Civil Society and Media

Mainstream American political science defines civil society as a broad spectrum of secondary associations, ranging from political parties and pressure groups to sporting clubs, and postulates these intermediaries to be the bedrock of democracy. A strong and "vibrant" civil society is supposed to underpin responsible citizenship and make democratic forms of government work. Conversely, a weak civil society is supposed to support authoritarian rule which keeps society weak. By this logic most Middle Eastern societies appeared to be caught in a vicious circle. Further complicating our understanding of the role civil society plays in democracy is that Islamism has succeeded by monopolizing the very civic terrain that is supposed to underlie processes of democratization.. What room is there for Islamism in our civil society and democratization theories? Is there room? Finally, what role does media and representation play in debates on democratization? We will ask these and other questions in our roundtable.


Professor Amaney Jamal - Roundtable Chair
TBA - Student Assistant

Civil Society and Media Report a Problem