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Toward New Imaginaries: An Introduction

Toward New Imaginaries: An Introduction 14(1): 1–19 Copyright © 2002 by Duke University Press tive, to investigate how globalization of culture and communication is transforming contemporary societies. The intellectual mood at that time was optimistic. There was a renewed interest in the concept of civil society and its political counterpart, the public sphere, precipitated by political developments as well as intellectual interventions. In the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe, the Leninist model of governance (i.e., the state-directed total mobilization of society to achieve revolutionary ends) was collapsing under its own weight. Here the idea of civil society seemed to offer an alternative that was neither confrontational nor partook of the usual Cold War anticommunist rhetoric. Minimally, civil society refers to the existence of free associations that are not under the control of state power. But in a stronger sense, as Charles Taylor (1995: 208) notes, civil society is said to exist “where society as a whole can structure itself and coordinate its actions through such free associations” and, further, whenever those “associations can significantly determine or inflect the direction of state policy.” It was hoped that the Soviet bloc countries could gradually reform themselves structurally by nurturing and expanding http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Public Culture Duke University Press

Toward New Imaginaries: An Introduction

Public Culture , Volume 14 (1) – Jan 1, 2002

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2002 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0899-2363
eISSN
1527-8018
DOI
10.1215/08992363-14-1-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

14(1): 1–19 Copyright © 2002 by Duke University Press tive, to investigate how globalization of culture and communication is transforming contemporary societies. The intellectual mood at that time was optimistic. There was a renewed interest in the concept of civil society and its political counterpart, the public sphere, precipitated by political developments as well as intellectual interventions. In the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe, the Leninist model of governance (i.e., the state-directed total mobilization of society to achieve revolutionary ends) was collapsing under its own weight. Here the idea of civil society seemed to offer an alternative that was neither confrontational nor partook of the usual Cold War anticommunist rhetoric. Minimally, civil society refers to the existence of free associations that are not under the control of state power. But in a stronger sense, as Charles Taylor (1995: 208) notes, civil society is said to exist “where society as a whole can structure itself and coordinate its actions through such free associations” and, further, whenever those “associations can significantly determine or inflect the direction of state policy.” It was hoped that the Soviet bloc countries could gradually reform themselves structurally by nurturing and expanding

Journal

Public CultureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2002

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