Is Civil Society Opposed to the Market?


Civil Society v. Market

-         Markets are more state-oriented

o      State sets legal rules: property rights, contract enforcement

o      State-assisted development: tax credits, subsidies, trade protection

-         economic interests are distinct from political, cultural, or social interests

o      not fundamentally associational but transactional

o      “meet to do the deal” v. “just meet”

-         exchange and production v. consultation and recreation

o      capital-labor relations are contentious

o      relations within firms are hierarchical, not deliberative or participatory


Market as part of Civil Society

-         economic interactions create associational interests

o      trade associations and unions unite owners and workers, respectively

o      often create contact across ethnic lines

-         contentious labor relations teach cooperation and compromise

o      shop-floor democracy in unions

o      participatory production practices

-         organized wealth separate from the state

o      private media v. state-dominated or dependent media

o      source of charitable funds for civil society

Case Study: Civil Society in India (Varshney 2001)


-         Ethnic peace in Calicut v. ethnic violence in.Aligarh (1989-1992)

-         dense interaction in Calicut across ethnic lines in trade associations, unions, and clubs

-         weak interaction and limited associational life in Aligarh

-         press in Calicut squashed rumors; press in Aligarh repeated them