By Bolton Charles Knowles 1867-1950
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To ensure “civility” and stability, he concluded, the state—which in his view was the only entity capable of representing the unity of society and furthering the freedom of citizens—had to order civil society. Hence state intervention to guide and govern civil society was legitimate. Since the time of Ferguson and Hegel, formulations of civil society, irrespective of their political philosophy, have shared a common root. They arose in the context of changing theories of power, legitimacy, and sovereignty, stimulated by the ascendance of centralizing monarchies, their succession by nation-states, the development of self-regulating markets as a separate realm, and the emergence of movements for political freedom.
In the Philippines, for example, EDSA 1 clearly deprived Marcos of moral authority, but the People Power movement, which comprised disparate groups, soon fragmented. A constant struggle has ensued in that country over a range of issues between civil society organizations rooted in middle-class values and those of the Left. Similarly, civil society in South Korea comprises both so-called moderate and radical elements, with substantial differences in their visions of democracy (Kim 1997): the moderate groups emphasize the minimum procedural elements of democracy; the radical groups’ vision stresses socioeconomic equality, labor rights, and other features of substantive democracy.
Chapter 15 summarizes and compares the role of civil society organizations in fostering or hindering change in the direction of open politics. In the process, it seeks to advance several propositions on the role of civil society in political change in Asia and also refines propositions derived from experience in other regions. Works Cited Alagappa, Muthiah. 1995. , Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia: The Quest for Moral Authority. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 20 m u t h i a h a l a g a p pa ———.