In East and Southeast Asia, the creation of civil society is a crucial yet most difficult issue.
Europeans have had the luxury of centuries in a slow-moving world characterised by weak governments in which the foundation institutions, norms and values of civil society could ferment and develop. Asia, however, faces this task when a nation's currency can devalue in seconds, destabilising its government, and when states have far more effective means of surveillance, suppression and terror. This book examines these issues and shows that a better understanding of civil society in the Asian context is central to promoting contemporary political, social and economic reform in Asia. It will appeal to students and teachers of politics, law and sociology because it provides new perspectives on how to understand civil society drawing on Asian examples, as well as indications for rethinking what civil society means in Asia. Individual chapters combine theoretical and empirical issues in a way which fills a major gap in the literature.
Henceforth, works about 'civil society' will need to take more account of the Asian evidence and Asianists will need to have a clear idea of what civil society in Asia means.