). He examines the relationship between voluntarism, the state, politics, and the market, and considers the motives and priorities of those using the term today.
Jamie Swift is the author of several books on politics, history, and social justice.
This book is not for the politically faint-of-heart; the material can be fairly dense.yet for those willing to wade through, there are numerous moments of insight, along with remarkable stories of "third world" victories over megaprojects and colonial exploitation.