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Civil Society and Empire – Ireland and Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World - Yale Scholarship Online
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Civil Society and Empire: Ireland and Scotland in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

James Livesey


This book traces the origins of the modern conception of civil society—an ideal of collective life between the family and politics—not to England or France, as many of his predecessors have done, but to the provincial societies of Ireland and Scotland in the eighteenth century. He shows how civil society was first invented as an idea of renewed community for the provincial and defeated elites in the provinces of the British Empire and how this innovation allowed them to enjoy liberty without directly participating in the empire's governance, until the limits of the concept were revealed. The c ... More

Keywords: civil society, collective life, provincial societies, Ireland, Scotland, community, elites, British Empire, political theory, Western governments

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780300139020
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300139020.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Livesey, author