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For many, perhaps most people, the term and the very idea of civil society came along recently, a function of the globalisation of ideas, spontaneous mass movements, the internet, and even the greater democratisation of Eastern Europe, post-Soviet domination. Instead, the tendrils stretch back much further, and the intellectual foundations reach back to the beginnings of Western civilisation. Let’s examine this tradition. The very term civil society goes back to Aristotle’s phrase “ koinōnía politikḗ” , in his volume, Politics , where it refers to a “political community”, such as a Greek city-state, with its shared set of norms and an ethos, in which free citizens were on an... Full story

18 September