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Introducing global civil society

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Many scholars, policy-makers and especially activists have begun to use the term 'global civil society', but despite the great significance that is now attributed to this concept by policy-makers and practitioners alike, it remains highly contested and under-researched. The Global Civil Society Yearbook is envisaged as a landmark publication, which will discuss and clarify the concept of a 'global civil society'. The Yearbook will contribute to the debate about what global civil society is, map and measure it, and examine each year how it is doing. The conceptual chapters, comprehensive case studies and comparative empirical data make this an essential volume for researchers in a number of disciplines, including economics, political science, anthropology and sociology, international law and international relations. Beyond its academic value and impact, however, the Yearbook aspires to make a contribution to global civil society itself. It can give a voice to civil society in the process of globalisation, helping to humanise and democratise this process. It can be a tool for participants in global civil society by shedding light on their strengths and weaknesses, and an aid in agenda-setting. Global Civil Society 2001 provides a genealogy of the concept of civil society, an overview of the growth of global civil society since 1989, and an analysis of current trends. It discusses global civil society activism around biotechnology, global finance and debt, and humanitarian intervention.Further chapters are devoted to the resourcing of global civil society, the relationship between global civil society and information and communications technology, and the phenomenon of parallel NGO forums to international summits. The closing section contains a data profile, a 'global civil society index', a discussion of the 'legal year', and a chronology of events.

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