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Additional resources for The Myth about Global Civil Society: Domestic Politics to Ban Landmines
Civil society is a highly positive space unified by the morality of the involved actors. Yet, ‘the idea of civil society as an independent ethical realm’ (Kaldor 1999: 200) is stressed. ‘The normative project of global civil society is based on perfection while the constructivist empirical project is apparently doomed to compromise’ (Chandler 2004: 122). Inherently, civil society is the realm that is located opposite the state and independent from it. The state (independent of whether it is a liberal democracy or any autocratic system) that functions according to an instrumental logic is a barrier towards emancipation while civil society is the exact opposite, the communicative realm fostering emancipation.
Bottom-up’, ‘globalisation from below’ or ‘radical approaches’ Another strand of thought that deals with global civil society is a set of approaches that Chandler (2005) discusses under the title ‘Radical Resistance from Below’. As with the above sections, this section aims at introducing this thinking in order to show the limitations it entails in understanding and analysing NGO campaigns. The approaches I discuss in this section share a common celebration of the morality of civil society actors deriving from their ‘refusal to participate in territorial state-based politics’ (Chandler 2005: 141).
27 Being an ideal model, this understanding differs from actually existing global civil society in form and function and offers an alternative way of doing politics based on a normative understanding of civil society (Chandler 2004: 112). A decisive moment in this understanding of global civil society is its positive nature embedded in the term civil. Civility is a quality of global civil society that is first and foremost defined as ‘respect for others expressed as politeness towards and acceptance of strangers’ (Keane 2003: 12).