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Civil Society and EmpireIreland and Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World$
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James Livesey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300139020

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300139020.001.0001

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Introduction Civil Society and the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

Introduction Civil Society and the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

(p.1) Introduction Civil Society and the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World
Civil Society and Empire

James Livesey

Yale University Press

This chapter examines why civil society emerged as a powerful concept in the late eighteenth century and shows why that eighteenth-century debate remains to be relevant to most contemporary concerns. It argues that there is a need to see what exactly was being addressed in order to understand the history of civil society. Civil society is an idea and association is a social practice, but the two are often confounded. The relationship between association and civil society is often contingent, constructed, and contested.

Keywords:   civil society, association, history, eighteenth century, social practice

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