On the independence of civil society: the case of the Philippines
Hedman, Eva-Lotta E. 2006. In the Name of Civil Society: From Free Election Movements to People Power in the Philippines. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, xiv + 268 pages. ISBN 0 8248 2921 2
Over the past two decades, countless pens have been put to paper by the idea of a self-organising civil society as a check on state power and, from a Tocquevillean perspective, an indispensable condition for democracy. While the idea has merit, too often it leads to a mechanical opposition of civil society and state. In the case of the Philippines, state-society dynamics have been obfuscated, even as many analysts have attempted to get at the roots of what is at first glance a strikingly mismanaged state unable to provide basic services (education, health, justice, security, infrastructure). How, many analysts asked, could such an apparently ‘weak’ state maintain itself?
Download PDF from menu on right to read full review »