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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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(p.214) Conclusion
Civil Society and Empire

James Livesey

Yale University Press

This chapter reflects on the significant changes about the concept of civil society that occurred during the late 1700s. In the late 1700s to early 1800s, civil society remained a significant political category. Despite its general failure in Ireland, civil society turned into a form of utilitarianism, the political philosophical movement introduced by Jeremy Bentham. In this manner, civil society was disseminated as just one of the elements in general political thought. But this liberal descent itself accounts for the significance and longevity of the ideas of civil society since very few polities since attempted to imitate British politics directly.

Keywords:   civil society, utilitarianism, political thought, British politics, Jeremy Bentham

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