By Mario Diani

Civil society is often conceived as a box of a number of businesses, dedicated to hugely diversified reasons and pursuits. while studied empirically, even though, its homes are usually lowered to the sum of the qualities and attitudes of the participants or teams which are populating it. This booklet exhibits tips to circulation from an "aggregative" to a relational view of civil society. Drawing upon box paintings on electorate' businesses in British towns, this booklet combines community research and social flow theories to teach how you can symbolize civil society as a method of kinfolk among a number of actors. "Modes of coordination" permits us to spot diversified logics of collective motion in the similar neighborhood settings. The publication exposes the weak point of inflexible dichotomies, setting apart the voluntary region from social events, "civic" activism orientated to provider supply from "un-civic" protest, grassroots activism exterior to associations from formal, professionalized corporations built-in in the "system."

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Extra info for The Cement of Civil Society: Studying Networks in Localities

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This exercise revealed a fairly similar structure in the two cities. In both cases, some clusters of organizations were engaged in relatively dense patterns of interaction, while being also linked to similar others; other organizations, however, occupied the same structural position by virtue of indicating the same alters as relevant partners, or being mentioned as important allies by the same alters, but were not directly connected to each other. The chapter also shows, most importantly, that collaborative ties are distributed differently within civic sectors depending on their content.

This has important implications for the movement society thesis: is a movement society characterized by the amount of protest activities taking place within it? Or, alternatively, is it characterized as such by the patterns of relations which link organizations that promote protest, to organizations that favor instead more conventional forms of pressure? Our two cases suggest that two societies with a similar presence of organizations, prepared to adopt protest repertoires of action, might differ substantially in the relationships between such organizations: in one case, Glasgow, the acceptance or the rejection of protest operated as criteria for boundary construction within civil society, with protest-oriented and protest-rejecting organizations working with their likes and engaging more sparingly with actors holding the other strategic approach; in the other case, Bristol, attitudes to protest had no effect whatsoever on the structure of civic networks.

This is the focus of Chapter 8. The chapter assesses in particular whether ties to political actors spread evenly across different types of organizations that adopted different modes of coordination; and whether organizations, most central within civic networks, also played some relevant role in connecting civil society and the political system. , Diani 2003), the most central civic organizations did not seem to enjoy privileged access to local political institutions, possibly as a result of the inclusive (at least, formally inclusive) policies put in place by the British government since the late 1990s.

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