Civil Society and Social Capital in the European Context

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In conceptualizing civil society, citizenship and social capital have become key issues on political and institutional agendas. Civil society-based institutions have had a significant historical impact in Europe both on the formation of the modern notion of the nation and on the creation of national identity, as well as on the definition of citizenship rights and understanding of a democratic culture. If support for and defense of citizenship rights through civic institutions – at the workplace and in public institutions – is weakly articulated, it creates a fragile democratic culture and – consequently – less comprehensive social protection. The possibility of civil society to become an instrument for democratic learning, political reflexivity, and governance depends on the broader institutional configuration in which civil society is integrated. This overview is based on an understanding that civil society and social capital are strongly dependent on citizens’ participation...
Translated title of the contributionCivilsamfund og social Kapitel i den Europæiske Tradition
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Civil Society
EditorsRegina A. List, Helmut K. Anheier, Stefan Toepler
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)9783319996752
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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