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CivilSocietyandPoliticalTheory

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StudiesinContemporaryGermanSocialThought(partiallist)
ThomasMcCarthy,GeneralEditor
TheodorW.Adorno,Prisms
SeylaBenhabibandFredDallmayr,editors,TheCommunicativeEthicsControversy
RichardJ.Bernstein,editor,HabermasandModernity
ErnstBloch,NaturalLawandHumanDignity
ErnstBloch,ThePrincipleofHope
ErnstBloch,TheUtopianFunctionofArtandLiterature:SelectedEssays
HansBlumenberg,TheGenesisoftheCopernicanWorld
HansBlumenberg,TheLegitimacyoftheModernAge
HansBlumenberg,WorkonMyth
SusanBuckMorss,TheDialecticsofSeeing:WalterBenjaminandtheArcadesProject
CraigCalhoun,editor,HabermasandthePublicSphere
JeanCohenandAndrewArato,CivilSocietyandPoliticalTheory
HelmutDubiel,TheoryandPolitics:StudiesintheDevelopmentofCriticalTheory
JohnForester,editor,CriticalTheoryandPublicLife
DavidFrisby,FragmentsofModernity:TheoriesofModernityintheWorkofSimmel,KracauerandBenjamin
JrgenHabermas,OntheLogicoftheSocialSciences
JrgenHabermas,MoralConsciousnessandCommunicativeAction
JrgenHabermas,TheNewConservatism:CulturalCriticismandtheHistorians'Debate
JrgenHabermas,ThePhilosophicalDiscourseofModernity:TwelveLectures
JrgenHabermas,PhilosophicalPoliticalProfiles
JrgenHabermas,PostmetaphysicalThinking:PhilosophicalEssays
JrgenHabermas,TheStructuralTransformationofthePublicSphere:AnInquiryintoaCategoryofBourgeoisSociety
AxelHonneth,TheCritiqueofPower:ReflectiveStagesinaCriticalSocialTheory
AxelHonnethandHansJoas,editors,CommunicativeAction:EssaysonJrgenHabermas's
TheTheoryofCommunicativeAction
ReinhartKoselleck,CritiqueandCrisis:EnlightenmentandthePathogenesisofModernSociety
ReinhartKoselleck,FuturesPast:OntheSemanticsofHistoricalTime
HarryLiebersohn,FateandUtopiainGermanSociology,18871923
GuyOakes,WeberandRickert:ConceptFormationintheCulturalSciences
ClausOffe,ContradictionsoftheWelfareState
ClausOffe,DisorganizedCapitalism:ContemporaryTransformationsofWorkandPolitics
JoachimRitter,HegelandtheFrenchRevolution:EssaysonthePhilosophyofRight
AlfredSchmidt,HistoryandStructure:AnEssayonHegelianMarxistandStructuralistTheoriesofHistory
DennisSchmidt,TheUbiquityoftheFinite:Hegel,Heidegger,andtheEntitlementsofPhilosophy
CarlSchmitt,TheCrisisofParliamentaryDemocracy
CarlSchmitt,PoliticalRomanticism
CarlSchmitt,PoliticalTheology:FourChaptersontheConceptofSovereignty
GarySmith,editor,OnWalterBenjamin:CriticalEssaysandRecollections
MichaelTheunissen,TheOther:StudiesintheSocialOntologyofHusserl,Heidegger,Sartre,andBuber
ErnstTugendhat,SelfConsciousnessandSelfDetermination
MarkWarren,NietzscheandPoliticalThought
AlbrechtWellmer,ThePersistenceofModernity:EssaysonAesthetics,EthicsandPostmodernism
ThomasE.Wren,editor,TheMoralDomain:EssaysintheOngoingDiscussionbetweenPhilosophyandtheSocialSciences
LambertZuidervaart,Adorno'sAestheticTheory:TheRedemptionofIllusion

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CivilSocietyandPoliticalTheory
JeanL.CohenandAndrewArato

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ToJulianandRachel
Fourthprinting,1997
FirstMITPresspaperbackedition,1994
1992MassachusettsInstituteofTechnology
Allrightsreserved.Nopartofthisbookmaybereproducedinanyformorbyanyelectronicormechanicalmeans(includinginformationstorageandretrieval)without
permissioninwritingfromthepublisher.
ThisbookwassetinNewBaskervilleatMITPressandwasprintedandboundintheUnitedStatesofAmerica.
LibraryofCongressCataloginginPublicationData
Cohen,JeanL.
Civilsocietyandpoliticaltheory/JeanL.CohenandAndrewArato
p.cm.(StudiesincontemporaryGermansocialthought)
Includesbibliographicalreferencesandindex.
ISBN0262031779(H),0262531216(P)
1.Civilsociety.2.CivilsocietyHistory.I.Arato,Andrew.
II.Title.III.Series.
JC336.C651990
306.2dc209046723
CIP

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CONTENTS
Preface vii
Acknowledgments xix
Introduction 1
I
TheDiscourseofCivilSociety

1
TheContemporaryRevivalofCivilSociety
29
2
ConceptualHistoryandTheoreticalSynthesis
83
3
TheoreticalDevelopmentintheTwentiethCentury
117
II
TheDiscontentsofCivilSociety

4
TheNormativeCritique:HannahArendt
177
5
TheHistoricistCritique:CarlSchmitt,ReinhartKoselleck,andJrgen
Habermas
201
6
TheGenealogicalCritique:MichelFoucault
255
7
TheSystemsTheoreticCritique:NiklasLuhmann
299
III
TheReconstructionofCivilSociety

8
DiscourseEthicsandCivilSociety
345
9
SocialTheoryandCivilSociety
421
10
SocialMovementsandCivilSociety
492
11
CivilDisobedienceandCivilSociety
564
Notes 605
Index 745

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PREFACE
Thisbookismeantasacontributiontodemocratictheory.Unlikeotherapproachestothetopic,however,oursdoesnotfocusdirectlyonpoliticalinstitutions.Noris
itrestrictedtothedomainofnormafivepoliticalphilosophy,althoughbothinstitutionsandphilosophyhavetheirplaceinthetext.Ourgoal,rather,istwofold:to
demonstratetherelevanceoftheconceptofcivilsocietytomodernpoliticaltheoryandtodevelopatleasttheframeworkofatheoryofcivilsocietyadequateto
contemporaryconditions.Intheprocesswehopetofillaratherglaringlacunainrecentworkinthefieldofdemocratictheory.Everytheoryofdemocracy
presupposesamodelofsociety,yetnoonehasaddressedthequestionofwhichtypeofcivilsocietyismostappropriatetoamoderndemocraticpolity.
1
Toputit
anotherway,therelationbetweennormativemodelsofdemocracyorprojectsofdemocratizationandthestructure,institutions,anddynamicsofcivilsocietyhas
remainedopaque,inpartbecausethereisnosufficientlycomplextheoryofcivilsocietyavailabletoustoday.Thetaskofthisbookistobegintheconstructionofsuch
atheory.
Theconceptofcivilsociety,inavarietyofusesanddefinitions,hasbecomequitefashionabletoday,thankstostrugglesagainstcommunistandmilitarydictatorshipsin
manypartsoftheworld.Yetithasanambiguousstatusunderliberaldemocracies.Tosome,itseemstoindicatewhattheWesthasalreadyachieved,andthusitis
withoutanyapparentcriticalpotentialforexaminingthedysfunctionsandinjusticesofourtypeofsociety.Toothers,theconceptbelongstoearlymodernformsof
politicalphilosophythat

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havebecomeirrelevanttotoday'scomplexsocieties.Itisourthesis,however,thattheconceptofcivilsocietyindicatesaterrainintheWestthatisendangeredbythe
logicofadministrativeandeconomicmechanismsbutisalsotheprimarylocusforthepotentialexpansionofdemocracyunder"reallyexisting"liberaldemocratic
regimes.Inadvancingthisthesis,weshalldemonstratethemodernityandnormative/criticalrelevanceoftheconceptofcivilsocietytoalltypesofcontemporary
societies.
Therearegoodargumentsforeachofthesethreepositions,andweshalladdressthemindetail.Weshalltrytoshowthatthefirsttwosetsofargumentsdrawtheir
strengthfrominadequateversionsoftheconceptthathavebeenunreflectivelyrevivedinthediscussionsofarinLatinAmerica,EasternEurope,andtheWest.One
commonambiguityconcernstherelationbetweentheterms"civil"and"bourgeois"society,adistinctionthatcannotevenbemadeinGerman(brgerliche
Gesellschaft)orinsomeEastEuropeanlanguages.Thisisnotsimplyaterminologicalproblem,fortheprogramof"civilsocietyvs.thestate,"challengingstatist
dictatorshipsthatpenetrateandcontrolboththeeconomyandthevariousdomainsofindependentsociallife,seemstostandfortheautonomyofboththecivilandthe
bourgeois.Tobesure,thedemocraticmovementsintheEastrelyonthestrengthsofnewautonomousformsofdiscourse,associations,andsolidarity,i.e.,onthe
elementsofcivilsociety.Buttheyhavenotsufficientlydifferentiatedbetweenthetaskofestablishingviablemarketeconomies(whateverformofownershipreplaces
statepropertyandcontrol),ontheonehand,andtheprojectofstrengtheningcivilsocietyvisvisthestateandtheliberatedmarketforces,ontheother.Yet,aswe
knowfromthehistoryoftheWest,thespontaneousforcesofthecapitalistmarketeconomycanrepresentasgreatadangertosocialsolidarity,socialjustice,and
evenautonomyastheadministrativepowerofthemodernstate.Ourpointisthatonlyaconceptofcivilsocietythatisproperlydifferentiatedfromtheeconomy(and
thereforefrom''bourgeoissociety")couldbecomethecenterofacriticalpoliticalandsocialtheoryinsocietieswherethemarketeconomyhasalreadydeveloped,or
isintheprocessofdeveloping,itsownautonomouslogic.Otherwise,aftersuccessfultransitionsfromdictatorshiptodemocracy,theundifferentiated

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versionoftheconceptembeddedintheslogan"societyvs.thestate"wouldloseitscriticalpotential.Thus,onlyareconstructioninvolvingathreepartmodel
distinguishingcivilsocietyfrombothstateandeconomyhasachancebothtounderwritethedramaticoppositionalroleofthisconceptunderauthoritarianregimesand
torenewitscriticalpotentialunderliberaldemocracies.
Letusstartwithaworkingdefinition.Weunderstand"civilsociety"
2
asasphereofsocialinteractionbetweeneconomyandstate,composedabovealloftheintimate
sphere(especiallythefamily),thesphereofassociations(especiallyvoluntaryassociations),socialmovements,andformsofpubliccommunication.Moderncivil
societyiscreatedthroughformsofselfconstitutionandselfmobilization.Itisinstitutionalizedandgeneralizedthroughlaws,andespeciallysubjectiverights,that
stabilizesocialdifferentiation.Whiletheselfcreativeandinstitutionalizeddimensions
3
canexistseparately,inthelongtermbothindependentactionand
institutionalizationarenecessaryforthereproductionofcivilsociety.
Itwouldbemisleadingtoidentifycivilsocietywithallofsociallifeoutsidetheadministrativestateandeconomicprocessesinthenarrowsense.First,itisnecessary
andmeaningfultodistinguishcivilsocietyfrombothapoliticalsocietyofparties,politicalorganizations,andpoliticalpublics(inparticular,parliaments)andan
economicsocietycomposedoforganizationsofproductionanddistribution,usuallyfirms,cooperatives,partnerships,andsoon.Politicalandeconomicsociety
generallyarisefromcivilsociety,sharesomeofitsformsoforganizationandcommunication,andareinstitutionalizedthroughrights(politicalrightsandpropertyrights
especially)continuouswiththefabricofrightsthatsecuremoderncivilsociety.Buttheactorsofpoliticalandeconomicsocietyaredirectlyinvolvedwithstatepower
andeconomicproduction,whichtheyseektocontrolandmanage.Theycannotaffordtosubordinatestrategicandinstrumentalcriteriatothepatternsofnormative
integrationandopenendedcommunicationcharacteristicofcivilsociety.Eventhepublicsphereofpoliticalsocietyrootedinparliamentsinvolvesimportantformaland
temporalconstraintsonprocessesofcommunication.Thepoliticalroleofcivilsocietyinturnisnotdirectlyrelatedtothecontrolor

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conquestofpowerbuttothegenerationofinfluencethroughthelifeofdemocraticassociationsandunconstraineddiscussionintheculturalpublicsphere.Sucha
politicalroleisinevitablydiffuseandinefficient.Thusthemediatingroleofpoliticalsocietybetweencivilsocietyandstateisindispensable,butsoistherootednessof
politicalsocietyincivilsociety.Inprinciple,similarconsiderationspertaintotherelationshipbetweencivilandeconomicsociety,evenifhistorically,undercapitalism,
economicsocietyhasbeenmoresuccessfullyinsulatedfromtheinfluenceofcivilsocietythanpoliticalsocietyhasbeen,despitetheclaimsofelitetheoriesof
democracy.Nevertheless,thelegalizationoftradeunions,collectivebargaining,codetermination,andsoonwitnesstheinfluenceofciviloneconomicsocietyand
allowthelattertoplayamediatingrolebetweencivilsocietyandthemarketsystem.
Second,thedifferentiationofcivilsocietyfrombotheconomicandpoliticalsocietyseemstosuggestthatthecategoryshouldsomehowincludeandrefertoallthe
phenomenaofsocietythatarenotdirectlylinkedtothestateandtheeconomy.Butthisisthecaseonlytotheextentthatwefocusonrelationsofconscious
association,ofselforganizationandorganizedcommunication.Civilsocietyinfactrepresentsonlyadimensionofthesociologicalworldofnorms,roles,practices,
relationships,competencies,andformsofdependenceoraparticularangleoflookingatthisworldfromthepointofviewofconsciousassociationbuildingand
associationallife.Awaytoaccountforthislimitationinthescopeoftheconceptistodistinguishitfromasocioculturallifeworld,whichasthewidercategoryof"the
social"includescivilsociety.Accordingly,civilsocietyreferstothestructuresofsocialization,association,andorganizedformsofcommunicationofthelifeworldtothe
extentthattheseareinstitutionalizedorareintheprocessofbeinginstitutionalized.
Finally,wewanttostressthatunderliberaldemocracies,itwouldbeamistaketoseecivilsocietyinoppositiontotheeconomyandstatebydefinition.Ournotionsof
economicandpoliticalsociety(whichadmittedlycomplicateourthreepartmodel)refertomediatingspheresthroughwhichcivilsocietycangaininfluenceover
politicaladministrativeandeconomicprocesses.Anantagonisticrelationofcivilsociety,oritsactors,totheeconomyorthestate

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arisesonlywhenthesemediationsfailorwhentheinstitutionsofeconomicandpoliticalsocietyservetoinsulatedecisionmakinganddecisionmakersfromthe
influenceofsocialorganizations,initiatives,andformsofpublicdiscussion.
TheStructureofThisBook
WeshallarguethatwhatisatstakeinthedebatesanimatingpoliticalandsocialtheoryinbothEastandWest
4
isnotsimplythedefenseofsocietyagainstthestateor
theeconomybutwhichversionofcivilsocietyistoprevail.Thereis,however,anotherissueunderlyingthesedebates.MaxWeber'sdisillusionedinsistencethatwe
modernsarelivinginanageofdisenchantmentappearstobemoretruenowthaneverbefore.Secularpoliticalutopiasseemtohavegonethewayofthegreat
mobilizingreligiousworldviewsofthepreviousage.Thedemiseofthemostimportantradicaldemocraticandsocialistutopiaofourtime,Marxism,hasalreadyled
thinkerstoproclaimtheendofhistoryandtheworldwidetriumphofaratheruninspiredversionofliberalism.Nowthattherevolutionaryrhetoricofcommunismhasat
last(anddeservedly)beendiscredited,thequestionconfrontingpoliticaltheoristsiswhetherutopianthoughtandcorrespondingradicalpoliticalprojectsare
conceivableatall.Orarethemobilizingidealsembeddedinearlierutopiasconsignedtothedustbinofthehistoryofideas?
Thegreatidealsgeneratedintheageofdemocraticrevolutionsliberty,politicalandsocialequality,solidarity,andjusticewereeachembeddedintotalisticand
mutuallyexclusiveutopias:anarchism,libertarianism,radicaldemocracy,Marxism.Soberreflectiononthehistoryofthepastcenturyandahalfshoulddissuade
responsiblepersonsfromseekingtoreviveanyoneoftheseutopiasintheiroriginalform.However,asocietywithoutactionorientingnorms,asocietywithoutpolitical
projects,isequallyundesirable,forthecivilprivatismor"realism"thatwouldresultwouldreallybejustanothernameforegoism,andthecorrespondingpolitical
culturewouldlacksufficientmotivationtomaintain,muchlessexpand,existingrights,democraticinstitutions,socialsolidarity,orjustice.

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Itisourthesisthattherevivalofthediscourseofcivilsocietyprovidessomehopeinthisregard.Forthisdiscourserevealsthatcollectiveactorsandsympathetic
theoristsarestillorientedbytheutopianidealsofmodernitytheideasofbasicrights,liberty,equality,democracy,solidarity,andjusticeevenifthefundamentalist,
revolutionaryrhetoricwithinwhichtheseidealshadoncebeenarticulatedisonthewane.Indeed,civilsocietyitselfhasemergedasanewkindofutopia,onewecall
"selflimiting,"autopiathatincludesarangeofcomplementaryformsofdemocracyandacomplexsetofcivil,social,andpoliticalrightsthatmustbecompatiblewith
themoderndifferentiationofsociety.Itisthisutopianidealthatplaysafundamental,ifregulative,roleintheconstructionofourbookasawhole,aswellasinits
individualparts.
PartsIandIIanalyzethemajortheoriesandcriticismsoftheconceptofcivilsocietythathaveemergedinthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturies.Intheintroductionwe
presentanoverviewofthetheoreticalimportanceoftheproblemofcivilsocietybysituatingitintermsofthreecentraldebatesincontemporarypoliticaltheory:
betweeneliteandparticipatorydemocracy,betweenliberalismandcommunitarianism,andbetweencriticsanddefendersofthewelfarestate.Forthemostpart,this
discussiondrawsonAmericansources.Ourintentionhereisnottoprovethattheconceptofcivilsocietycanresolvealltherelevantdebatesandantinomiesbutrather
toshowthatitopensupnewandunexpectedpossibilitiesforsynthesisineachcase.
Butwhichconcept?Bracketingtheworkingdefinitionjustprovided,chapter1introducestheconceptofcivilsocietyinadeliberatelynonsystematicmanner,by
reproducingitsheterogeneouscurrentusagebyintellectualsinorclosetoanumberofsocialandpoliticalmovements.Sinceourinterestisinpolitics,webelievewe
mustfirstlearnfromcontemporarydiscoursesinordertocontributesomethingtothem.Westartourexaminationofthepoliticalmotivationsrelevanttoourtaskwitha
presentationoffouridealtypicaldiscourses:Polish(thedemocraticopposition),French(the"secondleft"),German(therealistGreens)andLatinAmerican(thenew
democraticleft).Ineachcase,theconceptandcategoriesofcivilsocietyhavebecomecentraltoeffortstoarticulatenormativeprojectsforliberalizationand
democratization.Wedonotassume

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thatthediscourseswereproducearefullyrepresentativeofwhatisavailable,andevenlessthattheyinthemselvescanprovideorsubstituteforapoliticalanalysisof
thefourcontexts.OnlyintheEasternEuropeancasedowereturntoanalyzing,thistimeonthebasisofavarietyofprimaryandsecondarysources,thefateofthe
intellectualprojectinthefaceofcomplexconstraints.Wecompletethispartofouranalysisbycomparingandcontrastingthefourdifferentdiscoursesofcivilsociety,
andonlythendoweraisethequestionofwhetheraunifiedconceptionofcivilsocietywithacriticalthrustcanbedevelopedfromintellectualcontextsrelatedto
contemporaryformsofaction.Thechaptershowshowtheseheterogeneousandunsystematicattemptsdiffer,whattheyhaveincommon,andwhyitmakessenseto
linkthemtogether.
Therevivalofconceptsofcivilsocietynotwithstanding,itcouldbearguedthattwentiethcenturydevelopmentsrenderkeydimensionsoftheconceptirrelevant.The
normsofcivilsocietyindividualrights,privacy,voluntaryassociation,formallegality,plurality,publicity,freeenterprisewere,ofcourse,institutionalized
heterogeneouslyandinacontradictorymannerinWesternsocieties.Thelogicofcapitalistprivatepropertyandthemarketoftenconflictswithpluralityandfree
associationthatofbureaucratization,withparliamentarywillformation.Theprinciplesofarepresentative,inclusive,politicalprocessoflegislationcontrolledby
societyconflictswithnewformsofexclusionanddominationinsociety,intheeconomy,andinthestate.Moreover,givenstructuralchangesoverthelastcentury,any
attempttoequate"state"with"thepolitical"or"civilsociety''with"theprivate"seemsanachronistic.Ifthisisso,canacategoryofearlymodernpoliticalphilosophy
haveanycontinuingrelevancetothecontemporaryworld?
Inchapter2,wepresentashortconceptualhistoryofearlymodernversionsofcivilsocietyandatheoreticalanalysisofHegel'smasterfulsynthesis.Thesesteps
belongtowhatwetaketobethenecessaryprolegomenonforatheoryofcivilsocietyonthelevelofthehistoryoftheory.Indeednoonecouldseriouslycontest
Hegel'spositionasthemostimportantnineteenthcenturypredecessorofandinspirationtotwentiethcenturyanalysesofcivilsociety.Thecategorialrichnessofthe
conceptofcivilsocietycanberecoveredonlythroughananalysisofHegel'sframework,whichgathered

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intoitselfallavailableinterpretationsoftheconcept.Wecannot,ofcourse,pretendtoexaminetheevolutionofHegel'spoliticalphilosophy,thewholebodyofhis
relevantwork,oreventhefullrangeofsecondaryliteraturedealingwiththemostimportanttextforus,ThePhilosophyofRight.Nevertheless,theHegeliantheoryis
crucialbecauseitreconstructscivilsocietyintermsofthethreelevelsoflegality,pluralityandassociation,andpublicityandbecauseHegelseesthelinkbetweencivil
societyandstateintermsofmediationandinterpenetration.Aschapter1shows,nocontemporarydiscourseofcivilsocietyhasmanagedtoaddevenasingle
fundamentalcategorytolegality,privacy,plurality,association,publicity,andmediation,exceptthatofsocialmovements,andthemostsophisticated
contemporaryauthorsMichnik,O'Donnell,andCardoso,forexampleworkwithalloftheselevels.
Hegel'sownambiguitiesconcerningcivilsociety,andperhapsevenhisrecurringstatisminfaceofthealienationofthesystemofneeds,canbetracedtohisinclusionof
theeconomyasoneofthelevelsofcivilsociety.TheimportanceofGramsciandParsonsforourframeworkistheirdemonstrationthatthebasicHegelianconception
canbeimprovedbyintroducingathreepartmodeldifferentiatingcivilsocietyfrombotheconomyandstate.Weargueinchapter3,however,thatbothGramsci'sand
Parsons'sanalysessufferfromthefactthattheyintroducethesethreedomainsintermsofoverlymonisticandfunctionalisticformsoftheory.InGramsci'scase,thisled
toadeepambivalencetowardmoderncivilsocietyanditsfutureinafreesocialistsociety.InParsons'scase,ontheotherhand,theflatcombinationofnormativeand
functionalistapproachesleavesuswithanexplicitlyapologetictheoryofthecontemporaryAmericanversionofcivilsociety.Wewishtomakethereadersensitiveto
thedangersofbothversionsoffunctionalism.
Together,thefirstthreechaptersshowthattheconceptofcivilsocietycontinuestoinformmajorparadigmsofcontemporarysocialandpoliticaltheory.Chapter3in
particularshowsthatthetheoreticalaimsofHegel'ssynthesisarebetterservedifweabandonhisownstatistbiasandifwedifferentiatecivilsocietyfromthesystemof
needsmoresharplythanhedid.GramsciandParsonsthuspointbeyondeconomismandstatismwithinthetermsofHegelianpoliticalphilosophy.

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Twentiethcenturyusagesoftheconceptofcivilsocietyarenotwithouttheircritics.Indeed,manyhavearguedthattheconceptofcivilsocietyisanachronistic,
normativelysuspect,orboth.Accordingly,inpartII,wereproduceandassessfourfundamentaltypesofcriticismtowhichwebelieveallcurrentlyavailable
conceptionsofcivilsocietyaremoreorlessvulnerable.Tobesure,therewouldbeotherwaysofschematizingcriticalapproaches,andothercriticstoincludeno
analysiscanavoidselectivity.Wehavechosentodividecriticalperspectivesaccordingtofourmodels:thenormative(chapter4),thehistoricist(chapter5),the
genealogical(chapter6),andthesystemstheoretic(chapter7).Withtheexceptionofthehistoricistmodel,wherewerefertothreeauthors,eachapproachistypified
byasingletheorist.Weusethisproceduretoproduceascoherentacaseforeachperspectiveaspossible.Forthesamereasonwebringtobearourowncriticisms
immanentlyineachinstance,leavingourownpositionuntillater.Asweproceed,though,wenotethatseveralofthecriticshavereconstructedonedimensionofthe
classicalconceptofcivilsocietyasinheritedfromHegelevenastheybattledagainsttheconceptionasawhole.Inaddition,eachcritichashelpedtoweakenthecase
ofatleastoneoftheothers.ThiswasthecaseforArendt'snotionofthepublicsphereasagenuinelypoliticalconcept(vs.Schmitt),forHabermas'srediscoveryofthe
bifurcationofthepublicinamodelofmediation(vs.Arendt),forFoucault'sgenealogyofmodernpowerrelations(vs.allfunctionalistmodels),andforLuhmann's
notionofdifferentiation(vs.SchmittandHabermas).
PartIIIismoresystematicandlessexpositorythanthefirsttwoparts.Keepinginmindthedifficultiesthathaveemergedfromcontemporarypoliticaldiscussionsand
fromthefourtypesofcriticismoftheconceptofcivilsociety,wehaveproducedfourtheoreticalstudies.Thesearemeanttorespondtothemostimportantobjections
leftoverfromthecriticalconfrontationofthecriticswitheachother,tooutlineareconstructedtheoryofcivilsociety,andtoreconnectthistheorytopoliticsthrough
analysesofsocialmovementsandcivildisobedience.
Chapter8startstoworkoutthenormativefoundationsofatheoryofcivilsociety,usingthediscourseethicsdevelopedbyHabermasandhiscolleagues.The
presentationofthediscourseethicshasadoublefunction.First,itrespondstothenormativeand

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genealogicalcriticsbyshowinghowaconvincingjustificationforcivilsocietycanbeprovidedtoday.Second,itshowsthattheprojectoftheinstitutionalizationof
discoursesispossibleonlyonthegroundofmoderncivilsociety.Itisinthiscontextthatwehopetogiveamorecomprehensivesolutiontotheantinomyof
rightsorientedliberalismandcommunitarianismdiscussedintheintroduction,takingintoaccounttheclaimsofparticipatorydemocratictheoryaswell.Thethesisof
chapter8isthattheplausibilityofrightsanddemocracydependsontheirconceptualandnormativeinterrelationdespitetheapparentlyantitheticalcharacterofthetwo
theoreticalparadigmsinwhicheachisarticulatedanddefended.
Becauseeverynormativetheoryofdemocracy,andeveryliberaltheory,impliesamodelofsociety,itisincumbentonpoliticaltheoriststoaddthedimensionofsocial
structuralanalysistonormafivepoliticalphilosophy.Ofcourse,thosewhoareconvincedoftheuniversalityofhermeneuticmethodologywouldneeddonomoreto
demonstratethevalidityofcontemporarytheoreticalusesoftheconceptofcivilsocietythanreconstructthecontemporarydiscoursesofcivilsocietyinanormatively
coherenttheory.Onsuchaview,thefactthattheconceptofcivilsocietyinformstheselfunderstandingofsocialmovementsisenoughtoshowthatitremainsan
adequatebasisforthesymbolicorientationofcollectiveaction.Butthe"discourseofcivilsociety,"includingeventhebestphilosophicalreformulationofit,couldbe
merelyideological.Whatevertheintentionsofsocialactors,thefunctionalrequirementsofmoderneconomicandpoliticalsystemsmaymakeprojectsbasedonthe
conceptirrelevant,correspondingidentitiesunstable,interpretationsonesided.Giventhechallengestotheverymodelofdifferentiationthatisattheheartofthe
discourseofcivilsociety,itisessentialtoprovideasystematicreconstructionofitsstructuralpresuppositions.Withoutasocialscientificanalysisofthestructureand
dynamicsofmodernsociety,wehavenowayofevaluatingthegeneralityofagivenidentityortheglobalconstraintsoperatingbehindthebackofsocialactors.
Inaddition,therelationbetweencivilsociety,theeconomy,andthestaterequireselaboration.Thisisthegoalofchapter9,whichstartsbymappingoutthethreepart
modelofcivilsocietyintro

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ducedbyGramsciintermsoftheHabermasiandistinctionbetweenthelifeworldandtheeconomicandpoliticalsubsystems.Wethenattempttodemonstratethe
modernityofthisconstruct.Chapter9mustbereadasasympatheticrevisionoftheHabermasianframework.Ourmainadditionistointegratetheconceptofcivil
societyintotheoverallmodel,makingthenecessaryadjustments.Convincedthatthetheoryofcommunicativeactionrepresentsthemostadvancedcontoursofcritical
socialtheorytoday,wetrytounfoldtheimplicationsofthewholeconceptiononthelevelofpoliticaltheory.Indeed,ourreconstructionofcivilsocietyshouldbeseen
alsoasapolitical"translation"ofHabermasiancriticaltheory,onethathasbeenguidedbythedramaticstrugglesofourtimeundertheaegisofhisownvaluesand
ours:freedomandsolidarity.Weargue,againstLuhmann,thatamodelofdifferentiationandmodernizationcannotdowithoutanultimatelyculturalsubstratum,where
therationalizationofnormativeactioncoordinationoccurs.Wealsoshowthatourmodelhastheadvantageofbeingabletoaccommodatethenegativephenomena
associatedwithmoderncivilsocietyinthegenealogicalcriticism,andmuchmore.Wediscussthecontradictoryinstitutionalizationofthenormsofcivilsocietywhile
insistingbothontheutopianimplicationsofthemodelandonitsalternativeformsofdevelopment.Chapter9concludesbyoutliningaproposal,basedonthethree
partmodel,forthereflexivecontinuationofboththewelfarestateandthedemocraticrevolution.
Thelasttwochaptersformulatethispoliticsbyreferringtosocialmovementsandtooneoftheirkeyformsofcontestation:civildisobedience.Wedonotwishtoimply
thatthepoliticsofcivilsocietycanonlytaketheformofsocialmovements.Normalinstitutionalformsofpoliticalparticipationvoting,becomingactiveinpolitical
parties,forminginterestorlobbygroupsarepartofthispolitics.Buttheutopiandimensionofradicalpoliticscanbefoundonlyonthelevelofcollectiveaction.Thus,
inchapter10,weaddresstherelationbetweencollectiveactionandcivilsocietyfromaslightlydifferentpointofviewthanthatofchapter1.Insteadoffocusingonthe
discourseofactivists,wetakeupthemajortheoreticalparadigmsthathaveevolvedsincethe1960sinordertoanalyzesocialmovementsandshowthattheyeach
pre

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suppose(insomecasesimplicitly,inothersexplicitly)theconceptofcivilsociety.Moreover,wedemonstratethatcivilsociety,beyondallfunctionalistandpluralist
models,shouldbeseennotonlypassively,asanetworkofinstitutions,butalsoactively,asthecontextandproductofselfconstitutingcollectiveactors.Wethentry
todemonstratethatourtripartitestructuralmodelisthebestframeworkwithwhichtoapproach"new"andoldformsofcollectiveaction.
Weconcludebyreflectingonthequestionofwhatisandwhatshouldandcouldbetherelationshipsamongsocietalplurality,individualautonomy,socialmovements,
andaliberal,democraticpoliticalsystem.Socialmovementsarenotalwaysinternallydemocratic,andtheyoftenengageinactionthatviolatesthedemocratic
proceduresorlawsgeneratedbyanonethelesslegitimatepoliticalorder.Whatmodeofpoliticalvoice,action,andrepresentationislegitimateforsocialactorsinboth
societyandstate?Whatistheproperlocusofpoliticalactivityandhowshouldboundarylinesbetweenpublicandprivatebedrawn?Howcanthedangerof
permanentmobilizationbeavoided?Ourdiscussionofcivildisobedienceinchapter11respondstothesequestions.Aboveall,ourargumentoncivildisobedience
seekstodemonstratethatsocialmovementsandcitizeninitiativesarecapableofinfluencingpolicyandmoldingpoliticalculturewithoutentryintothefieldofpower
politicsandwithoutnecessarilyendangeringliberalordemocraticinstitutions.Thus(implicitlyreturningtothefirstdebateinourintroduction),weprovidefora
frameworkofdemocratizationinthecontextsofelitedemocracies,withoutfallingintothetrapsoffundamentalisttheoriesofparticipation.Wealsotakeuponcemore
thedebatebetweenrightsorientedliberalsandparticipatorydemocrats,thistimefromtheperspectiveoftheappropriateformsofnoninstitutionalizedpoliticsofcivil
society.Wehopetoprovide,ifnotthesolutiontotheantinomiesofcontemporarypoliticalandsocialtheory,thenatleasttoawaytobeginrethinkingthem.

Pagexix
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Eachchapterofthisbookwasextensivelydiscussedbytheauthorsbeforedraftswerewritten.Thepreface,introduction,andchapters6,8,10,and11areprimarily
theworkofJeanL.Cohenchapters1,2,3,and7areprimarilytheworkofAndrewAratochapters4,5,and9arecollaborativeefforts.
Wereceivedsupportforthisproject,individuallyandjointly,frommorepeopleandinstitutionsthanwecanmentionhere.Westartwithourseparate
acknowledgments.
JeanL.CohenwouldliketothanktheRussellSageFoundationfortheintellectualandinstitutionalsupportreceivedtherewhileIwasaPostDoctoralFellowin
Residencein198687.IwouldalsoliketothanktheDepartmentofPoliticalScienceatColumbiaUniversityforaleaveofabsencethatenabledmetocarryonthis
research.SpecialthankstotheCouncilsforResearchintheHumanitiesandSocialSciencesofColumbiaUniversityforsummerfellowshipsin1987and1988that
enabledmetoconductresearchabroad.Thecoledeshautestudesensciencessociales,andinparticularClaudeLefortandPierreRosanvallon,deservespecial
mentionforallowingmetoworkasDirecteurd'tudesassociinpoliticalandsocialtheoryin1989.WhileinParis,Ipresentedseverallecturesbasedonthebook
andreceivedveryhelpfulcriticisms.MydeepestthankstoJrgenHabermasforsponsoringatwomonthresearchfellowshipattheMaxPlanckInstitutfr
SozialwissenschafteninStarnbergin1981thereIwasabletofamiliarizemyselfwithhisrecentwork,whichhashadthegreatestinfluenceonmythinkingandonthis
book.Iwouldliketothank

Pagexx
theAmericanCouncilofLearnedSocietiesforfundingmytraveltoDubrovnik,Yugoslavia,in1984and1985,topresentlecturesattheCourseonPhilosophyand
SocialScience.There,too,Iairedmyideasonsocialmovements,discourseethics,andcivilsocietyandreceivedinvaluablefeedback.Finally,thanksareduetothe
ViennaInstitutfrdieWissenchaftenvomMenschen,andinparticulartoKrzysztofMichalskiandCorneliaKlinger,whoinvitedmetolectureattheirsummerschool
programinCortona,Italy,in1989and1990.ThereIgaveseminarsonthethemeofcivilsocietytoaninterestinggroupofgraduatestudentsfromtheUnitedStates,
EasternEurope,andtheSovietUnion,andIprofitedgreatlybytheirresponses.
AndrewAratowouldliketothanktheAlexandervonHumboldtStiftungforitssupportin19801981,andtheMaxPlanckInstitutfrSozialwissenschaftenin
Starnbergforprovidingaworkbaseduringthistime.IverymuchappreciatethehelpIreceivedfromProfessorHabermas,thendirectoroftheinstitute,andhis
colleaguesingettingtoknowtheframeworkoftheTheoryofCommunicativeAction,whichisoftenutilizedinthisbook.Iwouldfurtherliketothankcolleaguesatthe
InstituteofSociologyoftheHungarianAcademyofScience,fortheirinterestinmyworkoncivilsocietyandforthemanyinterestingdiscussionswehaveshared.I
oweagreatdebttotheGraduateFacultyseminarsoftheNewSchoolforSocialResearchatwhichIhadachancetodiscusstopicsfromthisbookinparticular,the
democracyseminar,thestaffseminarinsociology,andthephilosophycolloquium.ConferencesattheCardozoLawSchoolonHegelandLuhmannhaveprovided
excellentopportunitiestorefinemyideas.Iwish,finally,tothankallmystudentswhohavesoactivelyparticipatedincoursesrelatedtotheproblemsofcivilsociety.
Manyfriendsandcolleagueshavegivenususefulcritiquesofdraftsofthemanuscriptandinterestingsuggestionsinthecourseofconversations.Wewouldliketo
mention,inparticular,KenBaynes,RobertBellah,SeylaBenhabib,GyrgyBence,LszlBruszt,JosCasanova,CorneliusCastoriadis,JuanCorradi,Drucilla
Cornell,FerencFehr,CarlosForeman,AlessandroFerrara,JeffreyGoldfarb,ClausGuenter,JrgenHabermas,ElemrHankiss,AgnesHeller,DickHoward,
GeorgeKateb,JnosKis,GyrgyMrkus,

Pagexxi
MariaMrkus,AlbertoMelucci,SigridMeuschel,ClausOffe,GuillermoO'Donnell,AlessandroPizzorno,CarlaPasquinelli,UlrichPreuss,ZbigniewPelczynski,
PierreRosenvallon,BernhardtSchlink,PhillippeSchmitter,AlfredStepan,IvanSzelnyi,MihlyVajda,JeffreyWeintraub,andAlbrechtWellmer.
Weoweaspecialwordofthankstoourserieseditor,ThomasMcCarthy,aswellastooureditoratMITPress,LarryCohen.Withouttheirhelpthisbookwould
certainlynothavebeenpossible.
Wededicatethebooktoourchildren,JulianCohenAratoandRachelArato.

Page1
INTRODUCTION
Weareonthethresholdofyetanothergreattransformationoftheselfunderstandingofmodernsocieties.Therehavebeenmanyattemptsfromvariouspointsofview
tolabelthisprocess:theambiguousterms"postindustrial"and"postmodern"societyreflectthevantagepointsofeconomicandculturalconcerns.Ourinterestisin
politics.Butfromthisstandpoint,thechangesoccurringinpoliticalcultureandsocialconflictsarepoorlycharacterizedbytermswhoseprefiximplies"after"or
"beyond."Tobesure,foravarietyofempiricalandtheoreticalreasonstheoldhegemonicparadigmshavedisintegrated,ashavethecertaintiesandguaranteesthat
wentwiththem.Indeedweareinthemidstofaremarkablerevivalofpoliticalandsocialthoughtthathasbeengoingonforthelasttwodecades.
OneresponsetothecollapseofthetwodominantparadigmsofthepreviousperiodpluralismandneoMarxismhasbeentheattempttorevivepoliticaltheoryby
"bringingthestatebackin."Whilethisapproachhasledtointerestingtheoreticalandempiricalanalyses,itsstatecenteredperspectivehasobscuredanimportant
dimensionofwhatisnewinthepoliticaldebatesandinthestakesofsocialcontestation.
1
Thefocusonthestateisausefulantidotetothereductionistfunctionalismof
manyneoMarxianandpluralistparadigmsthatwouldmakethepoliticalsystemanextension,reflex,orfunctionalorganofeconomic(class)orsocial(group)
structuresofselectivityanddomination.Inthisrespectthetheoreticalmoveservedthecauseofamoredifferentiatedanalysis.Butwithrespecttoallthatisnonstate,
thenewparadigmcontinuesthe

Page2
reductionisttendencyofMarxismandneoMarxismbyidentifyingclassrelationsandinterestsasthekeytocontemporaryformsofcollectiveaction.Moreover,the
legal,associational,cultural,andpublicspheresofsocietyhavenotheoreticalplaceinthisanalysis.Ittherebylosessightofagreatdealofinterestingandnormatively
instructiveformsofsocialconflicttoday.
Thecurrent''discourseofcivilsociety,"ontheotherhand,focusespreciselyonnew,generallynonclassbasedformsofcollectiveactionorientedandlinkedtothe
legal,associational,andpublicinstitutionsofsociety.Thesearedifferentiatednotonlyfromthestatebutalsofromthecapitalistmarketeconomy.Althoughwecannot
leavethestateandtheeconomyoutofconsiderationifwearetounderstandthedramaticchangesoccurringinLatinAmericaandEasternEuropeinparticular,the
conceptofcivilsocietyisindispensableifwearetounderstandthestakesofthese"transitionstodemocracy"aswellastheselfunderstandingoftherelevantactors.It
isalsoindispensabletoanyanalysisthatseekstograsptheimportofsuchchangesfortheWest,aswellasindigenouscontemporaryformsandstakesofconflict.In
ordertodiscover,afterthedemiseofMarxism,ifnotacommonnormativeprojectbetweenthe"transitions"andradicalsocialinitiativesunderestablishedliberal
democracies,thenatleasttheconditionsofpossibilityoffruitfuldialoguebetweenthem,wemustinquireintothemeaningandpossibleshapesoftheconceptofcivil
society.
Admittedly,ourinclinationistopositacommonnormativeproject,andinthissensewearepostMarxist.Inotherwords,welocatethepluralistcoreofourproject
withintheuniversalistichorizonofcriticaltheoryratherthanwithintherelativisticoneofdeconstruction.Atissueisnotonlyanarbitrarytheoreticalchoice.Wearetruly
impressedbytheimportanceinEastEuropeandLatinAmerica,aswellasintheadvancedcapitalistdemocracies,ofthestruggleforrightsandtheirexpansion,ofthe
establishmentofgrassrootsassociationsandinitiativesandtheeverrenewedconstructionofinstitutionsandforumsofcriticalpublics.Nointerpretationcandothese
aspirationsjusticewithoutrecognizingbothcommonorientationsthattranscendgeographyandevensocialpoliticalsystemsandacommonnormativefabriclinking
rights,associations,andpublicstogether.Webelievethatcivilsociety,in

Page3
factthemajorcategoryofmanyoftherelevantactorsandtheiradvocatesfromRussiatoChile,andfromFrancetoPoland,isthebesthermeneutickeytothesetwo
complexesofcommonality.
Thusweareconvincedthattherecentreemergenceofthe"discourseofcivilsociety"isattheheartofaseachangeincontemporarypoliticalculture.
2
Despitethe
proliferationofthis"discourse"andoftheconceptitself,however,noonehasdevelopedasystematictheoryofcivilsociety.Thisbookisanefforttobegindoingjust
that.Nevertheless,systematictheorycannotbebuiltdirectlyoutoftheselfunderstandingofactors,whomayverymuchneedtheresultsofamoredistancedand
criticalexaminationofthepossibilitiesandconstraintsofaction.Suchtheorymustbeinternallyrelatedtothedevelopmentofrelevanttheoreticaldebates.Atfirstsight
thebuildingofatheoryofcivilsocietyseemstobehamperedbythefactthatthestakesofcontemporarydebatesinpoliticaltheoryseemtobelocatedaround
differentaxesthanthenineteenthcenturycoupletofsocietyandstate.Itisourbelief,however,thattheproblemofcivilsocietyanditsdemocratizationislatently
presentinthesediscussionsandthatitconstitutesthetheoreticalterrainonwhichtheirinternalantinomiesmightberesolved.
Threedebatesofthelast1520yearsseemtotowerabovealltherest.Thefirstcontinuesanoldercontroversywithinthefieldofdemocratictheorybetween
defendersofelitevs.participatorymodelsofdemocracy.
3
Thesecond,forthemostpartrestrictedtotheAngloAmericanworld,isbetweenwhathascometobe
called"rightsorientedliberalism"and"communitarianism."Whileitcoverssomeofthesamegroundasthefirstcontroversy,thetermsoftheseconddiscussionare
quitedistinctfor,unlikethefirst,itoccurswithinthefieldofnormativepoliticalphilosophyratherthanbetweenempiricistsandnormativists.
4
Thethirddebate,pitting
neoconservativeadvocatesofthefreemarketagainstdefendersofthewelfarestate,hasanimateddiscussiononbothsidesoftheAtlantic.
5
Itscontextis,ofcourse,
thenotoriouscrisisofthewelfarestatethatintrudedonpoliticalconsciousnessinthemid1970s.Thesedebatesareinterrelated,and,asalreadyindicated,thereare
overlaps.Nevertheless,eachofthemhasculminatedinadistinctsetofantinomiesleadingtoakindofstandoffandincreas

Page4
ingsterility.Whatnooneseemstohaverealized,however,isthattherelativelyunsystematicandheterogeneousdiscourseoftherevivalofcivilsocietycanbebrought
tobearonthesedebatesandindeedcanprovideawayoutoftheantinomiesthatplaguethem.Accordingly,weshallbrieflysummarizethesedebatesinthis
introductionandshowhowourbookprovidesanewparadigmforthinkingabouttheissuestheyraise.
DebatesinContemporaryPoliticalTheory
EliteVs.ParticipatoryDemocracy
ItwouldnotbeanexaggerationtosaythatthedebatebetweeneliteandparticipatorymodelsofdemocracyhasbeengoingaroundincircleseversinceSchumpeter
threwdownthegauntlettothenormativistsin1942.
6
Schumpeter'sclaimthat"thedemocraticmethodisthatinstitutionalarrangementforarrivingatpoliticaldecisions
inwhichindividualsacquirethepowertodecideviaacompetitivestruggleforthepeople'svote"
7
hasformedthecoreoftheelitemodelofdemocracyeversince.
Democracyisdefinednotasakindofsocietyorasasetofmoralendsorevenasaprincipleoflegitimacybutratherasamethodforchoosingpoliticalleadersand
organizinggovernments.Theelitemodelofdemocracyclaimstoberealistic,descriptive,empiricallyaccurate,andtheonlymodelthatisappropriatetomodernsocial
conditions.
Farfromindulginginutopianillusionsaboutthepossibilityofeitherconjuringawaythephenomenonofpowerorthegapbetweenrulersandruled,thisapproach
assumesthatnosociety,andcertainlynomodernone,couldfunctionwithoutboth.A"realistic"appraisalofdemocraticsocietiesmustgrantthatthemotorofthe
politicalsystemispowerjustasthemotoroftheeconomyisprofit.Thestruggletoacquireandusepowerisattheheartofthepolitical.Whatdistinguishesdemocratic
fromnondemocraticsocietiesisthusthewayinwhichpowerisacquiredanddecisionsarearrivedat:Solongassomecoresetofcivilrightsisrespectedandregularly
contestedelectionsareheldonthebasisofauniversalfranchise,solongasalternationinpowerisacceptedbyelitesandoccurssmoothlywithoutviolenceor
institutional

Page5
discontinuity,solongasdecisionmakinginvolvescompromisesamongelitesand(passive)acceptancebythepopulation,apolitycanbeconsidereddemocratic.The
mainconcernhereisobviouslywiththeabilityofagovernmenttoproducedecisions,tohavethemaccepted,andtoensureorderlytransitions,i.e.,stability.
Theelitemodelofdemocracypridesitselfonprovidinganoperationalizableandempiricallydescriptiveaccountofthepracticesofpolitiesconsideredtobe
democratic.Thereisnopretenseherethatvoterseithersetthepoliticalagendaormakepoliticaldecisionstheyneithergenerateissuesnorchoosepolicies.Rather,
leaders(politicalparties)aggregateinterestsanddecidewhicharetobecomepoliticallysalient.
8
Moreover,theyselectissuesandstructurepublicopinion.Thetrue
functionofthevoteissimplytochooseamongthebidsforpowerbypoliticalelitesandtoacceptleadership.Thevotersareconsumers,thepartiesareentrepreneurs
offeringalternativepackagesorpersonnelitistheywhocreatedemand,bowingtoconsumersovereigntyonlywithregardtotheyes/nodecisionbythevotersabout
whoamongthepreselectedcandidateswillbetheir"representatives"(usingthelattertermverylooselyindeed).
9
Inshort,theempiricaltheoriesofdemocracy(elite,
pluralist,corporatist,andrationalchoicemodels)tendquiteopenlytoreducethenormativemeaningofthetermtoasetofminimumsmodeledonaconceptionof
bargaining,competition,access,andaccountabilityderivedmorefromthemarketthanfromearliermodelsofcitizenship.
Competitivenessinacquiringpoliticalpowerandinmakingpolicydecisionsis,ofcourse,thecoreofthismodelofdemocracy.Thecompetitiveelementisdeemedto
bethesourceofcreativity,productivity,responsibility,andresponsiveness.Theultimatesanctionofthevote,togetherwiththenecessityonthepartofelitesto
competeforit,willsupposedlykeepthingsfair,encourageauthoritiestoberesponsivetoamultiplicityofdemandsandaccountabletothecitizenry,andfostertheir
willingnesstocompromisewithoneanother.Tobesure,thismodelofdemocracyrestsoncertainpreconditionsthatitsupposedlyshouldbeabletoreproduce:high
qualityleadershipwithatolerancefordifferencesofopinion,arestrictedrangeofpoliticaldecision,
10
andanelitepoliticalculturebasedondemocraticself
control.
11
Thesepre

Page6
conditionsarepredicatedinturnonthefactofsocialpluralismorcleavage,whichthedemocraticmethodinstitutionalizesintononviolentcompetitionforofficeand
influence.Afinalprecondition,deemedindispensableforastablepoliticalsystemtobeabletomakedecisions,isthatitmustbeshieldedfromtoomuchparticipation
bythepopulation:Citizensmust,asitwere,acceptthedivisionoflaborbetweenthemselvesandthepoliticianstheyelect.
12
Accordingly,thismodelofdemocracy
arguesthatthesecretballot,civilrights,alternation,regularelections,andpartycompetitionarecentraltoeverymodernconceptionofdemocracyifdemocracyisto
haveanyplaceatallincomplexmodernsocieties.
Wefindthislaststatementtobequiteconvincing,sofarasitgoes.Butthenormativistcritiqueoftheelitemodelofdemocracyisalsoconvincing.Itisespecially
compellingagainsttheelitemodel'stendencytoextolapathy,civilprivatism,andthenecessitytoshieldthepoliticalsystemfrom"excess"demandsofthepopulationas
democraticprinciples,themeaningofthisexcesstobedeterminedbytheelitesalone.
13
Thenormativistscorrectlypointoutthatwhatmakesforstabilityand
continuityinapolityisnotidenticalwithwhatmakesitdemocratic.Fromthestandpointofparticipationtheory,theelitemodelofdemocracyisbothtoobroadand
toonarrow.Todefineapolityasdemocraticifitperiodicallyholdscontestedelectionsandguaranteescivilrights,regardlessofwhatsortsofpublicinstitutionsor
privatearrangementsexist,istoextenddemocraticlegitimacytoanenormouslywiderangeofsocietieswhilesimultaneouslyshieldingthemfromcriticalscrutiny.
14
At
thesametimetheconceptofdemocracyatplayhereistoonarrow,foritisdefinedbyproceduresthathavelittletodowiththeproceduresandpresuppositionsof
freeagreementanddiscursivewillformation.
15
Indeedtheparticipationtheoristsarguethatthe"realistic"modelhasdenudedtheconceptofdemocracyofsomanyof
itselementsthatithaslostanyconnectionwithitspastmeaning.
16
Whatisleftifonedropstheideasofselfdetermination,participation,politicalequality,discursive
processesofpoliticalwillformationamongpeers,andtheinfluenceofautonomouspublicopinionondecisionmaking?Inshort,thepriceoftheelitemodel'srealismis
thelossofwhathasalwaysbeentakentobethecoreoftheconceptofdemocracy,namely,thecitizenshipprinciple.

Page7
Moreover,byrestrictingtheconceptofdemocracytoamethodofleaderselectionandtoproceduresregulatingthecompetitionandpolicymakingofelites,this
modelsacrificestheveryprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacyonwhichitisneverthelessparasitic.Itlosesallcriteriafordistinguishingbetweenformalisticritual,
systematicdistortion,choreographedconsent,manipulatedpublicopinion,andtherealthing.
17
Theparticipatorymodelofdemocracymaintainsthatwhatmakesforgoodleadersalsomakesforgoodcitizensactiveparticipationinrulingandbeingruled(i.e.,in
theexerciseofpower)andalsoinpublicwillandopinionformation.Democracyinthissensewouldallowallcitizens,andnotonlyelites,toacquireademocratic
politicalculture.Foritisthroughpoliticalexperiencethatonedevelopsaconceptionofcivicvirtue,learnstotoleratediversity,totemperfundamentalismandegoism,
andtobecomeableandwillingtocompromise.
18
Hencetheinsistencethatwithoutpublicspacesfortheactiveparticipationofthecitizenryinrulingandbeingruled,
withoutadecisivenarrowingofthegapbetweenrulersandruled,tothepointofitsabolition,politiesaredemocraticinnameonly.
19
Forthemostpart,however,whenitcomestoconceptualizingalternatives,participationtheoristsofferinstitutionalmodelsthataremeanttosubstituteforratherthan
complementtheallegedlyundemocratic(and/orbourgeois)formsofrepresentativegovernmentthatexisttoday.
20
Whetherthetheoristharkensbacktoanidealized
modeloftheGreekpolis,totherepublicantraditionofthelatemedievalcitystate,ortothenewformsofdemocracygeneratedwithinthemilieusoftheworkers'
movement(councilcommunism,revolutionarysyndicalism),ineachcasethealternativeispresentedasthesingleorganizationalprincipleforsocietyasawhole.
Accordingly,theunderlyingthrustofthesemodelsisthededifferentiationofsociety,thestate,andtheeconomy.Smallwonderthatparticipationistsinturnareaccused
bytheiropponentsofutopianismand/orantimodernism.
21
Tosumup,thisdebateleavesuswiththefollowingantinomy:Contemporarydemocratictheoryinvolveseithersomeratherundemocraticadjustmentstothe
"exigenciesofcomplexindustrialsocieties"coupledwithanabandonmentofthenormativecoreof

Page8
theveryconceptofdemocracy,oritprofferssomewhathollownormativevisionsthatcannotbereconciledwiththeinstitutionalrequirementsofmodernsociety.
22
RightsOrientedLiberalismVs.Communitarianism
Thedebatebetweenpoliticalliberalsandcommunitariansreproducessomeoftheargumentsdescribedabovebutonadifferentterrain.Inonerespect,bothsidesin
thisdebatechallengetheelite/pluralistmodelofdemocracy.
23
Bothrejecttheantinormative,empiricist,utilitarianstraininthismodelandbothseektodevelopa
convincingnormativetheoryofdemocraticlegitimacyorjustice.Thedisputeisoverhowtoformulatesuchatheory.Despitethisshiftinemphasis,however,this
debatealsoculminatesinasetofantinomicpositionsfromwhichitseemsunabletoextricateitself.
Atthecenterofthecontroversyaretwointerrelatedissues,oneepistemological,theotherpolitical.Thefirstrevolvesaroundthequestionofwhetheritispossibleto
articulateaformal,universalistic(deontological)conceptionofjusticewithoutpresupposingasubstantive(historicallyandculturallyspecific)conceptofthe
good.
24
Thesecondrevolvesaroundthequestionofhowfreedomcanberealizedinthemodernworld.Atissuehereiswhethertheideaoffreedomshouldbe
explicatedprimarilyfromthestandpointofindividualrightsorofthecommunity'ssharednorms.
25
Eachsidecomesupwithadifferent,indeedopposed,setof
responsesastowhatconstitutesthelegitimatingprinciplesofaconstitutionaldemocracy.Intheprocess,however,theveryconceptionofliberaldemocracy
disintegratesintoitscomponentparts.
Liberaltheoristsseetherespectforindividualrightsandtheprincipleofpoliticalneutralityasthestandardforlegitimacyinconstitutionaldemocracies.Thecore
premiseofrightsorientedliberalismisthatindividualsquaindividualshavemoralrightsthatserveasconstraintsongovernmentandonothersconstraintsthatare
underthecontroloftherightsholder.Theyhavetheserightsnotonthegroundsofsomesocialconvention,aggregatecommonutility,tradition,ordispensationfrom
God,butbyvirtueoftheirhavingsome"property"(moralautonomy,humandignity)thatconstitutesthemasbearersofrights.
26
Theliberalseesindi

Page9
vidualautonomy,moralegalitarianism,anduniversalismasinherentintheideaofmoralrights.
27
Assuch,rightsconstitutetheheartofaconceptionofjusticethat
makesplausibletheclaimtolegitimacyofanymodernpolity.Lawandpoliticaldecisionsarebindingtothedegreetowhichtheyrespectindividualrights.
28
Thecommunitariancritiqueoftherightsthesisfocusesonitsindividualistpresuppositionsanduniversalistclaims.Withrespecttothefirst,communitariansarguethat
theliberalidealsofmoralautonomyandindividualselfdevelopmentarebasedonanatomistic,abstract,andultimatelyincoherentconceptoftheselfasthesubjectof
rights.
29
Thisallegedlyleadstoafocusonnonpoliticalformsoffreedom(negativeliberty)andanimpoverishedconceptionofpoliticalidentity,agency,andethicallife.
Accordingly,thecommunitariansinvokeasetofempiricalandnormativeargumentsagainsttheseassumptions.First,theyarguethatindividualsaresituatedwithinan
historicalandsocialcontexttheyaresocializedintocommunitiesthroughwhichtheyderivetheirindividualandcollectiveidentity,language,worldconcepts,moral
categories,etc.Hencetheempiricalprimacyofthesocialovertheindividualisassertedagainsttheallegedpriorityoftheasocialindividualtosociety.Second,onthe
normativelevel,communitarianschargethatliberalsfailtoseethatcommunitiesareindependentsourcesofvalueandthattherearecommunaldutiesandvirtues
(loyalty,civicvirtue)distinctfromdutiestoothersquatheirabstracthumanity.Indeed,dutiesofloyaltyandmembershipareandmustbeprimary.
Asfarasuniversalismgoes,communitariansclaimthatwhattheliberalseesasuniversalnormsgroundedintheuniversalcharacterofhumanity(dignityormoral
autonomy)areinfactparticularnormsembeddedinsharedunderstandingsofspecificcommunities.Theindividualcannothaveafirmbasisformoraljudgmentwithout
gettingitfromacommunitytowhichoneiscommitted.Thestrongestclaimisthattherearenodutiespertainingtoabstractmanbutonlytomembers:Theproperbasis
ofmoraltheoryisthecommunityanditsgood,nottheindividualandherrights.Indeed,individualshaverightstothedegreetowhichtheseflowfromthecommon
good.Accordingly,theideaofmoralrightsisanemptyuniversalismthatmistakenlyabstractsfromtheonlyrealbasisof

Page10
moralclaims,thecommunity.Onlyonthebasisofasharedconceptionofthegoodlife,onlywithintheframeworkofasubstantiveethicalpoliticalcommunity(witha
specificpoliticalculture)canweleadmeaningfulmorallivesandenjoytruefreedom.
Forthosecommunitarianswhoseethemselvesasdemocrats,
30
theconceptoffreedomthushastodonotwiththeideaofmoralrightsbutwiththespecificwayin
whichagentscometodecidewhattheywantandoughttodo.Takentogether,theempiricalandnormativecriticismsoftherightsthesisimplythatfreedommusthave
itsoriginallocusnotintheisolatedindividualbutinthesocietythatisthemediumofindividuation:inthestructures,institutions,practicesofthelargersocialwhole.
Civicvirtueratherthannegativeliberty,thepublicgoodasdistinctfromtheright,democraticparticipationunlikeindividualrights(andtheconcomitantadversarial
politicalculture),involveacommunalpracticeofcitizenshipthatshouldpervadetheinstitutionsofsocietyonalllevelsandbecomehabitualizedinthecharacter,
customs,moralsentimentsofeachcitizen.Byimplication,andonthestrongestversionoftheseclaims,asocietyinwhichclaimsofindividualrightsproliferatecannot
beasolidarycommunitybutmustbealienated,anomic,privatized,competitiveandlackinginmoralsubstance.
Thisdebatealsoleadstoanapparentlyunresolvableantinomy.Ontheoneside,theliberaltraditionitself,withitsfocusonindividualrightsanditsillusionsaboutthe
possibilityofpoliticalneutrality,appearsasthesourceofegoistic,disintegrativetendenciesinmodernsocietyandhenceasthemainimpedimenttoachievinga
democraticsocietypredicatedoncivicvirtue.Theothersidecounterswiththecontentionthatmodernsocietiesarepreciselynotcommunitiesintegratedarounda
singleconceptionofthegoodlife.Moderncivilsocietiesarecharacterizedbyapluralityofformsoflifetheyarestructurallydifferentiatedandsociallyheterogeneous.
Thus,tobeabletoleadamorallife,individualautonomyandindividualrightsmustbesecured.Onthisview,itisdemocracy,withitsemphasisonconsensus,orat
leastonmajorityrule,thatisdangeroustoliberty,unlesssuitablyrestrictedbyconstitutionallyguaranteedbasicrightsthatalonecanrenderthemlegitimateintheeyes
ofminorities.

Page11
TheDefenseofWelfareStateVs.NeoconservativeAntistatism
Thedebatebetweendefendersofthewelfarestateanditsneolaissezfairecriticshasalsobeengoingaroundincircles,albeitforashortertimethanthecontroversy
plaguingdemocratictheory.
31
Argumentsforthewelfarestatehavebeenmadeonbotheconomicandpoliticalgrounds.
32
AccordingtoKeynesianeconomicdoctrine,
welfarestatepoliciesservetostimulatetheforcesofeconomicgrowthandtopreventdeeprecessionsbyencouraginginvestmentandstabilizingdemand.Fiscaland
monetaryincentivesforinvestorscoupledwithsocialinsurance,transferpayments,andpublicservicesforworkerscompensateforthedysfunctions,uncertainties,and
risksofthemarketmechanismandcontributetooverallstability.Highgrowthrates,fullemployment,andlowinflationshouldbetheresultofthispolicy.
Thepoliticalaspectsofthewelfarestatewouldalsoincreasestabilityandproductivity.Ontheoneside,legalentitlementstostateservicesandtransferpayments
simultaneouslyaidthosewhofeelthenegativeeffectsofthemarketsystemwhileremovingpotentiallyexplosiveneedsorissuesfromthearenaofindustrialconflict.On
theotherside,therecognitionoftheformalroleoflaborunionsincollectivebargainingandintheformationofpublicpolicy"balances"theasymmetricalpowerrelation
betweenlaborandcapitalandmitigatesclassconflict.
33
Theoverallincreaseinsocialjusticewouldleadtofewerstrikes,greaterproductivity,andanoverallconsensus
ofcapitalandlaborthattheyhaveamutualinterestinthesuccessofthepoliticaleconomicsystem:Growthandproductivityserveeveryone.Thewelfarestatewould
finallydeliverontheclaimofliberalcapitalistsocietiestobeegalitarianandjust,bysupportingtheworstoffandbycreatingthepreconditionsforatrueequalityof
opportunity,whichintheeyesofdefendersofthewelfarestateistheonlycontextinwhichcivilandpoliticalrightscanfunctioninauniversalisticmanner.Insteadof
beingconcernedbytheanomalousstatusofthesocalledsocialrights,foratheoristsuchasT.H.Marshalltheserepresentthehighestandmostfundamentaltypeof
citizenrights.
34
Certainlytheremarkablegrowthrates,relativestability,andincreaseinthestandardoflivinginpostwarWesterncapitalist

Page12
economieshave,untilrecently,madetheargumentsforstateinterventionconvincingtoallbutaveryfew.Inanewcontextofmorelimitedpossibilitiesforgrowth,
neoconservativedefendersofareturnto''laissezfaire"criticizeboththeeconomicandpoliticalclaimsofthewelfarestatemodel.Unfortunatelyforthelatter,their
argumentsalsocarryweight.Indeed,itwasnotdifficultforthesecriticstopointtothehighratesofunemploymentandinflationandlowgrowthratesthathaveplagued
Westerncapitalisteconomiessincethe1970sasproofthatstatebureaucraticregulationoftheeconomyiscounterproductive.Theycanalsopointtosuccessesin
thesedomainswheretheirownpolicieshavebeenapplied.
Ontheeconomicfront,threeclaimsaremadeagainstthepoliciesofwelfarestates:thattheyleadtoadisincentivetoinvestandadisincentivetowork,andthatthey
constituteaseriousthreattotheviabilityoftheindependentmiddleclass.
35
Theburdenimposedbytheregulatoryandfiscalpoliciesoncapitaltogetherwiththe
powerofunionstoextracthighwagesallegedlycontributetodeclininggrowthratesand,inacontextofseverecompetition,leadtotheperceptionthatinvestmentin
homemarketswillbeunprofitable.
36
Thedisincentivetoworkisattributedtoextensivesocialsecurityandunemploymentprovisionsthatallowworkerstoavoid
undesirablejobsandtoescapethenormalpressureofmarketforces.Thequantityofavailableworkersshrinksaswholesectorsoftheworkingclassareturnedinto
welfarestateclients,whiletheworkethicdeclinesasworkersbecomesimultaneouslymoredemandingandlesswillingtospendeffortontheirwork.Finally,the
independentmiddleclassfindsitselfsqueezedbyhighratesoftaxationandinflation.Theemergenceofthe"newmiddleclass"ofcivilserviceprofessionalsandhigher
levelbureaucratsonlyexacerbatestheseproblemsbecausethesestratahaveaninterestinreproducingandexpandingtheclientpopulationonwhichtheirjobs
depend.Welfarestateeconomicpoliciesarethusantinomicinmorethanonerespect:Policiesmeanttostimulatedemandundermineinvestment,policiesmeantto
provideeconomicsecurityforworkersunderminethewillingnesstowork,thepolicyoftemperingtheundesirablesideeffectsderivingfromunregulatedmarketforces
createsevengreatereconomicproblemsintheformofavastlyexpanded,expensive,unproductivestatesector.

Page13
Onthepoliticalfront,neoconservativesarguethattheverymechanismsintroducedbywelfarestatestoresolveconflictsandcreategreaterequalityofopportunity,
namelylegalentitlementsandtheexpandedstatesector,haveledtonewconflictsandhaveviolatedtherightsandlibertyofsomeforthesakeofothers.Byimpinging
uponthecorerightofliberalmarketsystems,namely,privateproperty,stateinterventionandregulationundermineboththelibertyofentrepreneursandtheincentive
toachieveonthepartoftheworkingpopulation.Farfromincreasingsocialjusticeorequalityofopportunity,welfareunderminesthepreconditionsforbothofthese.
Inshort,itrewardsfailureratherthansuccess.Inthenameofequality,moreover,stateinterventionintheeverydaylivesofitsclientsposesaseverethreattoliberty,
privacy,andautonomy.
Inaddition,thesemechanismshaveallegedlygeneratedasetofrisingexpectationsandincreasingdemandsthatleadtoanoverallsituationofungovernability.
37
Indeed,theveryinstitutionsofwelfarestatemassdemocracythatpromisedtochannelpoliticalconflictintoacceptableandharmlessforms(theendofideology)and
tointegrateworkersespeciallyintothepoliticalandeconomicsystemoflatecapitalism(deradicalization)i.e.,thecompetitive(catchall)partysystembasedon
universalsuffrage,interestgrouppolitics,collectivebargaining,andextensivesocialrightsleadtoadangerousoverloadofthepoliticalsystemandacrisisof
authority.
38
Inshort,therightsexplosionthatsoirritatesdemocraticcommunitariansisevenmorealarmingtoneoconservativecriticsof"statism."Byplacing
obligationsuponitselfthatitcannotpossiblyfulfill,
39
thestatecreatesrisingyetunsatisfiableexpectations,becomesoverexpandedandweakatthesametime,and
suffersfromadangerouslossofauthority.Indeed,onthisview,thereisacentralpoliticalcontradictioninherentinthewelfarestate:Inorderfortheperformance
capacityofthestatetobeenhancedvisvisthenumberofdemands,theveryfreedoms,modesofparticipation,andsetsofrightsassociatedwithitwouldhavetobe
curtailed.
40
Theneolaissezfaireeconomicandpoliticalalternatives,however,donotescapethefateofbecomingmerelyoneoftheuntenablesidesofanantinomicstructure.
"Supplyside"economistsseekto

Page14
dismantlethewelfarestateinordertoeliminatethe"disincentive"toinvest,buttodosowouldbetoabolishpreciselythose"buffers"thatstabilizedemand.
41
Ifthe
socioeconomicsupportsforworkersandthepoorareterminatedinthenameofrefurbishingtheworkethic,thecompulsionofthemarketwillcertainlyreturn,butso
willthegrossinjustices,dissatisfaction,instability,andclassconfrontationsthatcharacterizedthecapitalisteconomiespriortowelfarestatepolicies.
Ofcourse,theattackonthewelfarestateispredicatedontheideathatthereisanunlimitedgrowthpotentialformarketablegoodsandservicesthatwouldbe
unleashedoncethestateispushedbackintoitsproper,minimalterrain.Privatizationandderegulationwouldallegedlyrestorecompetitionandendtheinflationof
politicaldemands.However,thepoliticalpresuppositionsforsuchapolicyconflictwithitsgoalsofsocialpeaceandsocialjustice.Necessarilyrepressivepolicies
regardingtherighttoassociateandeffortstoabolishsocialrightsrangingfromsocialsecuritytounemploymentcompensation,nottomentionwelfare,arescarcely
conducivetoconsensus.Whilethe"freedomthreatening"dimensionsofstateintervention,namelytheregulationofproprietors,thesupervisionandcontrolofclients,
andthespiralingcycleofdependency,wouldend,sowouldallofthegainsinsocialjustice,equality,andrights.Moreover,effortstorestorestateauthoritybylimiting
itsscopeandbyshieldingitfrompopulardemandswouldnotreducestateactivismbutwouldsimplyshiftitfromthepoliticaltotheadministrativeterrain.For,ifone
reducestheabilityofdemocraticinstitutionssuchasthepartysystem,elections,andparliamentstoprovideforthearticulationofpoliticalconflict,alternativechannels,
suchastheneocorporatistarrangementsproliferatinginWesternEurope,willdevelop.Whilethesearrangementssuccessfullyshieldthestatefromexcessdemands,
theyhardlyindicateashiftfromstatetomarketregulation.Thustheneolaissezfairealternativetothe"crisis"ofthewelfarestateisasinternallycontradictoryasthe
illnessitpurportstocure.
Weareaccordinglyleftwiththefollowingantinomy:Eitherwechoosemoresocialengineering,morepaternalismandleveling,inshort,morestatism,inthenameof
egalitarianismandsocialrights,orweoptforthefreemarketand/ortherefurbishingofauthori

Page15
tariansocialandpoliticalformsoforganizationandrelinquishthedemocratic,egalitariancomponentsofourpoliticalcultureinordertoblockfurtherbureaucratization
ofeverydaylife.Itseemsthatliberaldemocraticmarketsocietiescannotcoexistwith,norcantheyexistwithout,thewelfarestate.
RevivaloftheConceptofCivilSociety
TheearlymodernconceptofcivilsocietywasrevivedfirstandforemostinthestrugglesofthedemocraticoppositionsinEasternEuropeagainstauthoritariansocialist
partystates.Despitedifferenteconomicandgeopoliticalcontexts,itdoesnotseemterriblyproblematictoapplytheconceptalsotothe"transitionsfromauthoritarian
rule"inSouthernEuropeandLatinAmerica,aboveallbecauseofthecommontasksharedwiththeoppositionsoftheEasttoconstitutenewandstabledemocracies.
ButwhyshouldsuchaconceptbeparticularlyrelevanttotheWest?IsnottherevivalofthediscourseofcivilsocietyintheEastandtheSouthsimplypartofaproject
toattainwhattheadvancedcapitalistdemocraciesalreadyhave:civilsocietyguaranteedbytheruleoflaw,civilrights,parliamentarydemocracy,andamarket
economy?CouldonenotarguethatstrugglesinthenameofcreatingcivilandpoliticalsocietyespeciallyintheEastareakindofrepeatofthegreatdemocratic
movementsoftheeighteenthandnineteenthcenturiesthatcreatedatypeofdualitybetweenstateandcivilsocietywhichremainsthebasisforWesterndemocraticand
liberalinstitutions?Andisn'tthisanadmissionthattheelitetheorists,theneoconservatives,oratbesttheliberalsarerightafterall?Putthisway,therevivalofthe
discourseofcivilsocietyappearstobejustthat,arevival,withlittlepoliticalortheoreticalimportforWesternliberaldemocracies.Andifthisisso,whywouldacivil
societyorientedperspectiveprovideawayoutoftheantinomiesplaguingWesternpoliticalandsocialthought?
SeveralinterrelatedissuesthathaveemergedinthecurrentrevivalgobeyondthemodelofthehistoricaloriginsofcivilsocietyintheWestandthereforehave
importantlessonstoofferestablishedliberaldemocracies.Theseincludetheconceptionofselflimitation,theideaofcivilsocietyascomprisedofsocialmovementsas
wellas

Page16
asetofinstitutions,theorientationtocivilsocietyasanewterrainofdemocratization,
42
theinfluenceofcivilonpoliticalandeconomicsociety,andfinallyan
understandingthattheliberationofcivilsocietyisnotnecessarilyidenticalwiththecreationofbourgeoissocietybutratherinvolvesachoicebetweenapluralityof
typesofcivilsociety.Allthesenotionspointbeyondarestrictionofthetheoryofcivilsocietymerelytotheconstituentphaseofnewdemocracies.
Theideaofselflimitation,alltoooftenconfusedwiththestrategicconstraintsonemancipatorymovements,isactuallybasedonlearningintheserviceofdemocratic
principle.Thepostrevolutionaryorselflimiting"revolutions"oftheEastarenolongermotivatedbyfundamentalistprojectsofsuppressingbureaucracy,economic
rationality,orsocialdivision.Movementsrootedincivilsocietyhavelearnedfromtherevolutionarytraditionthatthesefundamentalistprojectsleadtothebreakdown
ofsocietalsteeringandproductivityandthesuppressionofsocialplurality,allofwhicharethenreconstitutedbytheforcesoforderonlybydramaticallyauthoritarian
means.Suchanoutcomeleadstothecollapseoftheformsofselforganizationthatinmanycaseswerethemajorcarriersoftherevolutionaryprocess:revolutionary
societies,councils,movements.Paradoxically,theselflimitationofjustsuchactorsallowsthecontinuationoftheirsocialroleandinfluencebeyondtheconstituentand
intotheconstitutedphase.
Thiscontinuationofaroleofcivilsocietybeyondthephaseoftransitioncanbecoupledwithdomestication,demobilization,andrelativeatomization.Thatwouldmean
convergencewithsocietyastheWesternelitepluralistsseeit.Butinthepostauthoritariansettingsactorswhohaverejectedfundamentalismandraisedcivilsocietyto
anormativeprincipleshowthatwedohaveachoice.Whilethetotaldemocratizationofstateandeconomycannotbetheirgoal,civilsocietyitself,asTocquevillewas
firsttorealize,isanimportantterrainofdemocratization,ofdemocraticinstitutionbuilding.AndifEastEuropeanoppositionalsweredriventothisalternativeatfirst
onlybyblockagesinthesphereofstateorganization,thereiscertainlyagoodchancethattheideaofthefurtherdemocratizationofcivilsocietywillgainemphasisin
thefaceoftheinevitabledisappointments,visibleaboveallinHungary,(East)

Page17
Germany,andCzechoslovakia,withtheemergenceofthetypicalpracticesofWesterndemocracies.Thus,theactorsofthenewpoliticalsocietieswoulddowell,if
theyvaluetheirlongtermlegitimacy,topromotedemocraticinstitutionbuildingincivilsociety,evenifthisseemstoincreasethenumberofsocialdemandsonthem.
Theideaofthedemocratizationofcivilsociety,unlikethatofitsmererevival,isextremelypertinenttoexistingWesternsocieties.Indeed,thetendencytosee
extrainstitutionalmovementsandinitiativesinadditiontosettledinstitutionsasintegralpartsofcivilsocietyisfoundearlierinWesternthaninEasternexperience,to
whichitisrapidlybeingextendedprimarilybynewandoldmovementsandinitiatives.ItisquitepossiblethatsomeoftheemergingEasternconstitutionswillembody
newsensitivitytoanactivecivilsociety,asensitivitythatshouldinturninfluenceWesternconstitutionaldevelopments.Thesepotentialnormativegainswillconfirm,in
theEastaswellastheWest,theideathattherecanbeverydifferenttypesofcivilsociety:moreorlessinstitutionalized,moreorlessdemocratic,moreorlessactive.
DiscussionsinthemilieuofSolidarityinPolandraisedthesechoicesexplicitlyasearlyas1980,alongwiththechoiceofpoliticalvs.antipoliticalmodelsofcivilsociety.
InthecurrentwaveofeconomicliberalisminPoland,Czechoslovakia,andHungary,anotherquestioninevitablyarisesconcerningtheconnectionbetweeneconomy
andcivilsocietyandthechoicebetweenaneconomic,individualisticsocietyandacivilsocietybasedonsolidarity,protectednotonlyagainstthebureaucraticstate
butalsoagainsttheselfregulatingmarketeconomy.Thisdebate,too,willbedirectlyrelevantinWesterncontexts,asitalreadyhasbeeninLatinAmerica,and
converselyWesterncontroversiesaroundthewelfarestateandthe"newsocialmovements"shouldhavemuchintellectualmaterialtoofferEasternradicaldemocrats
hopingtoprotecttheresourceofsolidaritywithoutpaternalism.
Theaimofourbookistofurtherdevelopandsystematicallyjustifytheideaofcivilsociety,reconceivedinpartaroundanotionofselflimitingdemocratizing
movementsseekingtoexpandandprotectspacesforbothnegativelibertyandpositivefreedomandtorecreateegalitarianformsofsolidaritywithoutimpairingeco

Page18
nomicselfregulation.Beforeturningtothistask,wewouldliketoconcludethisintroductionbyillustratingtheimportant,andperhapsdecisive,contributionofour
theoryofcivilsocietytothethreetheoreticalantinomiesmentionedabove.
43
CivilSocietyandContemporaryPoliticalTheory
Itmightseemthatourpositionisalreadyanticipatedbyoneofthesixtheoreticaltraditionsinvolvedinthedebatesdepictedabove,namelythepluralistversionofthe
elitedemocratictraditionofpoliticaltheory.
44
Indeed,thepluralists'additiontotheelitemodelofdemocracyispreciselyaconceptionofa"thirdrealm"differentiated
fromtheeconomyandthestate(whatwecall"civilsociety").
45
Onthepluralistanalysis,ahighlyarticulatedcivilsocietywithcrosscuttingcleavages,overlapping
membershipsofgroups,andsocialmobilityisthepresuppositionforastabledemocraticpolity,aguaranteeagainstpermanentdominationbyanyonegroupand
againsttheemergenceoffundamentalistmassmovementsandantidemocraticideologies.
46
Moreover,acivilsocietysoconstitutedisconsideredtobecapableof
acquiringinfluenceoverthepoliticalsystemthroughthearticulationofintereststhatare"aggregated"bypoliticalpartiesandlegislaturesandbroughttobearonpolitical
decisionmaking,itselfunderstoodalongthelinesoftheelitemodelofdemocracy.
Althoughweusemanyofthetermsofthisanalysisinourworkoncivilsociety,ourapproachdiffersinseveralkeyrespectsfromthatofthepluralists.First,wedonot
accepttheviewthatthe"civicculture"mostappropriatetoamoderncivilsocietyisonebasedoncivilprivatismandpoliticalapathy.Asiswellknown,thepluralists
valueinvolvementinone'sfamily,privateclubs,voluntaryassociations,andthelikeasactivitiesthatdeflectfrompoliticalparticipationoractivismonthepartof
citizens.
47
Itisthiswhichallegedlymakesforastabledemocraticpolity.Moreover,itmakesnodifferencetothismodelwhattheinternalstructureoftheinstitutions
andorganizationsofcivilsocietyis.
48
Indeed,intheirhastetoreplace"utopian(participatorydemocratic)principles"withrealism,thepluraliststendtoconsider
attemptstoapplytheegalitariannormsofcivilsocietytosocialinstitutionsasnaive.
49

Page19
Wedonotsharethisview.Instead,webuilduponthethesisofoneofthemostimportantpredecessorsofthepluralistapproach,AlexisdeTocqueville,whoargued
thatwithoutactiveparticipationonthepartofcitizensinegalitarianinstitutionsandcivilassociations,aswellasinpoliticallyrelevantorganizations,therewillbeno
waytomaintainthedemocraticcharacterofthepoliticalcultureorofsocialandpoliticalinstitutions.Preciselybecausemoderncivilsocietyisbasedonegalitarian
principlesanduniversalinclusion,experienceinarticulatingthepoliticalwillandincollectivedecisionmakingiscrucialtothereproductionofdemocracy.
This,ofcourse,isthepointthatisalwaysmadebyparticipationtheorists.Ourapproachdiffersfromtheirsinarguingformore,notless,structuraldifferentiation.We
takeseriouslythenormativeprinciplesdefendedbyradicaldemocrats,butwelocatethegenesisofdemocraticlegitimacyandthechancesfordirectparticipationnot
insomeidealized,dedifferentiatedpolitybutwithinahighlydifferentiatedmodelofcivilsocietyitself.Thisshiftsthecoreproblematicofdemocratictheoryawayfrom
descriptiveand/orspeculativemodelstotheissueoftherelationandchannelsofinfluencebetweencivilandpoliticalsocietyandbetweenbothandthestate,onthe
oneside,andtotheinstitutionalmakeupandinternalarticulationofcivilsocietyitself,ontheother.Moreover,webelievethatthedemocratizationofcivilsocietythe
family,associationallife,andthepublicspherenecessarilyhelpsopenuptheframeworkofpoliticalpartiesandrepresentativeinstitutions.
50
Indeed,theseconcernsopenthewaytoadynamicconceptionofcivilsociety,onethatavoidstheapologeticthrustofmostpluralistanalyses.Farfromviewingsocial
movementsasantitheticaltoeitherthedemocraticpoliticalsystemortoaproperlyorganizedsocialsphere(thepluralists'view),weconsiderthemtobeakeyfeature
ofavital,modern,civilsocietyandanimportantformofcitizenparticipationinpubliclife.Yetwedonotseesocialmovementsasprefiguringaformofcitizen
participationthatwillorevenoughttosubstitutefortheinstitutionalarrangementsofrepresentativedemocracy(theradicaldemocraticposition).Inourview,social
movementsfortheexpansionofrights,forthedefenseoftheautonomyofcivilsociety,andforitsfurtherdemocratizationare

Page20
whatkeepademocraticpoliticalculturealive.Amongotherthings,movementsbringnewissuesandvaluesintothepublicsphereandcontributetoreproducingthe
consensusthattheelite/pluralistmodelofdemocracypresupposesbutneverbotherstoaccountfor.
51
Movementscanandshouldsupplementandshouldnotaimto
replacecompetitivepartysystems.Ourconceptionofcivilsocietythusretainsthenormativecoreofdemocratictheorywhileremainingcompatiblewiththestructural
presuppositionsofmodernity.Finally,whilewealsodifferentiatetheeconomyfromcivilsociety,wedifferfromthepluralistsinthatwedonotsealofftheborders
betweenthemonthebasisofanallegedlysacrosanctfreedomofcontractorpropertyright.Nordoweseekto"reembed"theeconomyinsociety.Instead,onour
analysis,theprinciplesofcivilsocietycanbebroughttobearoneconomicinstitutionswithinwhatwecalleconomicsociety.Thequestionhere,asinthecaseofthe
polity,iswhatchannelsandreceptorsofinfluencedo,can,andoughttoexist.
52
Indeed,weareabletoposesuchquestionsonthebasisofourmodelwithoutrisking
thechargesofutopianismorantimodernismsofrequentlyanddeservedlyleveledagainstworkerbasedversionsofradicaldemocracy.
Itisalsoourthesisthatthetensionsbetweenrightsorientedliberalismand,atleast,democraticallyorientedcommunitarianismcanbeconsiderablydiminishedifnot
entirelyovercomeonthebasisofanewtheoryofcivilsociety.Whiletheideaofrightsandofademocraticpoliticalcommunityderivefromdistincttraditionsin
politicalphilosophy,todaytheybelongtothesamepoliticalculture.Theyneednotbeconstruedasantithetical,althoughonanempiricalleveltherightsofanindividual
mayconflictwithmajorityruleand"thepublicinterest,"necessitatingabalancingbetweenthetwosides.
53
Norisitnecessarytoviewtheseasbasedontwoconflicting
setsofprinciplesorpresuppositions,suchthatonecouldaccommodatethefirstsetonlyinsofarasitisinstrumentaltotheachievementorpreservationoftheother.On
thecontrary,wecontendthatwhatisbestinrightsorientedliberalismanddemocraticallyorientedcommunitarianismconstitutestwomutuallyreinforcingandpartly
overlappingsetsofprinciples.Twostepsarenecessarytoarguethisthesisandtotranscendtherelevantantinomies.First,onemustshowthatthereisaphilosophical

Page21
frameworkthatcanprovideapoliticalethicabletoredeemthenormativeclaimsofbothrightsorientedliberalismandradicaldemocracy.Second,onemustrevisethe
conceptionofcivilsocietyastheprivatesphere,sharedbyboththeoreticalparadigms,inordertograsptheinstitutionalimplicationsofsuchanethic.
Wealsodefendtheprinciplesofuniversalityandautonomytowhichtherightsthesisiswed,butwedenythatthiscommitsuseithertotheliberalnotionofneutralityor
toanindividualistontology.Thecommunitariansareright:Muchofliberaltheory,especiallythecontracttraditionfromHobbestoRawls,hasreliedoneitheroneor
bothoftheseprinciples.
54
However,theHabermasiantheoryofdiscourseethics,onwhichwerely,providesawaytodevelopconceptionsofuniversalityand
autonomythatarefreeofsuchpresuppositions.Onthistheory,universalitydoesnotmeanneutralitywithrespecttoapluralityofvaluesorformsoflifebutrather
refers,inthefirstinstance,tothemetanormsofsymmetricreciprocity
55
thataretoactasregulativeprinciplesguidingdiscursiveprocessesofconflictresolutionand,in
thesecondinstance,tothosenormsorprinciplestowhichallthosewhoarepotentiallyaffectedcanagree.Theprocedureofuniversalizationdefendedhereinvolves
anactualratherthanahypotheticaldialogue.Itdoesnotrequirethatoneabstractfromone'sconcretesituation,needinterpretations,orinterestsinordertoengagein
anunbiasedmoraltestingofprinciples.Instead,itrequiresthatthesebefreelyarticulated.Italsorequiresthatallthosepotentiallyaffectedbyinstitutionalizednorms
(lawsorpolicies)beopentoamultiplicityofperspectives.Accordingly,universalityisaregulativeprincipleofadiscursiveprocessinandthroughwhichparticipants
reasontogetheraboutwhichvalues,principles,needinterpretationsmeritbeinginstitutionalizedascommonnorms.
56
Thus,theatomisticdisembodiedindividual
allegedlypresupposedbyprocedural(deontological)ethicsismostemphaticallynotthebasisofthisapproach.Assumingthatindividualandcollectiveidentitiesare
acquiredthroughcomplexprocessesofsocializationthatinvolvebothinternalizingsocialnormsortraditions,anddevelopingreflectiveandcriticalcapacitiesvisvis
norms,principles,andtraditions,thistheoryhasatitscoreanintersubjective,interactiveconceptionofbothindividualityandautonomy.Itisthusableto

Page22
accommodatethecommunitarianinsightsintothesocialcoreofhumannaturewithoutabandoningtheideasofeitheruniversalityormoralrights.Indeed,discourse
ethicsprovidesaphilosophicalbasisfordemocraticlegitimacythatpresupposesvalidrights,evenifnotalloftheserightsarederivablefromit.
57
Whileitisofcourseindividualswhohaverights,theconceptofrightsdoesnothavetorestonphilosophicalormethodologicalindividualism,nor,forthatmatter,on
theideaofnegativelibertyalone.Althoughmostliberalandcommunitariantheoristshaveassumedthatsuchaconceptionoffreedomandofindividualismis
presupposedbytheveryconceptofrights,webelievethatonlysomerightsinvolveprimarilynegativelibertywhilenonerequiresaphilosophicallyatomisticconception
ofindividuality.Itisherethatarevisedconceptionofcivilsociety,togetherwithanewtheoryofrights,mustenterintotheanalysis.Foreverytheoryofrights,every
theoryofdemocracy,impliesamodelofsociety.Unfortunately,communitariansandliberalsalsoagreethatthesocietalanalogueoftherightsthesisisacivilsociety
construedastheprivatesphere,composedofanagglomerationofautonomousbutegoistic,exclusivelyselfregarding,competitive,possessiveindividualswhose
negativelibertyitisthepolity'stasktoprotect.Itistheirassessmentsandnottheiranalysisofthisformofsocietythatdiverge.
Butthisisonlyonepossibleversionofcivilsocietyandcertainlynottheonlyonethatcanbe''derived"fromtherightsthesis.Onlyifoneconstruespropertytobenot
simplyakeyrightbutthecoreoftheconceptionofrightsonly,thatis,ifoneplacesthephilosophyofpossessiveindividualismattheheartofone'sconceptionofcivil
societyandthenreducesciviltobourgeoissocietydoestherightsthesiscometobedefinedinthisway.
58
If,however,onedevelopsamorecomplexmodelofcivil
society,recognizingthatithaspublicandassociationalcomponentsaswellasindividual,privateones,andif,inaddition,oneseesthattheideaofmoralautonomy
doesnotpresupposepossessiveindividualism,
59
thentherightsthesisbeginstolookabitdifferent.Inshort,rightsdonotonlysecurenegativeliberty,theautonomyof
private,disconnectedindividuals.Theyalsosecuretheautonomous(freedfromstatecontrol)communicativeinteractionofindividualswithoneanotherinthepublic
andprivatespheresofcivilsociety,aswellasanew

Page23
relationofindividualstothepublicandthepoliticalspheresofsocietyandstate(including,ofcourse,citizenshiprights).Moralrightsarethusnotbydefinitionapolitical
orantipolitical,nordotheyconstituteanexclusivelyprivatedomainwithrespecttowhichthestatemustlimititself.Onthecontrary,therightstocommunication,
assembly,andassociation,amongothers,constitutethepublicandassociationalspheresofcivilsocietyasspheresofpositivefreedomwithinwhichagentscan
collectivelydebateissuesofcommonconcern,actinconcert,assertnewrights,andexerciseinfluenceonpolitical(andpotentiallyeconomic)society.Democraticas
wellasliberalprincipleshavetheirlocushere.Accordingly,someformofdifferentiationofcivilsociety,thestate,andtheeconomyisthebasisforbothmodern
democraticandliberalinstitutions.Thelatterpresupposeneitheratomisticnorcommunalbutratherassociatedselves.Moreover,onthisconceptiontheradical
oppositionbetweenthephilosophicalfoundationsandsocietalpresuppositionsofrightsorientedliberalismanddemocraticallyorientedcommunitarianismdissolves.
Thisconceptionofcivilsocietydoesnot,ofcourse,solvethequestionoftherelationbetweennegativeandpositiveliberty,butitdoesplacethisissuewithina
commonsocietalandphilosophicalterrain.Itisonthisterrainthatwelearnhowtocompromise,takereflectivedistancefromourownperspectivesoastoentertain
others,learntovaluedifference,recognizeorcreateanewwhatwehaveincommon,andcometoseewhichdimensionsofourtraditionsareworthpreservingand
whichoughttobeabandonedorchanged.
Thisbringsustotheheartofourdifferenceswiththeneoconservativemodelofcivilsociety.Theneoconservativeslogan,"societyagainstthestate,"isoftenbasedon
amodelinwhichcivilsocietyisequivalenttomarketorbourgeoissociety.Anotherversionofthisapproachdoes,however,recognizetheimportanceofthecultural
dimensionofcivilsociety.Wehaveseriousobjectionseventothissecondversion,whosestrategiesforunburdeningthestateareaimedinpartattheinstitutions
involvedintheformationandtransmissionofculturalvalues(art,religion,science)andinsocialization(families,schools).Animportantcomponentofthe
neoconservativethesisof"ungovernability"istheargumentthattheexcessivematerialdemandsplacedbycitizensonthestateare

Page24
duenotonlytowelfareinstitutionsthemselvesbutalsotoourmodernistpolitical,moral,andaestheticculture.Thelatterallegedlyweakensbothtraditionalvaluesand
theagenciesofsocialcontrol(suchasthefamily)thattemperedhedonisminthepast.
60
Inthisview,weneedtoresacralizeourpoliticalculture,revivefaltering
traditionalvaluessuchasselfrestraint,discipline,andrespectforauthorityandachievement,andshoreup"nonpolitical"principlesoforder(family,property,religion,
schools),sothatacultureofselfrelianceandselfrestraintreplacesthecultureofdependencyandcritique.
61
Theculturalpoliticsofneoconservatismthataccompanies
thepoliciesofderegulationandprivatizationarethusbasedonthedefenseorrecreationofatraditionalistandauthoritarianlifeworld.
62
Ourconceptionofcivilsocietypointstoadifferentassessment.First,wetrytoshowthattheresourcesformeaning,authority,andsocialintegrationareundermined
notbyculturalorpoliticalmodernity(basedontheprinciplesofcriticalreflection,discursiveconflictresolution,equality,autonomy,participation,andjustice)but,
rather,bytheexpansionofanincreasinglyilliberalcorporateeconomyaswellasbytheoverextensionoftheadministrativeapparatusoftheinterventioniststateinto
thesocialrealm.Theuseofeconomicandpoliticalpowertoshoreup(orworse,recreate)the"traditional"hierarchical,patriarchal,orexclusionarycharacterofmany
oftheinstitutionsofcivilsocietyis,onourview,whatfostersdependency.Weagreethatcertainfeaturesofthewelfarestate
63
fragmentcollectivities,destroy
horizontalsolidarities,isolateandrenderprivateindividualsdependentonstateapparatuses.Unrestrainedcapitalistexpansion,however,hasthesamedestructive
consequences.Butappealstofamily,tradition,religion,orcommunitycouldfosterthedestructivefundamentalismoffalsecommunitiessoeasilymanipulatedfrom
above,unlesstheachievementsofliberalism(theprincipleofrights),democracy(theprinciplesofparticipationanddiscourse),andjustice(apreconditionfor
solidarity)arefirstdefendedandthensupplementedwithnewdemocraticandegalitarianformsofassociationwithincivilsociety.
Moreover,tooptforthepreservationoftraditions,ifaccompaniedbyadenialoftheuniversalisttraditionofculturalandpolitical

Page25
modernity,impliesfundamentalism.Accordingly,thequestionthatflowsfromourmodelbecomes:Whichtraditions,whichfamilyform,whichcommunity,which
solidaritiesaretobedefendedagainstdisruptiveintervention?Evenifculturalmodernityitselfisjustonetraditionamongmany,itsuniversalthrustisthereflexive,
nonauthoritarianrelationtowardtraditionanorientationthatcanbeappliedtoitselfandthatimpliesautonomy(allegedlycherishedbytheneoconservative)rather
thanheteronomy.Indeed,traditionsthathavebecomeproblematiccanbepreservedonlyontheterrainofculturalmodernity,i.e.,throughargumentsthatinvoke
principles.Suchdiscussiondoesnotmeantheabolitionoftradition,solidarity,ormeaningrather,itistheonlyacceptableprocedureforadjudicatingbetween
competingtraditions,needs,orintereststhatareinconflict.Accordingly,ourmodelpointstowardthefurthermodernizationofthecultureandinstitutionsofcivil
societyastheonlywaytoarriveatautonomy,selfreliance,andsolidarityamongpeersallegedlydesiredbytheneoconservativecriticsofthewelfarestate.
64
Ourconceptionofcivilsocietyseekstodemystifytheotherstrainwithinneoconservatism,namely,thattheonlyalternativetothepaternalism,socialengineering,and
thebureaucratizationofourlivestypicalofwelfarestatesystemsistoshiftsteeringbacktothemagicofthemarketplace(andofcoursetorenouncedistributivejustice
andegalitarianism).This"solution"isnotonlypoliticallyuntenableandnormativelyundesirableitisalsobasedonthefallaciousassumptionthatnootheroptionsexist.
Ourframework,however,allowsinprincipleforathirdapproach,onethatdoesnotseektocorrecttheeconomicorstatepenetrationofsocietybyshiftingbackand
forthbetweenthesetwosteeringmechanisms.Instead,thetaskistoguaranteetheautonomyofthemodernstateandeconomywhilesimultaneouslyprotectingcivil
societyfromdestructivepenetrationandfunctionalizationbytheimperativesofthesetwospheres.Fornow,ofcourse,wehaveonlysomeoftheelementsofatheory
thatcanthematizeboththedifferentiationofcivilsocietyfromstateandeconomyanditsreflexiveinfluenceoverthemthroughtheinstitutionsofpoliticalandeconomic
society.Butwebelievethatourconceptionhasthebestprospectsforfuturetheoreticalprogressandforintegratingthediverseconceptual

Page26
strategiesthatarecurrentlyavailable.Theprojectitimplieswouldavoidcorrectingtheresultsofstatepaternalismbyanotherformofcolonizationofsociety,thistime
byanunregulatedmarketeconomy.Itwouldseektoaccomplishtheworkofsocialpolicybymoredecentralizedandautonomouscivilsocietybasedprogramsthan
intraditionalwelfarestatesandtheworkofeconomicregulationbynonbureaucratic,lessintrusiveformsoflegislation,"reflexivelaw,"focusingonproceduresandnot
results.
65
InourviewthissyntheticprojectshouldbedescribednotonlybyHabermas'sterm,"thereflexivecontinuationofthewelfarestate,"butalsobythe
complementaryideaofthe"reflexivecontinuationofthedemocraticrevolution."TheformerarisesinthecontextofWesternwelfarestates,thelatterinthatofthe
democratizationofauthoritarianregimes.Thetwoideascanandshouldbecombined.Thusfar,therecentrevivalanddevelopmentoftheconceptofcivilsocietyhas
involvedlearningfromtheexperienceofthe''transitionstodemocracy."Theideaofthereflexivecontinuationofthewelfarestateandofliberaldemocracyshould,
however,openthewayforenrichingtheintellectualresourcesofdemocratsintheEastbywhathasbeenlearnedinadoublecritiqueofalreadyestablishedwelfare
statesandoftheirneoconservativediscontents.AtheoryofcivilsocietyinformedbysuchideasshouldalsoinformtheprojectsofallthoseintheWestwhoseekthe
furtherdemocratizationofliberaldemocracies.

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I
THEDISCOURSEOFCIVILSOCIETY

Page29
1
TheContemporaryRevivalofCivilSociety
Phrasesinvolvingtheresurrection,reemergence,rebirth,reconstruction,orrenaissanceofcivilsocietyareheardrepeatedlytoday.Theseterms,indicatingthe
continuityofanemergingpoliticalparadigmwithessentialtrendsofearlymodernity,aremisleadinginoneimportantrespect:Theyrefernotonlytosomethingmodern
butalsotosomethingsignificantlynew.AsimplechronologyderivedinpartfromKarlPolnyimight,inanextremelypreliminaryway,indicatewhatisatstake.
AccordingtoPolnyi,duringmostofthenineteenthcentury,forcesrepresentingthecapitalistselfregulatingmarketeconomywereontheoffensive,claimingan
identitywiththeliberalsocietythatwasintheprocessofemancipatingitselffromtheabsolutistandpaternalisticstate.Polnyi,however,rightlystressedthatinthelate
nineteenthcenturyandthroughmuchofthetwentiethcenturyareversalhadtakenplace.Now,elitesrepresentingthelogicandgoalsofthemodernstatewere
successfullyclaimingtoexpresstheinterestsofaheterogeneoussetofsocialgroupsandtendenciesresistingandchallengingthedestructivetrendsofcapitalistmarket
society.NotevenPolnyi,however,foresawthatthestatistphasewouldalsohaveitslimits.Foraperiodofmorethanadecadeandahalfnow,citizeninitiatives,
associations,andmovementshaveincreasinglyorientedthemselvestowardthedefenseandexpansionofavariouslydescribedsocietalrealm,theformsandprojects
ofwhichareclearlydistinguishedfromstatism.
Twocrucialambiguitiesremainfromtheorientation"societyagainstthestate."First,whileincreasinglysignificantgroupingsof

Page30
collectiveactorsrejectanyrepresentationoftheirprogramintermsofcommunitarianism,otherscontinuetodefendanidealizedGemeinschaftorpremodernnetwork
ofcommunities,traditionalsolidarities,andcollectivesagainstmodernityitself.Second,therearevariousneoconservative,neoliberal,andlibertarianinitiatives(rarely
movements,butwithsignificantforcebehindthem)thatidentify"society"withmarketeconomy.Bothofthesetrendsareregressiveversionsofantistatism.Thefirst
wishestoretreatbehindthemodernstate,thuseliminatinganessentialpreconditionofmodernityitselfthesecondwishestorepeatthealreadyfailedexperimentwith
thefullyselfregulatedmarketeconomyofclassicalcapitalism.Thereisnochanceofthefirsttrendregisteringeventemporarysuccesses,althoughitwillcontinueto
havearolewithinmostsocialmovements.Thesecondtrend,whereversuccessful,threatenstotransformhistoryintooscillationbetweeneconomicliberalismand
paternaliststatism.
Webelievetherearetodayimportantelementsofathirdprojectforretrievingthecategoryofcivilsocietyfromthetraditionofclassicalpoliticaltheory.Theseinvolve
attemptstothematizeaprogramthatseekstorepresentthevaluesandinterestsofsocialautonomyinfaceofboththemodernstateandthecapitalisteconomy,
withoutfallingintoanewtraditionalism.Beyondtheantinomiesofstateandmarket,publicandprivate,GesellschaftandGemeinschaft,and,asweshallshow,
reformandrevolution,theideaofthedefenseandthedemocratizationofcivilsocietyisthebestwaytocharacterizethereallynew,commonstrandofcontemporary
formsofselforganizationandselfconstitution.
Problemsofselfreflectionandselfunderstandingwithinthemovementsandtheinitiativesthemselvessometimespreventthemfromclearlyrecognizingtheirown
differencewithcommunalismorlibertarianism.Atbestthedifferencerepresentsastakethatmustbeinternallycontested.Behindthemanyambiguitiesofmeaningtied
upwiththeconceptofcivilsocietystandsuchconflicts.Incompanywithmanyparticipants,ourbooktakesaclearstandintheseconflictsonbehalfofamoderncivil
societycapableofpreservingitsautonomyandformsofsolidarityinfaceofthemoderneconomyaswellasthestate.
Suchaprojectemergesfromcontextsofsocialandpoliticalconflictsthemselves.Inthischapterwepresenttheideabyexam

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iningseveraldiscoursesthathaverevivedthecategoryofcivilsociety(albeitindifferentversions)inordertocriticallyinterpretthepoliticalcontextsofEastandWest,
NorthandSouth.Withoutaimingatacompletepresentationofallrelatedviewswithineachcontext,wedeliberatelystressperspectivesineachthatcanbecompared
withthoseintheothercontexts.Weshallattempttoidentifythecommonstrands,thealternativemodels,thesignificantdifferencesaswellastheconceptualunclarities
intheseformsofinterpretationandselfinterpretation.Therestofthisbookwill,wehope,contributetothefurtherdevelopmentofthediscourseofcivilsocietyand
therebybenefittheactorsandinterpreterswepresentinthischapter.
ThePolishDemocraticOpposition
TheoppositionofcivilsocietyandstatemadeitsmostdramaticreturninEastEurope,particularlyintheideologyofthePolishoppositionfrom1976totheadventof
earlySolidarityandbeyond.Thejuxtapositionsarewellknown:societyagainstthestate,nationagainststate,socialorderagainstpoliticalsystem,paysrel
againstpayslgalorofficiel,publiclifeagainstthestate,privatelifeagainstpublicpower,etc.Theideawasalwaystheprotectionand/orselforganizationof
sociallifeinthefaceofthetotalitarianorauthoritarianstate.AdamMichnikprovidedthetheoreticalelaborationofthisconceptionundertheheadingof"new
evolutionism."
1
Healsodiscoveredthehistoricalconditionsofitspossibility:thefailureofapotentiallytotalrevolutionfrombelow(Hungaryin1956),andthedemise
ofaprocessofreformfromabove(Czechoslovakiain1968).
2
Michnikdrewtwolessonsfromthesedefeats.First,thetransformationoftheSoviettypesystemof
EastCentralEuropewaspossibleonlywithinlimitswhosethresholdswerethealliancesystem(threatenedinHungaryin1956)andtheconfirmationofthecontrolof
stateinstitutionsbyaSoviettypeCommunistparty(challengedindifferentformsbothinHungaryandinCzechoslovakiain1968).Second,neitherrevolutionfrom
belownorreformfromabovewouldworkasthestrategyforachievingwhatwasinfactpossible.
Thepointofviewofcivilsocietyinthiscontextaimsatatwofoldreorientation.First,thejuxtapositionofsocietyagainstthestate

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indicatesnotonlythebattlelinesbutalsoashiftconcerningthetargetofdemocratization,fromthewholesocialsystemtosocietyoutsideofstateinstitutionsproper.
Thus,whiletheconceptionsurelyimpliesapushingbackofthestateadministrativeformsofpenetrationfromvariousdimensionsofsociallife,ithas,nevertheless,the
ideaofselflimitationbuiltintoitfromthestart:Theleadingroleofthepartyinthe(albeitshrinking)statespherewillnotbechallenged.
Second,theconceptionalsoindicatesthattheagentorthesubjectofthetransformationmustbeanindependentorratheraselforganizingsocietyaimingnotatsocial
revolutionbutatstructuralreformachievedasaresultoforganizedpressurefrombelow.Thesetwoaspectsarebroughttogetherbytheterm"selflimitingrevolution"
coinedbyJacekKuronintheperiodofSolidarity.Atthattime,thenewconceptiontrulycameintoitsown,showingitsformidablepowersinpromotingtheself
understandingofnewtypesofsocialactors.Nevertheless,itshouldbenotedthatthe"newevolutionism"orthe''selflimitingrevolution"representedbothastrategic
andanormativebreakwiththerevolutionarytraditionwhoselogicwasunderstoodtobeundemocraticandinconsistentwiththeselforganizationofsociety.
3
All
majorrevolutionsfromtheFrenchtotheRussianandtheChinesenotonlydemobilizedthesocialforcesonwhichtheyoriginallydependedbutalsoestablished
dictatorialconditionsthatweremeanttoblockthereemergenceofsuchforcesattheirveryrootforaslongaspossible.Theprojectof"selflimitingrevolution"has,of
course,theoppositegoal:theconstructionfrombelowofahighlyarticulated,organized,autonomous,andmobilizablecivilsociety.
Leavingasidefornowtheoveralltheoreticalcogencyoftheconception,wemustnotesomeseriousambiguitiesinitselaborationinthemilieuofthePolishdemocratic
opposition.
4
Aretheterms"society"and"civilsociety"thesame?Afterall,theybothrefertoapluralityofformsofindependentgroups(associations,institutions,
collectives,interestrepresentations)aswellasformsofindependentpublicopinionandcommunication.Putanotherway,howcancivilsocietybeboththeagentof
socialtransformationanditsresult?Onecould,ofcourse,trytoresolvethedifficultybydistinguishingbetweensocietyandcivilsociety.Thelatterwouldrepresenta

Page33
versionoftheformer,institutionalizedbylegalmechanismsorrights,asintheGdanskandsubsequentagreementsofAugustandSeptember1980.
5
Buttheambiguity
wouldremain,because"rights"inanauthoritarianstatesocialistsetting(lackofindependentcourtslackofaclear,unambiguouslegalcodelackofanorganizedlegal
profession)areeasilyrevocablenotonlyinprinciplebutalsoinapoliticalpracticethatdependsonconstantdemonstrationofthisrevocability.Moreover,institutional
continuitycanapparentlybeachievedbypublicenlightenmentandselforganizationevenwithoutrights,aswitnessedbythedurabilityandgrowthofautonomous
formsofcultureinthetwelveyearperiodafter1976.
6
Anothersetofconceptualdifficultiesrevolvesaroundtheinterpretationofthenotionofsociety,ofsocialselforganizationinasupposedlytotalitariansetting.Hereone
view(Michnik)stressedtheobliterationofallsocialsolidaritiesandtheresultingsocialatomization,exceptforcarefullydefinedinstitutionalcomplexes(thechurch)or
historicalperiods(1956,197071,andafter1976).Anotherposition,moreconsistentwiththetheoryofthenewevolutionism,insistedonthefailureoftotalitarianism,
whateveritsintentions,totrulyatomizesociety,ortocompletelydisorganizefamilies,facetofacegroups,andculturalnetworks.
7
Thisposition,however,wouldhave
requiredtheworkingoutofaparadigmtoreplacethetotalitarianismthesisasthetheoreticalframeworkofthe"newevolutionism,"somethingneveractuallyattempted.
Moreseriousinprincipleisthelackofclarityregardingthetypeofcivilsocietythatistobeconstructedorreconstructed.Theconceptualconfusionderivesaboveall
fromacommonunwillingnesstotakeanopenlycriticalattitudetowardtheliberalmodelofcivilsociety,despiteparticipationinasolidaristicworkers'movementthat
is,inmanyrespects,incompatiblewiththismodel.Inthe1980smoreandmorepeople(e.g.,Krol,Spievak,theeditorsofRespublica)cametochampionaversionof
theliberalmodel,basedoneconomicindividualismandfreedomsofpropertyandenterpriseasthecentralrights.EvenwithinthemilieuofthoseclosetoSolidarityin
itsfirstgreatperiod(198081),thereweredisagreementsoverthevariousconceptionsofcivilsociety.Culturalmodels(Wojcicki)werecounterposedtopolitical
conceptions(theCommitteefortheDefenseofWorkers,orKOR),ontheone

Page34
hand,whilethelevelofdemocracyneededinpopularmovementsandinstitutionswashotlydebated,ontheother.Whereasitwasgenerallyrecognizedthatthenew
civilsocietywastobepluralistic,
8
theneedforasingle,allencompassingorganizationtorespondtotheinterestofthispluralitywastemporarilyaccepted.
9
Butonce
suchanorganizationemergedandmanagedtosurviveinthefaceof"totalitarian"power,coulditsunitaryandallencompassingtendencybeeasilydisposedof?
Formulatingadualisticcivilsocietyandstateframeworkprovedevenmoredifficult,especiallyinpracticalpolitics.Wascivilsociety,asrepresentedbySolidarity,to
beentirelyapolitical,disinterestedin"power,"orwasittobeexpandedasaselfgoverningrepublicmakingastateintheoldsensemoreorlesssuperfluous?
Sometimesaspectsofeachconceptionaretobefoundeveninthesameauthor.
10
Wouldaselfcoordinatingsystemofsocietynotnegatetheideaofselflimitationif
thepartystatewereleftonlyasarepresentativeofSovietpower,inchargeofmilitary,police,andforeignpolicyandpartiallyconvertedintoanexpertbureaucracy?
11
If,ontheotherhand,thedualisticconceptionrequiresinstitutionalmechanismsofcompromisebetweensocietalorganizationsandpartystateinstitutions,doesthe
ideaofbuildingahybridsystembasedonanewtypeofsocietynexttoanunreformedpartystatemakesense?Andifareformofofficialinstitutions,especiallythe
partyitself,mustbehopedforandevenpromoted,ifpartypragmatistscouldbelookeduponaspartnersevenifnotallies,couldthemuchinsisteduponindependent
identityofthesocialmovementbemaintained?
12
Whatwouldbethepointofthisifonmanyissuespartypragmatistsandsectorsofthemovementareclosertoone
anotherthanpotentiallydifferentelementsoftheantistateopposition?Itisinsufficienttoreplythatonlyanorganizedsociety,consciousofitsidentity,iscapableof
compromise,forjustthisunitytendedtodemobilizepotentialpartnersintheparty.Thedeepidentityproblemsoftherulingpartycouldhardlybesolvedinthefaceof
anorganizedsocietysuccessfullyreclaimingalllegitimacy.Withoutanewpartyidentity,partypragmatistslostallfreedomofaction.Andforthepartyleadership,
withoutlegitimacy,theonlyfreedomofactionleftwastheexerciseofrawsovereignpower.
13
Manyofthedifficultiestoucheduponherepointedtowardthefailuretorebuildcivilsocietyoratleastastableversionofit.Yetthe

Page35
failureitselfproducedanewsetofsocialrelationsthatcouldagainbereinterpretedintermsofanewmodelofoppositionbetweenstateandsociety.Thusinthe
contextofthefailureof"normalization,"theoriginal"newevolutionist"conceptionremainedthebasicformoforientationfortheoristactivistssuchasMichnik.
Undoubtedlythefactthatitwasnowtheturnofthemartiallawstatetopractice(reluctant)selflimitationreinvigoratedtheideathatanindependentsocietycould
somehowbedefended."Independentcivilsociety"wasnot,accordingtoMichnik,annihilated."InsteadofresemblingaCommunistsystemaftervictorious
pacification,thissituationresemblesademocracyafteramilitarycoupd'tat."
14
Despitethereappearanceofmartialmetaphorssuchas"adramaticwrestlingmatchbetweenthetotalitarianpowerandasocietysearchingforawaytoattain
autonomy"and"thestationarywarbetweenanorganizedcivilsocietyandthepowerapparatus,"
15
thenewsituationwasneverthelessonethatindicatedthecoming
intoitsownoftheculturalmodelofindependentsociety.Themajorindependentactivitieswerepublishing,lecturing,discussing,andteaching.Forseveralyears,the
hopeseemstohavebeenthebuildingofthemoralbasesofdemocraticstructuresandpractices,i.e.,ademocraticpoliticalculture.Whilethearmystateseemed
powerlessagainstthesetrends,itwasrathersuccessfulinmarginalizingitsmajorpoliticalopponent:undergroundSolidarity.Thelatter,however,linkedtothe
mechanismsofindependentculture,continuedtosurviveandplayarole.
Nevertheless,inthiscontext,thedemocraticoppositionmovingwithintheparadigmofcivilsocietyhadtofacethequestionofhowandwhenthesurvivalandeventhe
dramaticexpansionofanindependentculture,moreandmorepluralizedideologically,couldbeafoundationforthereemergenceofabovegroundpolitical
organizationscapableofmakingeffectivedemands.Theregime'sinabilitytodealwiththesameeconomiccrisisthatwasusedin198081tohelperodetheresistance
ofthepopulationprovidednewopportunitiesfortheopposition.Thestrategytorestoretheregime'slegitimacythrougharelativelyfreereferendum,andtherebyto
recoverfreedomofactiontoimposeanausterityprogram,failedin1987inthefaceofanonlypartiallyorganizedopposition.Inthiscontextandthatofthestrike
movementsduringthespringandsummerof1988,itbecameclearthattheregimeneeded

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partnerstobeabletoinitiatesignificantpolicy,andthatonlyareconstitutedSolidaritycouldcommandsufficientlywideloyaltytobecomeacrediblepartner.
FromthepointofviewofSolidarity'sleadership,giventheeconomiccrisisandtheprospectsofsimultaneouslyweakeningbothregimeandoppositioninacontinuing
processofpolarization,itwouldcertainlyhavebeencounterproductivenottopromoteandutilizereformsfromabove,aslongtheseinvolvedrealgainsin
institutionalizingagenuinecivilsociety.
16
Afterthenegotiated"resolution"ofthesecondstrikewave,theissueseemstohavebeenthefollowing:Couldtheregime
yieldenoughconcessionsthatwouldbeadequatetradeoffsforlegitimizingthedeepausteritymeasuresrequiredforsuccessfuleconomicreform?Whilesuch
concessionsevenminimallyhadtoinvolvelegalizingelementsofcivilsociety,itwasnotatallclearthataversionsufficientlydemocraticforthepopulationandstill
acceptabletoelementsoftheregimecouldbefound.Itwasnotclear,furthermore,whethertheminimumunityofasocietywithdifferentinterestsandincreasingly
differentiatedideologiescouldbemaintainedeveninanemergencysituationinwhichtherewerenolongeranyalternativesotherthanradicalchangeorsocialdecay.
Butcouldradicalchangestillbeconceptualizedwithintheframeworkofopposingcivilsocietytothestate?
16a
TheIdeologyofthe"SecondLeft"inFrance
Itisnotonlyunderauthoritarianregimesthattheproblemofdemocratizationgetsposedintermsofthereconstructionofcivilsociety.Thecategorywasrevivedin
Franceinthemid1970sasaprimereferentfordemocraticprojectsonthepartofsignificantgroupsofintellectualsandavarietyofcollectiveactors.
17
Ofcourseit
washerethatthecritiqueoftotalitarianismandsympathyforEastEuropeandissidencehadthegreatestintellectualimportance.
18
Andhere,too,totalitarianismwas
definedastheabsorptionofindependentsociallifeof"civilsociety"bytheparty/state,involvingthereplacementofallsocialtiesbystatizedrelations.Itseemsclear
thattheFrench"discourse"ofcivilsocietyderivedfromasympatheticunderstandingofdevelopmentsintheEast.Butcoulda

Page37
categorysoderivedbemadeapplicabletoaWesterncapitalistsocietywithamultipartyparliamentarystate?
InFrancethreeargumentshavebeenusedtojustifythistheoreticalmove.First,andmostliketheEast,thepoliticalcultureoftheFrenchleft(andnotonlythe
Communistparty)isseenasdeeplyconnectedtothetotalitarianphenomenon,i.e.,astatistpoliticalculturederivingfromanideaofrevolutionbasedonthefantasyof
asocietywithoutdivisionorconflict.
19
Paradoxically,aleftthatrepresentsinitsveryexistencesocietaldiversity,conflict,andoppositiondeniesjustthese
presuppositionswhilehopingtousethestateastheinstrumentofprogressandastheagentofthecreationofthegoodsocietybeyondconflict.
Second,theactualroleofthecentralized,modernstateinFrenchpoliticallifeistraditionallygreaterthaninmostWesterndemocracies.Withagooddealof
exaggeration,onecouldspeakhereofa"totalitarian"statisttendencysuppressingmanydimensionsofanindependent"civilsociety."
20
Thirdandfinally,recallingthe
thesisofHerbertMarcuse,oritsmoresophisticatedFrenchcounterpartinthewritingsofCorneliusCastoriadisinthe1950sandearly1960s,onemightalsoclaim
againwithsignificantexaggerationthat"capitalismhasbecomemore'totalitarian,'engulfingallspheresofsocialactivityunderthesingledimensionofeconomic
activity."
21
Thelasttwothesesconcerningthestateandcapitalismconvergeinanotherthesisassertingthatallautonomoussocialsolidarityisdestroyedundertheimpactofthe
administrativepenetrationofsocietybythe(capitalist)welfarestate.Ofcourse,thislineofargumentdoesnottheoreticallyassimilateFrancetoaparadigmderived
fromtheanalysisoftheEast.P.RosanvallonandP.Viveretwarnusthateventhethreethesestakentogetherdonotadduptoaconceptionofcapitalistdemocracies
astotalitarianinthesenseofMarcuse.Butthelimitationturnsintoanadvantage:WhereasintheEast,infullytotalitariansociety,nointernaloppositionisallegedly
possible,thetotalitariantrendsofFrenchsocietycanbemetheadonbycountertrendsinvolvingthereconstructionofcivilandpoliticalsociety.
ItisnoteworthythattheFrenchdiscussionhaspreservedathreepartTocquevilliandistinctionamongcivilsociety,politicalsociety,

Page38
andstate.Civilsocietyisdefinedintermsofsocialassociationscuttingacrossclassrelations:neighborhoodgroups,networksofmutualaid,locallybasedstructures
providingcollectiveservice.
22
Moredynamically,civilsocietyisseenasthespaceofsocialexperimentationforthedevelopmentofnewformsoflife,newtypesof
solidarity,andsocialrelationsofcooperationandwork.
23
Politicalsociety,ontheotherhand,isunderstoodasthespaceinwhichtheautonomyofgroupsandthe
articulationofconflictamongthemaredefendedandthediscussionanddebateofcollectivechoicesoccur.
24
Theconceptofpoliticalsocietythusincludesthepublic
sphereasitsmajordimension,but,giventhestressonconflict(andnegotiationandcompromise),itisnotentirelyreducibletoit.
Norarecivilandpoliticalsocietytobereducedtooneanother.Toeliminatepoliticalsocietyintheconception,ortotreatitascivil,istojuxtaposecivilsocietyrigidly
tothestate.Thisalternativeisvariously(andsomewhatconfusingly)describedbyViveretandRosanvallonasachoiceamongliberalism,apoliticalandutopian
anarchism,orcorporatismasalternativestostatism.
25
Withoutpoliticalmediations,however,theintegrityofcivilsocietyinfaceofthestatecannotbeindefinitely
stabilizedthemodelprefiguresanewstatistoutcome.However,todefendandextendonlypoliticalsociety,toseektopoliticizeallcivilstructuresthemselves,leads
toanoverpoliticizeddemocraticorautogestionaire(selfmanagement)utopianismofwhichpoliticalanarchismandcouncilCommunismhavebeentherepresentative
historicalconceptions.Itis,however,doubtfulthattheformsofselforganizationofpoliticalsocietycanbemaintainedwithouttheprotectionanddevelopmentof
independentbutapoliticalformsofsolidarity,interaction,andgrouplife.
TherigidconceptualdivisionofcivilandpoliticalsocietyisdifficulttomaintaininthespecificforminwhichitisusedintheFrenchdiscussion.Solidarityandconflict,as
wellasstructuresofpubliccommunication,aretobefoundonbothsidesofthedivide.Politically,however,thedistinctionmakesgoodsensebecauseitimpliesa
reorientationofdemocraticpoliticsawayfromthestatetosocietywithoutpromotingtheoverpoliticizationofsociety.Thustheexacttranslationoftherevolutionary
traditionintothelanguageofdemocratictheoryisavoided:ViveretandRosanvallonattempt

Page39
tothinkbothdemocratizationandtheselflimitationofdemocracy.Inotherwords,corecomponentsoftheliberalmodelofcivilsocietyasthesphereofprivate,
voluntaryassociationsecuredbyrightsareretainedinamodelthatalsoincludesthe"democratic"dimensionsofpublicityandpoliticalinfluenceofnonprofessional
actors,i.e.,citizens.
26
Thepoint,however,isnotsimplytorecommendamove(typicalofsocialdemocracy)fromrevolutiontodemocraticreformism.Bothpolesoftheoldduality,
revolutionorreform,orientedthemselvesthroughastructureofdemandstothestate
27
andtoasocietyunderstoodintermsofaclassdichotomy.Thereorientationto
civilandpoliticalsocietyrelocatesthelocusofdemocratizationfromthestatetosocietyandunderstandsthelatterintermsofgroups,associations,andpublicspaces
primarily.AsClaudeLefortargued,theactorsthestrategybanksuponarenotclassesbutsocialmovementsconstitutedincivilsociety.
28
Theseattainapoliticalstatus
intheconceptionofViveretandRosanvallonthroughthemediationsmadeavailableinpoliticalsociety:thereconstructionofpoliticalparties(replacingthenolonger
ideologicalcatchallparty)andtherenewalofpublicforumsofdiscussionanddebate(endingthehegemonyoftheestablishedmediaandofpoliticalcommunication
thathasbeenreducedtomeasuringnonpublicopinion,i.e.,polls).
TheconceptionofViveretandRosanvallonwasdesignedtopromotetheselfunderstandingofonedimensionoftheFrenchleft:thesocalled"secondleft"oriented
totheRocardgroupofthe1970sintheSocialistpartyandtotheCFDTlaborunion.Astheoriginalconceptionwasfurtherdeveloped,thereconstructionofcivil
societyreceivedanevenmorecentralroleintermsofthepoliticalhistoryoftheperiodinwhichthewatershedwastheSocialistparty'scomingtopower.Civil
society'sintegrityhadtobepreservednoweveninthefaceofasocialistcontrolledstateandpoliticalsociety.Logically,however,sincepoliticalsocietywas
understoodintermsofmediationbetweencivilsocietyandstate,itsreorganizationpresupposedtherebuildingofmorefundamentalsocialties.Onestrongstrandin
thethentriumphantFrenchsocialismcouldbeeasilyunderstoodtoendangerexactlythislevelthroughitsconnectiontoaKeynesianformofstatism.AsPierre

Page40
Rosanvallonhasforcefullyargued,thewelfarestatedisorganizesaboveallsocialnetworks,associations,andsolidarities,replacingthesebystateadministrative
relations.Notonlyhasthewelfarestateinthecountriesofitshighestdevelopmentprovedtobeanincreasinglyinefficientandineffectivestrategyofsocietalsteering
moreimportantly,itsearliersuccesshasimpliedaveritablecrisisofsolidarityreplacingformsofmutuality,selfhelp,andlateralcooperationbysystemicallyorganized
functions.Thus,thereificationofhumanrelationsinthecontextofsocialstatismfullymatchestheeffectsofthecapitalistmarketeconomyacivilsocietyoriented
programmustthereforerepresentnotonlyathirdwaybetweensocialstatismandneoliberalismbutawayqualitativelydifferentfromtheothertwo,which,despite
theiropposition,areseenasresemblingeachotherintheireffectsonsolidarityrelations.
Whatisextremelyvagueintheanalysisisthenatureofthecivilsocietybasedalternative,beyondthedemandfora"thickercivilsociety"involvingthecreationofnew
networks,newformsofintermediationandassociation,asthesourcesoflocalandfacetofacesolidarity.Evidentlysuchageneralpremiseiscompatiblewithvery
differentformsofcivilsociety.Rosanvallonnotesthefailureofthecommunitarianismofthe1960sand1970sandseekstoavoidacorporatistversionofthereturnto
society.
29
Heis,however,skepticalconcerningtheverypossibilityofatheoreticalanswertotheproblemofreconcilingindividualautonomyandnewspontaneous
formsofsolidarity,i.e.,concerningamodelbeyondstatism,neoliberalism,corporatism,andcommunitarianism.Ingeneral,heconvincinglyassertsacomplementary
relationbetweena(nonregressive)reductionofdemandsonthewelfarestateandthebuildingofnewformsofsociability.Hislistconcerningthelatter,however,is
limited.Henotestheexistenceandimportanceofnewformsofprivatelybasedcollectiveserviceandofundergroundformsofnonmarket,nonstateoriented
structuresofeconomiclife,
30
butheunderstandstheseasonlythefirstandmostprimitiveformsofwhatisrequired.Theneedfornewtypesofsociallygeneratedlegal
structures,neitherstatistnorindividualist,ispowerfullyasserted,butwefindoutlittleaboutthenatureofsuchlaworitsrelationshiptoexistingprivateandpubliclaw.
Theprojectsofbuildingnewsocialnorms,newculturalidentities,and

Page41
anewpublicspherearevaguelypostulated,butwedonotfindoutmuchabouttherelationshipofnewsocialactors(movements)toanyofthese.Moreover,thereis
someseriousambiguityhereabouttherelationofsolidarityandconflictinconstructinganewformofsociability.
Theanalysisismoreconvincinginitstreatmentoftheproblemofcompromise.Rosanvallonpostulatestheneedforcompromise(1)withcapitalistentrepreneurs
(exchangingrationalityandmobilityintheuseofcapitalforselfmanagementandfreetime),(2)withthebureaucraticstate(exchangingreductionofdemandsforthe
recognitionofformsofautonomouscollectiveservices),and(3)withinsocietyitself,involvingtheconstructionofnew,democraticformsofpublicdebate,negotiation,
andinterestaggregation.Itremainsunclear,though,howthetwopostwelfarestate,postKeynesian,postsocialdemocraticprojectsmentioned,regulationbyself
managementandintrasocialregulation,wouldhaveafundamentaleffectcapableofgeneratingtheforcebehindthoseformsofcompromise.Therelationshipofthese
projects,presumablyrepresentingpolitical(selfmanagement)andcivil(intrasocialregulation)society,respectively,ishighlyunclear.Herepoliticalsocietyis
introducednotsomuchasapoliticalrearticulationofcivilsocietybutratherasacompetingmodelaltogether.Butthenotionofpoliticalsocietyoscillatingbetween
publicdiscussionandselfmanagementshowsitsproblematicnature,sincethelatternotionthreatenstoassimilatepoliticalsocietytotheworldofworkor,atbest,to
industrialdemocracy.Correspondingly,theideaofintrasocialregulationoscillatingbetweenindividualisticandsolidaristicconceptionsofcivilsocietythreatensto
surrenderpartofwhathasbeenachieved:thecritiqueofthestatistlogicofindividualism.Whiletheprotectionofindividualrightshasitslegitimateplaceinthe
normativeconceptionofamoderncivilsociety,justasindustrialdemocracycanbereconceivedinawayperhapsanalogoustoademocraticpoliticalsociety,
31
the
momentsthatneedtobestressedinthecontextofthecritiqueofthestaffzingandeconomizationofsociety,asRosanvallonrecognizes,aresolidarityandpublicity.
Unfortunately,itistheiralltoocrucialrelationthatisleftunderdeterminedbythetraditionofFrenchanalysisweassociatewiththeterm"thesecondleft."Itmayvery
wellbethecase

Page42
thattheeventualemergenceofformsofneoliberalisminthismilieucanbetracedamongotherthingstothetheoreticalweaknessoftheoriginalconception,i.e.,tothe
difficultyofformulatingadequateconceptsofcivilandpoliticalsocietyandtheirrelationship.
ATheoryfortheWestGermanGreens
Adirectintellectualrelationshipto''antitotalitarian"orantiauthoritarianstrugglesfordemocracyisnotentirelyindispensableforinterpretingthepoliticsofWestern
democraciesintermsofthecategoryofcivilsociety.AgoodcaseinpointisWestGermany,where,unlikeFrance,theEasterndissidentshavehadonlyaslightand
ambiguousimpact.TherewasalsononeedheretodifferentiateradicalpoliticsfromthatofanauthoritarianmasspartyintheLeninistmold.Tobesure,eveninWest
GermanyonecouldinsistuponsomeimpactofthethoughtoftheFrench"secondleft"(especiallythroughthewritingsofGorz),andonecouldalsostressthestatist
authoritarianandevenrepressivepoliticalcultureoftheGermanSocialDemocraticParty.
32
Nevertheless,inourjudgmenttworelateddevelopments,commontoall
theWesterndemocraciesincludingtheUnitedStates,linktheGermanrediscoveryofcivilsocietytothesomewhatearlieroneinFrance:thecrisisofthewelfarestate,
andtheemergenceofaneoconservativecritiqueof"socialstatism."
Thewelfarestatehasoftenbeenunderstoodnotonlyasamechanismoftherepoliticizationoftheeconomybutalsoasadissolutionofthesharpboundariesbetween
stateandsociety.However,thecrisisofthewelfarestateraisesdoubtsconcerningthecontinuedeffectivenessandlegitimacyofstateinterventionintothecapitalist
economyaswellasintothevariousspheresofcivilsociety:thefamily,schools,culturalinstitutions,etc.Asawholeseriesofradicalleftwritersofthe1970sindicated,
stateinterventioninthecapitalisteconomycreatesinsolublefiscalandadministrativeproblemsinthelongrun,whilepoliticalinterventiononbehalfofthecapitalist
economy(especiallyinthecontextofdecreasingeffectiveness)isnoteasilylegitimatedinthecontextofdemocraticnorms.
33
Theseprojectionsturnedouttobe
devastatinglyaccurate

Page43
andwereinfacttakenupbyconservativeopponentsofthewelfarestateunderheadingssuchasdeclineofproductivity,profitsqueeze,dissolutionoftraditionand
authority,andungovernability.
34
However,theoriginalpoliticalalternativeproposedbysomeofthesameradicalwriters,ademocraticstatismthatwouldexploitthe
repoliticizationofeconomyandsocietybutbreakitslinkwiththeprivateaccumulationofcapital,wasabandonedjustaroundthetimewhenthediagnosisconcerning
theendofthewelfarestateguaranteedprocessesofgrowthwasconfirmed.InGermany,atleast,thereasonforthissurprisingdevelopmentintheselfunderstanding
ofonekeywriter,ClausOffe,wastheemergenceoftwodistinctprogramsofsocietyagainstthestate:thechallengestothewelfarestatebyneoconservativesandby
thenewsocialmovements.Whatthetwotrendshaveincommonaremanyaspectsofaneconomicanalysisofwhatwentwrongwiththewelfarestate.More
importantly,eachchallengewasreadytomovebeyondacritiqueconnectedtoinefficiencyanddysfunctiontodevelopadistinct,normativelybasedcritiqueexploring
thenegativeconsequencesofthewelfarestate,evenatitsmostsuccessful.
Leavingtheeconomicanalysistotheside,
35
thetwoprogramsofcivilsocietyagainstthestatethatemergedoffersharpcontrasts.Theneoconservativeanalysis
stressestheerosionofauthorityasaresultofthepoliticalmanipulationofthenonpoliticalspheresofsociety,leadingtotheintroductionofconflictandcontroversyinto
theverysourcesoflegitimacy.Authoritycanberefurbished,accordingly,onlyifuncontestableeconomic,moral,andcognitivestandardsarerestored.Civilsocietyis
toberestoredinthisprogram,butitsrestorationisunderstoodnotonlyasadefenseagainstthestatebutalso,moreimportantly,againstpolitics.Theneoconservatives
thushaveinmindamodelofdepoliticizedcivilsociety.
36
Inthisinterpretationofneoconservatism,thestressisontheiridentifyingthefreedomofcivilsocietywiththat
ofthemarket.Whatremainsoutsidethemarketmustbereintegratedthroughaconservativeretraditionalizedculturalmodelandlifeworldthatitselfwillhelpto
integratemarketsociety.However,itisalsoevidentthattheirmodelseekstostrengthenthestate,specificallyanauthoritarianversionofit.
37
Theboundariesofstate
andsocietyaretoberedrawnintheirmodelinordertoprovideforasmallerbut

Page44
strongerstatestreamlinedforfewerbutfarmoreeffectiveandauthoritarianformsofaction.Despiteexplicitlyaimingatsuchanoutcome,theneoconservativeshave
managedtochannelandfocusagooddealofantiauthoritarianpoliticalsentimentproducedbythevariousconsequencesofthewelfarestatefordifferentspheresof
life.
Analternativeprogramfortherestorationofcivilsociety,accordingtoClausOffe,mustbeginbyrecognizingthat"socialstatism"or"welfarestatism"didindeedhave
disastrousconsequencesforwholestrata,forformsoflife,forformsofparticipation,solidarity,andautonomy.HerehisanalysisduplicatesthoseofFrench"second
left"criticsofstatism.TheprogramofthenewsocialmovementsforthereconstitutionofcivilsocietythatOffecallsoneofnonstatistsocialism
38
makesno
concessionstoeconomicprivatismortostatistauthoritarianism.Thisprogram
seekstopoliticizetheinstitutionsofcivilsocietyinwaysthatarenotconstrainedbythechannelsofrepresentativebureaucraticpoliticalinstitutions,andtherebyreconstitutesa
civilsocietythatisnolongerdependentuponevermoreregulation,control,andintervention.Inordertoemancipateitselffromthestate,civilsocietyitselfitsinstitutionsof
work,production,distribution,familyrelations,relationswithnature,itsverystandardsofrationalityandprogressmustbepoliticizedthroughpracticesthatbelongtoan
intermediatespherebetween"private"pursuitsandconcerns,ontheoneside,andinstitutional,statesanctionedmodesofpolitics,ontheother.
39
Twonotentirelyconsistentfeaturesofthisconceptionneedtobestressed.Behinditliesadefenseofmodernbutpostmaterialvaluesinheritedfromthenewleftofthe
1960sthatcontrastparticipation,autonomy,andsolidaritywithconsumption,efficiency,andgrowth.Thusthemodelofcivilsocietyhereisthatofaculturallydefined
frameworkofthesocial,tobedistinguishedfromeconomicandpoliticalmodels.Ontheotherside,however,isamodelofacivilsocietyinheritedfromthe
antiauthoritariandimensionoftheMarxiantradition,involvingademocratizationmainlyoftheworldofwork.ThismodelisonethatFrenchwriterstendedtocallthat
ofpoliticalsociety,andOffe'sdefense,unliketheirs,separatesthecaseforpoliticalandcivilsocietyintermsofalternativeandopposedleftandneoconservative
scenarios.Civilsocietyinthesenseof

Page45
RosanvallonandViveretishereidentifiedwiththeprivate,andcorrelativelyanythingnotlefttotheprivateistobepoliticized.Moreover,thenew"political"societyis
understoodbyOffetorepresentamodelofdemocracyalternativetotheinstitutionsofliberaldemocracy,evenifitremainsunclearwhetherwearetoseethetwoas
opposedorpotentiallycomplementary.
TheprogramfortherestorationofcivilsocietythatOfferepresentshas,toagreaterextentthanthatofthewritersoftheFrenchsecondleft,preserveditslinkstothe
classicalMarxianconceptionthatplacespoliticaleconomywithincivilsociety.ThemodelofpoliticizedcivilsocietyrecapitulatesMarx'searlystressonthe
reinterpretationofpoliticaldemocracyandeverydaylife.Evenmoreimportant,OffeoperateswithinthetermsoftheMarxiancritiqueofliberaldemocracy.Inhis
conception,liberaldemocracyrepresentsamediationbetweenstateandcivilsocietythatisinourtimeonthevergeoffailure.Herecivilsociety,however,means
capitalistbourgeoissociety,andliberaldemocracy(aparticularversionof"politicalsociety")isidentifiedalsoasamediatingprinciplebetweentwosupposed
incompatibles,capitalismanddemocracy.
40
FollowingMacpherson,Offepointstothecompetitivepartysystemasthespecificmechanismthataccomplishes
mediationbetweenstateandcivilsociety,reconcilingdemocracyandcapitalismintheprocess.Alongwiththecrisisofthewelfarestate,however,themajor
contemporaryinstitutionofthecompetitivepartysystem,thecatchallparty,hasenteredintocrisis:itnevercould(unlikeitsforerunners)generatecollectiveidentities,
andinazerosumsocietyitcandecreasinglysatisfytheinterestsofitsdiverseconstituencywhenthishappens.
Theconflictbetweendemocraticlegitimacyandnondemocraticeconomicordercanberesolvedinoneoftwo"extrainstitutional"directions,
41
one(representing
governingelites)antidemocratictheother(representingordinarycitizens)radicaldemocratic.Neocorporatismrepresentsthefirsttypeofsolutionforthearticulation
andresolutionofconflictoutsideliberaldemocraticchannels.Withprivateorganizationstakingonpublicfunctions,Offedepictsneocorporatismasahigherdegreeof
fusionbetweenstateandsociety,publicandprivate,thanstateinterventionismitself.
42
ThisideaparallelstheviewofViveretandRosanvallon,according

Page46
towhomneocorporatismmeansthedisappearanceofpoliticalsocietyassuch,i.e.,allmediationsbetweencivilsocietyandstatestabilizingtheirdifferentiation.
Theradicaldemocratic"extrainstitutional"solutionforthefailureofliberaldemocracyhastheoppositeconsequence:redifferentiationratherthanfusion.The
revitalizationofpoliticalsocietyorofapoliticalversionofcivilsocietyintheformofcitizeninitiativesandsocialmovementsrepresentsarenewedmodelforthe
differentiationofstateandsociety.Offevariouslyandsomewhatinconsistentlydepictsthisoptionasaresponseeithertothefailureofthepartysystemortothe
success(butexclusionarytendencies)ofneocorporatism.Ineithercase,however,wecanspeakofthereconstitutionofcivil(orpolitical)societyoutsidean
establishedinstitutionalframeworkthathasthreatenedthedisappearanceofallindependentformsofsociallife.
Thebasesonwhich(political)civilsocietyisreconstituted,ifafusionbetweenthespheresofstateandsocietyhasalreadyoccurred,remainsunclearinthisanalysis.
43
Sincenorevolutionaryruptureisbeingcontemplated,onemustsomehowdiscoverthefoundationsofthenewindependentstructuresintheoldsocietyonthelevel
ofnormsand/ornonstatizedformsofassociation.
44
Offe'smodelofthereconstitutionofcivilsocietyismoreemphaticallymovementcenteredthantheothertwoforms
ofanalysiswehavesofardepicted.Socialmovementsplayamajorroleinallofthem,butonlyinOffe'smodelisthereashiftofemphasistowardmovementpolitics
fromtwodirections:nonpoliticalassociations,institutions,formsoflifeontheonehand,andliberaldemocratic,parliamentarypoliticsontheother.Whiletheissuemay
beoneofstressratherthanomission,therelationshipofapoliticalversionofcivilsocietytoitsnonpoliticalassociationalsubstratumishardlyexplored(thoughwithout
thistheoriginofmovementscannotbethematized),whilethatofthetwoparadigmsofpoliticsisexploredonlyinaninconclusiveway.
AlongwiththerealistfactionoftheGreens,Offe,ofcourse,presupposesinpracticalpoliticsthecomplementarityofpartyandmovementformsoforganization,of
parliamentaryandgrassrootsformsofpolitics.Hisearliercritiqueofliberaldemocracy,however,oscillatedbetweenaconceptionthatassertedanoutrightcontra

Page47
dictionbetweenliberalismanddemocracyandanotherpositingliberaldemocracyasadeficientdemocraticbridgebetweenthewillofcitizensandthestate.Both
versionsstillleavethewayopentothesecrethopeoftheclassicalMarxiantheory:apoliticalsocietyembodyingalleconomicandpoliticalpowersinasingle
institutionalframework.
45
Suchautopiabeyondthedualismofstateandcivilsocietyneedsnobridgebetweenthetwopoles,leastofallaliberaldemocraticone.
Undertheimpactofthenewselflimitationofcontemporarysocialmovements,whichseektolimitbutnotabolishtheexistingversionofthemodernstate,Offeno
longerseemstoholdthisparticularutopianview.Hiscritiqueofmajorityrule
46
allowshimtothematizetherelationshipbetweenthe"extrainstitutional"politicalimpulse
ofthenewsocialmovementsandtheneedforconstitutionalchangewithinthestructureofliberaldemocracy.Sincethiscritiqueisactuallyaimedatthecentralized
formsofmajorityrulerepresentedbytheliberaldemocraticnationstate,Offeproposestosupplementmajorityrulenotsomuchwiththeclassicalliberalformsofthe
protectionofminoritiesaswithvariousfederal,decentralized,quasiaristocratic(inthesenseofselfelectivebodiesofthosemostconcerned),andelsewherealso
functionalrepresentativeforms.Ofcourse,allofthesesupplementaryformsofdemocracywouldhavetorelyonsomeformofmajorityrule.Whatremainsunclear
abouttheanalysisisagaintheproblemoftherelationofthetwopoliticalsocieties,thistimethecentralizedandthesupplementaryones,and,inparticular,howthe
official,institutional,centralizedformistobetransformedoratleastmadereceptivetoandcapableofbeinginfluencedbytheotherforms.Whilethesuggestionto
makemajorityrulereflexiveaboutitsownboundariesthroughareinstitutionalizationofthepouvoirconstituantisimportant,this(stillvagueandpossiblyimpractical)
proposalbypassesthequestionofthestructureofparliamentary,partydemocracy.Weareleftwiththeimpression(alsopresentinsomeoftheotheranalyseswe
havepresented)thatwhileliberaldemocracyisadmittedlydangerousfortheautonomyofapoliticalversionofcivilsociety,becauseofitsdepoliticizingtendencies,
civilsocietycannotinthelongrunbeinstitutionalizedwithoutsomeofthestructuralpossibilitiesthat,intheWestatleast,arecarriedbyliberaldemocracy.

Page48
CivilSocietyintheTransitionfromLatinAmericanDictatorships
Theconceptofcivilsocietyhasalsoemergedunderseveral"bureaucraticauthoritarian"regimesasakeytermintheselfunderstandingofdemocraticactorsaswellas
animportantvariableintheanalysisofthetransitiontodemocracy.
47
Thisdiscussionhasbeentherichest,mostopenended,andmostsyntheticamongtheonessofar
discussed.Wecan,ofcourse,onlytraceformsofdiscoursethatwebelieveindicatethebeginningsofanewpoliticalcultureitisbeyondourcompetencetointegrate
thisdiscourseintothediversepoliticalandsocialcontextsinvolved.Nevertheless,wearestruckbytheremarkableunityofthediscussionandbyitsparallelswith
developmentselsewhere.
ThemainconcernofLatinAmericantheoristsandtheircollaboratorshasbeenthetransitionfromanewtypeofmilitarybureaucraticauthoritarianrule:First,involving
aperiodof"liberalization"(definedastherestorationand/orextensionofindividualandgrouprights)andsecond,astageof"democratization"(understoodintermsof
theestablishmentofacitizenshipprinciplebasedonatleasta"proceduralminimum"ofparticipation).Butthesetransitionsareseenasstronglydependentonthe
"resurrectionofcivilsociety."
48
Here,civilsocietystandsforanetworkofgroupsandassociationsbetween(insomeversions,including)familiesandfacetoface
groupsononesideandoutrightstateorganizationsontheother,mediatingbetweenindividualandstate,privateandpublic.Differentfromclan,clique,cabal,and
clientele,theassociationsofcivilsocietyhavethemselvesapublic,civicqualityrelatedbothto"arecognizedrighttoexist''andtheability"toopenlydeliberate
about...commonaffairsandpubliclyactindefenseofjustifiableinterests."
49
Otherssignificantlyaddthenotionofselfexpressiontothatoftherepresentationof
interests,andtheyproposetoincludemovementsalongwithrecognizedassociationsintheconcept.
50
Itisoftensuggestedthatthe"resurrection"ofcivilsociety
culminatesinthehighlymobilizedandconcentratedformof"massmobilization"and"popularupsurge,"inwhichthevariouslayersandstrataofcivilsocietydevelop,if
temporarily,asinglecollectiveidentity.

Page49
Thecategoryofmassismisleadingherefortworeasons.First,theanalyststellusthatinliberalizedauthoritarianstates,civilsocietytypicallycomesintomotionin
distinctandsuccessivelayers:intellectualgroups,middleclassorganizations,humanrightsorganizations,professionalassociations,movementsofindustrialworkers,
etc.(notnecessarilyinthisorder).
51
Evenincontextsofhighmobilization,intherecenttransitionstodemocracythedifferentgroups,associations,andorganizations
donotcoalesceintoonemass,aswascharacteristicoftheearlier"populisms"thatoftenledtodictatorships.Second,theforumsofresurrectedcivilsocietyare
typically"public"asagainst"mass,"rangingfromintellectualdiscussionsinuniversities,bookstores,cafs,etc.,topopularformsofassociationandassembly,which
togetherrepresentnewcontextsinwhich"theexerciseandlearningofcitizenshipcanflourishindeliberationsaboutissuesofeverydayconcern."
52
Highlevelsof
mobilizationagainstrecentdictatorshipstypicallyusedratherthanbypassedthesepublicforms.Thisisunderstandable,sinceaftertheauthoritarianreductionofpublic
discussiontostatecontrolled,restricted''codesandterms,"therestorationofthissphereachievedhighsignificance,forawhileatleastmakingthesimplifications
involvedinpopulistdiscourselessattractive.Allthesame,thedistinctionsbetweenhigherandlowerlevelsofmobilization,aswellasbetweenunifiedandmore
particularizedcollectiveidentitiesincivilsociety,remainimportant.
Leavingasidesomedifferencesamongtherelevantauthorsconcerningtheverymeaningandtherelativeimportanceoftheconceptofcivilsociety,someimportant
puzzlesandambiguitiescharacterizethewholelineofanalysis.Accordingtoaninterpretationcharacteristicofthemostrepressiveregimes,suchasArgentina,
authoritarianregimesatomize,depoliticize,andprivatizesociety,creatingapurelymanipulatedandcontrolledpublicsphere.
53
Accordingtoanother,insomecontexts
atleast(suchasBrazil),civilsocietyoritsresiduessurviveauthoritarianruleinformsofinterestassociations,autonomousagencies,localgovernment,andchurch
life.
54
Accordingtoathirdlineofinterpretation,the"resurrectionofcivilsociety"thatpushesthedemocratizationprocessforwardispossibleineithercase,withor
withoutsurvivingformsofrecognizedassociation,withorwithout

Page50
memoriesofearliermassmobilization.
55
AsFranciscoWeffortfromBrazilputsit,"wewantacivilsociety,weneedtodefendourselvesfromthemonstrousstatein
frontofus.Thismeansthatifitdoesnotexist,weneedtoinventit.Ifitissmall,weneedtoenlargeit....Inawordwewantcivilsocietybecausewewant
freedom."
56
Inthisinterpretation,whichrecallsargumentsmadeinPoland,thesocialfoundationsforcivilsociety,startingwithfamilyandfriendsandcontinuingwith
thechurch,neverdisappearedinanyofthesoutherndictatorships.
Thestrategyof"inventing"and"enlarging"isfavoredbythefactthatbureaucraticauthoritarianregimesnevermanagetosolvetheirproblemsoflegitimacy.
57
The
constitutionorreconstitutionofelementsofcivilsociety,indirectlypromotedbyreducingbothfearandthecostsofautonomousactivity,becomesameanstoaddress
thesefundamentalproblems.
58
Whilethiseffortfromaboveisalwaysexpectedtostaywithincarefullimits,itcannotamounttoacompletefarceifthegoalof
legitimacyistobeattained,andtheelementsofactualdemocratizationthatareestablishedinthiswayarebydefinitionunpredictableandcannotbekeptwithinany
givenpredefinedlimits.
59
Itisstillunclear,however,whatdifferencethestateofdevelopmentofcivilsocietyunderauthoritarianrulemakesintermsoftheprocessoftransitionorthestability
andcharacteroftheoutcome.Itseemslikelythatthecharacterofamobilizedcivilsocietyitselfisaffectedbythealternativepatterns:morehomogeneouswhereno
previousstructuresexistedorwerepreserved,morepluralisticandstructuredwherecivilsocietydidnothavetobecreatedafterahighdegreeofatomization.And
thisdifferencehasmanypotentialconsequences.
Itmaybehelpfultodistinguish,inrelationtotransitions,processesofinitiation,consolidation,andcompletion.Theexactroleofcivilsocietyintheprocessof
initiatingthetransitionremainsinsomedispute.Thedominantthesisstresses,onthebasisofmuchcomparativedata,thatthebeginningisprimarilyafunctionofinternal
splitsintheauthoritarianregime,althoughallanalystsconcedethatifsuchasplitleadstoan"opening"ortoliberalization,theresurrectionofcivilsocietycannotbe
easilycontainedandwillplayanimportantroleinallsucceedingsteps.
60
However,someinter

Page51
pretersseemtoarguethatwheremobilizationplaysaroleintheendofanauthoritarianregime,thewholeprocessofthe"overthrow"or"selfdissolution"fromthevery
beginningisverymuchafunctionoftheregime'srelationshiptocivilsociety.
61
ThenotionthattheproblemoflegitimationistheAchillesheelofthepost1945
authoritarianregimes
62
seemstoimplythattheinstabilityoftheregimesandtheimpetusforliberalizationshouldbesoughtintherelationshipoftherulerstogroupsand
opinionoutsideofthem.
Thefeaturesofcivilsocietyareasimportanttopotentialrollbacks,inparticularmilitarycoups,astotheprocessofinitiationandacceleration.Whilesomeanalystsfear
overmobilizationasapretextforcoupsandamotivationforreunificationoftherulingelites,thedominantpositionseemstostressthecostsofaconflictwithmobilized
civilsocietyasadeterrenttohardlinersthatreformerscanuse.
63
Onemightaddherethatnotonlythelevelofmobilizationbutthatofstructureformationisimportant
becauseitiseasiertosuppressasocietywithoutdeeporganizationalrootsthanahighlyarticulatedone,eveniftheformerissuperficiallymobilized.
Equallyimportantistheissueofwhetherornotthepressureofcivilsociety,oncemobilized,iscapableofpushingtotheendaprocessoftransitiontodemocratic
politics.Itseemsobviousthatanevolutionarystrategyinvolvesimportantnegotiatingandbargainingprocesseswiththoseauthoritarianrulerswhoareableandwilling
tomoderatetheirrule,whileatalaterstageanytransitiontodemocracymustinvolveorganizationforelections.Itisnotobviousineitherofthesecontexts,however,
howcivicassociations,socialmovements,grassrootsorganizations,orevenmediaofcommunicationcansubstituteforthedifferentiationofapoliticalelement
capableofstrategicconsiderations.Infact,astrategyfrombelowonitsownhasnowheresucceeded.
Asidefromideologiesofreformfromabove,twoformsofdiscourseareavailabletoparticipantsseekingtounderstandtheplaceofpoliticalorganizationsinthe
transitionfromauthoritarianruleoneisdialecticalandtheothermoreanalytical.Accordingtotheformer,sincebureaucraticauthoritarianregimessuppressor
seriouslydeformalltypesofmediationbetweentheprivatesphereandthestate(includingpopularorganizationsaswellasinstitu

Page52
tionsforpoliticalcitizenship),thetaskofdemocratizationisprimarilytoreconstitutethese.
64
Indeed,thedialecticalversionofthediscourseofcivilsocietyoftencomes
toidentifydemocratizationwiththereconstitutionofthesemediations.Inthisversion,thepoliticalactorscapableofinterposingthemselvesbetweensocietyandstate
emergefromtheprocessoforganizingnewsocialassociationsandmovementsastheirorganiccontinuation.Butintheirsearchforlegitimacy,theregimesthemselves
ofteninitiatetheprocessofreconstitutingmediationsbeyondthesemipolitical,stateconstituted"bureaucraticringsorclusters"of"socialinterests"thathavefailedas
effectivereplacementsforsocietalpressuregroups.
65
Asaresult,thoseinoppositionfindthemselveshavingtochoosebetween"theimbecility"ofrefusingdegreesof
socialautonomysimplybecausetheyareofferedorevenacceptedbygovernmentsand"theopportunism"ofacceptinglimitedautonomytooquickly,enteringintoa
predeterminedandcooptinggamewithouttestingtheactualpossibilitiesofdemocratization.
66
Oneoptionbeyondthesetwoseemstobetheattempttoorganizeand
defendthenewsphereofcivilsocietynotasmediationbutasanendinitself,asinitselfpolitical:''Ifpoliticswastohaveanewmeaning,anewsphereoffreedomfor
politicalactionhadtobedeveloped.ForpoliticalBrazil,civilsociety,previouslyeitherignoredorseenasaninertmass,begantosignifythatsphereof
freedom."
67
Fromthispointofview,itisnaturaltotreatevenpoliticalpartiesandassociationsasundifferentiatedpartsoftheheterogeneousfieldofself
organization.
68
InanextremeantipoliticalversioninBrazil,combiningtheviewsof"layanarchismandCatholicsolidaritythought,"partiesaretobemorefearedthan
trustedbecauseoftheirpropensitytoenterthegameofthestate.Totheextentthatselforganizationhadtobecomplementedbypoliciesandlegislativemeasures,
theseweretobeachievedbymovementsofdirectparticipationorganizedaroundsingleissuesofintenseconcerntotheirownconstituencies.
69
Inthefaceofintactauthoritarianpower,however,ahighlevelofmobilizationwithoutmediations,symbolizedbythefigureofcivilsocietyas"thepoliticalcelebrityof
theabertura,"
70
couldhavedemobilizingconsequences.Unabletogobeyondpolarization,civilsocietycandefeatstateinitiativeswithoutgeneratingacompre

Page53
hensivealternativeofitsown.AsinthecasesofbothBrazilandChile,fearoftheregimecaneasilybereplacedbysociety'sfearofitself,fearoftheconsequencesof
itsownimpotentpower.
71
Bothintheoryandinpractice,asecondstrategycomestostresstheneedforanorientationtopoliticalsocietytocompletethetransitionto
democracy.Thisstrategyisintellectuallyanalyticalinthatitdoesnotseetheinstitutionsofpoliticalsocietyparties,electoralmechanisms,formsofbargaining,and
legislaturesaseitherpartsorasorganiccontinuationsoftheprocessesoftheselforganizationofcivilsociety.
72
Whileitseemsmisleadingtoidentifycivilsocietyprimarilywithliberalization,andpoliticalsocietyprimarilywithdemocratization,itiscertainlyrighttoinsistthat"full
democratictransitionmustinvolvepoliticalsociety."
73
Withoutpoliticalsociety,neitherthenecessarynegotiationfortransitionnorthemechanismsofsocietalcontrolof
postauthoritarianstatescanbeestablished.Thishasbeenshownthroughanalysesofelectionsandpoliticalparties.Inthosedictatorshipswhereelectoralmechanisms
weremaintained,evenifgreatlyrestricted,ithasbeenpossibletochannelsocialpressureinthedirectionofsubstantial,ifgradual,politicalchange
("decompression"),
74
eveninthecontextofanintactauthoritarianorderthathasnotbeenweakenedfromtheoutside.ThiswasthecaseinBrazil.Similarly,the
continued,ifrestricted,existenceofpoliticalpartiesrepresentedinseveralcountries,fromBraziltoUruguayand(mostrecently)Chile,thenaturalfocalpointfor
negotiatedtransitions.
75
Indeed,partiesandelectionsrepresentedopportunitiesfortheremobilizationofcivilsocietyinseveralcontextswherephenomenaof
demobilizationoccurredafterfailuresofearlychallengesagainstauthoritarianrule.
76
Whereverithasbeenpossible,theactivationofpoliticalsocietyseemstohave
beenthekeytoavoidingpolarized,zerosum,orevennegativesumconfrontationsbetweenorganizedcivilsocietiesandauthoritarianregimesthathavemaintained
somecontinuitywiththepast.
77
Whateveritsnecessity,theturntopoliticalsocietyhaspotentiallydemobilizingconsequenceswithrespecttocivilsociety,asmanyparticipantsandobservers
havenoted.Inthiscontext,Cardosojustlycallsattentiontothedoublenatureofpoliticalparties:Theirmediatingroleismadepossibleby,butcannotovercome,the
contradictions

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withinthemofmovementandadministration,ofparticipationandelitism,ofdemocraticnormandstrategiccalculation.
78
Attwopoints,however,theelitist,
administrative,andstrategicsidemaydominate:pactsandelections.Oftenpossibleandnecessaryas"undemocratic"halfwaystations,pactsarerightlystressedby
manyasimportantmeansofavoidingviolenceanditsrisksinthetransitiontodemocracy.
79
Itdoesnotseemcompletelyjustified,though,toclaimthat,wheretheyare
possible,pactsbetweenthepartiesoftheoppositionandelementsoftheregimearealsodesirable,especiallywhenitisalittletooquicklyadmittedthattheyareasa
ruleexclusionary,nonpublic,andaimedatdrasticallycurtailingconflictinthepoliticalsystem.Theirviolationofthenormsofdemocracy
80
canhavelongtermnegative
consequencesforapoliticalculture.Withthissaid,itshouldperhapsbeaddedthatpactsinwhichcertaininterestsoftheexistingrulersareguaranteedhavedifferent
possibleconsequencesforcivilsociety,dependingontheirtiming.Comingearlyinaprocessoftransition,pactscansecureelementsofliberalization,makingpossible
thereconstitutionofcivilsociety.Inthiscase,withtheemergenceofnewactorsandtheactivationofpublicspaces,thechancesaregoodthattheinitialpactwill
eventuallybesweptaside.
81
Ifapactcomeslate,however,aftertheresurrectionandpossiblytheupsurgeofcivilsociety,andespeciallyifitguaranteespower
positionstoallcontractingparties,includingsomeoftheopposition,itsveryaiminvolvesanexclusionanddemobilizationthatmaybesuccessfulforalongperiod.
Oftentheconsequenceisarevivalofpopulismratherthanprocessesoffurtherdemocratization.
Theonly"late"pactsthatseemtoavoidthistrajectoryarethoseinwhichoppositionalgroupingsaskfornoconcessionsforthemselvesbutonlyforsocietyasawhole.
Aboveall,pactsthatarrangeelectionsandelectoralrulescanhavethischaracter.Butelections,evenwhentheythemselvesdonotincorporatestronglyexclusionary
rules,canbeambiguousfromthepointofviewofmobilizingcivilsociety.
Severalanalystsaskthepartiallyrhetoricalquestion,Whyshouldrulingelitesagreetoelectionsthatarelikelytoabolishtheirrule?Theanswergivenisthattheseelites
expecttochannelpolitics"awayfromtheebullienceofcivilsociety"andperhapseventowin

Page55
electionsbydividingtheoppositionandbeingrewardedbytheelectorate.
82
Whenelectionsareonlygraduallydecontrolled,asinBrazil,thehopeistoslowdown
therateofchangewhilestillachievingprocedurallegitimacy.Thehopesofvictoryandlegitimacyaregenerallyfrustrated,butnotthoseofdemobilizationand,where
pertinent,gradualism.
83
Themovetoelectoralpartieswiththeirlessintense,moreinclusive,moreabstractformofpoliticalidentificationandtheirlowerdegreeof
directparticipationtendstodevalueandreplacemovementsandassociationswiththeirmoreparticular,butalsomoreintenseandparticipatory,formsoforganization.
Althoughthisdependsonthespecificelectoralrulesenacted,thetendencyofmodernelectionsistoreducethenumberofpoliticalpartiescapableofeffectively
participatinginelections.Inturn,andespeciallyinperiodsofuneasytransition,potentiallysuccessfulpartieswilloftenrestrainmovementsofcivilsocietythatmight
jeopardizetheoutcomeoreventhepossibilityofelections.
84
Themajorparties,moreover,shareacommoninterestinobtainingalargerthanrepresentativeshareof
votesforforcesclosetotheauthoritarianregime,toavoidanoverlygreatvictoryfortheopposition.
85
Thus,itcanbesaidnotonlyoftheprocessesleadingto
unrestrictedelectoralconteststhatenddictatorshipsbutalsooftheelectionsthemselvesthattheyareimplicitnegotiationsbetweenregimesandoppositionalparties
thatprovidespaceandtimeto"redefinetheirrespectiveroles."
86
Andwhiletheweaklegitimacyandtheplebiscitarypossibilitiesofpartiallyrestrictedelectionscan
indeedleadtosocietalmobilizationandtolearningprocessesoutsidetheofficialframework,theliberaldemocraticlegitimacyofopenconfrontationprovidesmuchless
ofachanceforsuchanoutcome.Itispossiblethatwherecivilsocietyisunderdevelopedandpassive,orisintheprocessofcontraction,electionsmightdraw
otherwiseuninvolvedstrataintoorganizedpoliticsinthecontextofahighlymobilizedcivilsociety,thereversemayverywelloccur,withpartiesturningouttobe"not
only,ornotsomuch,agentsofmobilizationasinstrumentsofsocialandpoliticalcontrol."
88
Thereislittledoubtaftertheexperienceofseveralcountriesthatthehighestlevelofamobilizedcivilsocietycannotbemaintainedforlong.
89
Butiscivilsociety
equivalenttosuchmobilization?Isit

Page56
notamarkofitsweaknessthatitcanexistinsomecountriesonlyinthisform?Thereissomeserioustheoreticaluncertaintyconcerningwhatcomesorcancomeafter
demobilization.Thequestioniswhetherthereisanythingleftofa"resurrectedcivilsociety"afterselectiverepression,cooptation,manipulation,internalconflicts,
fatigue,disillusionment,andthechannelingofoppositionintothepartyandelectoralsystemstaketheirtollanddemobilize"thepopularupsurge."
90
Hereone
interpretationstressesdepoliticization,reprivatization,andtheemergenceofpoliticalghettoes,whichtogetherwillendangerdemocraticconsolidationandweakenthe
society'sabilitytoresistrenewedauthoritarianism.Theideathatinsomecountries,notablyChileandUruguay,
91
anoverdevelopedsystemofpartiescontributestoa
dependentandunderdevelopedcivilsocietyismoreconsistentwiththislineofargumentthanisthestressinthecaseofothercountriesonthesurvivalofcivic
associationallifeevenunderauthoritarianism.Ifoneidentifiesdemobilizationwiththeatomizationofcivilsociety,itishardtoseehowonecanspeakofatransitionto
democracyratherthanareturntocyclesofdemocracyanddictatorship,neitherofwhichcanbestabilized,inpartbecauseofthecyclesofpoliticizationand
depoliticizationofcivilsocietywithineachformofrule.Theideaoffinallyleavingthecycle
92
mustthereforepointbeyondthealternativeofafullymobilizedandfully
depoliticizedandprivatizedcivilsociety.
Logically,atleast,thedemobilizationofapopularupsurgeisnotnecessarilytheendofapoliticallyrelevantcivilsociety.Norisitnecessarythateverythinglearnedin
previouscyclesbeforgotten.Inthiscontext,itissignificantthatsomeinterpretersseetheemergenceofanewformofdifferentiationbetweendefactosocietal
pluralismanddemocraticpluralismasachangeinvalues,asthetransformationofthecollectiveidentityofgroupsandinstitutions.
93
Theformertypeofpluralismhas
beenpresentinmostofthesocietiesinquestion,butthelatterhasbeenaproductonlyoftherecentstrugglesagainstauthoritarianregimesthathaveledtothe
replacementoftheimageryoftheviarevolucionariabydemocraticideologies.
94
Afterthefailureofillusoryrevolutionsandtheexperienceofdictatorships,
democracycametobeincreasinglyviewedasanendinitselfratherthanameansforthe

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realizationofsectoralinterests.
95
Butforittobecomeanendalsofornonelitegroups,areorientationtocivilsocietyhadtoandactuallydidoccur."Thediscoveryof
thevalueofdemocracyisinseparable,withintheopposition,fromthediscoveryofcivilsocietyasapoliticalspace."
96
Thequestioninevitablyarises,Whatwillhappen
tothevalueofdemocracyasthespaceofcivilsocietyshrinkstothebenefitofpoliticalsociety?
Actually,oneshoulddistinguishthreepossibilities:(1)acivilsocietythatlosesitsvalueforsocialactorswiththerestorationofdemocracy,aprocessinwhichpolitical
societyhascometoplaythemajorrole(2)anoverpoliticizedcivilsocietythatimplicitly,onbehalfofvariousofitssectors,seekstoabolishsocietalpluralityitself
and/ordevaluesmediationsbetweenitselfandthestateand(3)acivilsocietythathasbecomereflexivetoitselfthroughitsselfthematizationandselfnormatization,
aswellasitsselflimitationvisvispoliticalsociety.
Theselfreflexivemodelofcivilsocietyinvolvesnotonlytheideaoftheselflimitationofcivilsocietybutalsoitsownstrengthening.Thishasconsequencesforboth
civilandpoliticalsociety.Themodelisincompatiblewiththeliberalindividualisticconceptofcivilsocietythatimpliesbothitsfulldepoliticizationanditsdependence
ontheforcesofthemarketeconomy:"thesocialinequalityandthefragilityoftheindividualbeforebusinessandthebureaucracy."Cardosoproposesanalternative
combiningtheradicaldemocraticstressoncollectivesubjectivityandselforganization(without,however,abandoningindividualrights)andareformdemocratic
acceptanceofthenecessityofthestate.This"dualistic"synthesisleadstothestart,admittedlyneedingfurtherdevelopment,ofaproposalforgreatersocial
responsibilityonthepartofthemanagementoffirmsandthebureaucracy,withincreasingpubliccontrolovertheirprocesses.Withoutthis,civilsocietyremains
defenselessand"privateinthestrictsenseoftheword."
97
Thisredefinitionoftherelationshipofstateandcivilsocietyinademocracyyettobecreatedaltersthemodelofpoliticalsocietyaswell,andalongwithitthatof
politicalparties.Theirtasknowbecomesbuilding"movablebridgesonbothsidesoftheantinomy."
98
Theideaisnotwellenoughexplainedintermsofthenotionof
"counteringthewidespreadideathatthepartiesare'inauthentic'

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andincapableofservingasafilterfortheaspirationsoftheelectorate."
99
Whatseemstobeinvolvedinsteadistherejectionofachoicebetweentheelitistandthe
radicaldemocratic,betweenthestrategicandthenormativedemocraticdimensionsoftheambivalenceofmodernparties.Rather,itseemstobethisambivalence
madeconsciousthatcouldallowboththesensitizingofcivilsocietytotheneedforstrategicconsiderationsandtheintroductionofelementsofdemocraticdecision
makingintostateandfirm.
100
Sketchyasitmaybe,Cardoso'soutlineforthedevelopmentofdemocratictheoryhasseveralvirtues.Itisamodelofthegoaloftransitionthatdoesnotlosesightof
thepreconditionsofconsolidatingdemocracyandremobilizinginitsdefense.ItcorrespondswelltotheinstitutionalrequirementsforO'Donnell'snotionofbuildinga
civilsocietybaseddemocraticpoliticalculture.Finally,themodelpointsbeyondrestrictingdemocracytothepoliticalsphere(i.e.,beyondelitedemocracyorelite
pluralism)tothepossibilityofexitingthehistoricalcycleinawaythatallowstheissueof"moredemocracy"toberaisedwithoutbeingasubterfugeforadictatorshipof
theleftorthepretextofthedictatorshipoftheright.
RevisitingEasternEuropeintheLate1980s
Asindicatedabove,therediscoveryofcivilsocietyinPolandwastheproductoftwonegativelearningexperiences:thefailureoftotal,revolutionarychangefrom
below(Hungaryin1956)andofcomprehensivereformfromabove(Czechoslovakiain1968).Polishreformersdecidedthataradicalchangeofsocietywasstill
possibleifathirdroutewasfollowed.Thiswouldhavetwocomponents:Theagentwouldbeorganizedsociety"frombelow,"andthetargetwouldbecivilsociety
ratherthanthestate,withinaprogramofselflimitation.Notethatbyitsownstandardsthenewstrategywasitselfopentothetestofnewlearningexperiences.After
therepressionofSolidarityinDecemberof1981,thequestioninevitablyaroseofwhetherthethirdandseeminglylastroutehadalsobeenprovedimpossiblein
Soviettypesocieties.(Apparentlylastonthebasisofadualisticconceptionthatrigidlyjuxtaposesstateandcivilsociety.)

Page59
WithinPolandthedualisticformulationhasbeensubjectedtostringentcritiquebyJadwigaStaniszkis.Herewewilloutlineandexpandhergenerallineofattack:
1.Thepolarizationofsocietyvs.thestateinPolandisconnectedtoapoliticalhistoryinwhichthreeforeignimperialgovernmentsrepresentedthestate.
2.Polishculturesurvivedtheageofpartitionsbypreservingitsowntraditions,mentalities,practices,systemofeducation,andreligioninisolationfromthestate(s).
3.Thestrategywas,however,alwaysapurelydefensiveoneandisnotsuitedforrealsocialchange.
4.Theposttotalitarianstateismoresubtleandpenetrating,moreinvisibleandcorrupting,thantheopenlyrepressivestatesofthepast.Thustheisolationofstateand
societyisinprinciplenotpossible.
5.Theunityofsocietyisillusoryontheempiricallevel,andapopulistandsolidaristuniformityimposedonsociety(allegedlythecaseduringthesixteenmonthsof
Solidarity)isundesirable.
6.Theunityofthepartystateisalsoillusoryand,fromastrategicpointofview,hardlydesirable.Thenotionofinherentoppositionbetweensocietyandstatemakesit
impossibletoexploitinternalcleavagesandtensionsinstateandparty.Reformistattemptsfromaboveandwithintherulingstructuremustthenbetakenasapriori
illusory,andcompromisecanbeunderstoodonlyasstrategic,i.e.,inprincipleunstable.Partyoppositionsarecontinuallydrivenbackintotheparty.
7.Popularmobilizationandconflictundertheaegisofthedualisticconceptioncanamountonlytoritualizedformsofchannelingoppositiontheywillnotbeableto
produceanysignificantchangeintheexistingsystem.
101
Staniszkiswaswrongaboutthemobilizingpowerofthedichotomousconceptionofsocietyagainstthestate.Indeed,theconceptionwasinmanyrespectsself
realizing:WhileSolidaritywaslegal(19801981),Polishsocietywasatleasttendentiallyorganizedaroundthefaultlinesofthedichotomyofcivilsocietyand(party)
state,despiteconflictswithineachpoleoftheduality.Inretrospect,

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however,oneimplicationofStaniszkis'sanalysiswasfulfilled:Thedichotomousconceptionreinforcedatypeofpolarizationinwhichcompromisesolutionsbecame
impossible,howevermuchdesiredbythesectorofSolidarityledbyLechWalesa.Forcompromiseoneneedspartners,presumablyreformists,andalso(political)
institutionsofmediation.Inacontextofradicalpolarization,activelysoughtbysectorsoftheregimebutfavoredbySolidarity'sideology,neithercouldemerge.The
normativelyandaffectivelysuccessfuldualisticconceptionoftheoriginalprojectoftheselfliberationofcivilsocietywasthuspartoftheconstellationthatledto
strategicfailure.
Inthe1980sthisprojectwas,amazinglyenough,notonlynotabandonedbutextendedtotwoothercountries:HungaryandtheSovietUnion.Tworeasons,aside
fromthatoftheinherentnormativevalidityofthebasicideas,wereresponsible.Onewasgeopolitical:Importantshiftshadoccurredintheinternationaleconomicand
politicalenvironmentsinwhichtheprojecthadoriginallyledtostalemate.Theotherwastheoretical,involvinganexpansionoftheoriginalframeworkbyintroducing
thecategoryofpoliticalsociety.
ThechangeintheinternationalenvironmentfollowedfromthecrisisoftheSovietmodelofeconomicdevelopmentbothontheperipheryandeveninthecenterofthe
imperialsystem.TheSovietUnionhadexhaustedthepossibilitiesofextensivedevelopmentbasedoncontinuousexpansionoftheresourcesofrawmaterialsandlabor
andwasbeingdecisivelychallengedbythethreatofunlimitedtechnologicalmilitarycompetitionwiththeUnitedStates,acompetitiontheSovietUnioncouldnotwin.
102
Asidefromeconomics,thenewsituationwasmarkedbythreenewprocesses:thefailureofnormalizationinPoland,theemergenceofreformismfromabovein
theSovietUnion,andthebeginningofthecrisisofKadaristconsolidationinHungary.
ThereferencetotheSovietUnionalreadyindicatesthat,giventhechangeofenvironment,thestrategyofreformfrombelowaswellasfromabovehasmadea
comeback,despitetheexpectationsofPolishoppositionistsinthelate1970sundertheinfluenceoftheCzechexperienceandtheatmosphereoftheBrezhnevera.
Remarkably,thestrategyofreformfromabove,initiatedbysegmentsoftherulingparty,wasnowcomplementedbyanotherone:the

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reconstructionofindependentcivilsociety.Indeed,itisthiscomplementaritythatwasoftenseenasthemarkofthedifferencebetweenradicalreformandmere
reform.Accordingtothislineofthought,attemptedchangesintheSovieteconomyfailedinthepastbecause(1)theytargetedonlytheeconomy,(2)theydidnotgo
farenougheveninrelationtotheeconomy,and(3)theironlyagentwastherulinginstitutionabove,excludingallforcesfrombelow.
103
Allthesepointsbelong
together.Assumingthatthegoalwasfirstandforemostaneconomicreformthatwent"farenough"towork,elitereformersnowarguedthatthisispossibleonlyif
otherareasoflifeweretransformedandotheractorsthanthepartystateparticipatedintheoverallproject.Ineffect,theclaimisthatcivilsocietyisapartofthe
environmentneededforanewtypeofeconomiccoordinationthatcouldnotbecreatedwithoutmovementsfor,andin,civilsociety.
ThethesisappliednotonlytothesysteminheritedfromtheconservativeBrezhneverabytheGorbachevteam,whereeventheformalabolitionofthecommand
structurewouldrequirethemobilizationofpressureoutsidetherulingapparatus.ItappliedaswelltothereformedKadaristsystem,whosesuccesseswereduemore
topartialprivatizationthantothetransformationofthecommandsystemintooneofinformalbureaucraticcontrols.
104
FromthewritingsofHungarianeconomists,
legalscholars,politicalscientists,andsociologistsitbecomesclearwhycivilsocietywasimplicatedontwolevelsinwhatwassupposedlyrequiredfor"radicalreform."
First,wehavelearnedthattheintroductionofreformsexclusivelyfromabovecannot,becauseofconservativebureaucraticresistance,beformulatedorimplemented
inasufficientlyconsistentmanner.
105
Norissuchaprocessprotectedagainstrollbacksinitiatedbybureaucraticcounterattacksincontextsofevenminorleadership
realignments.Thus,independentactorsareneededformoreconsistentanddeterminedpursuitofeconomicreform.However,sincesocialmovementsarenotlikelyto
betheagentsofeconomicreforms(becauseofthesacrificesinvolved),politicaltradeoffsformovements(unions,formsofindustrialdemocracy,abilitytostrike)and
theinstitutionalizationofcollectiveeconomicactors

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(legalityofinterestrepresentations,newformsofproperty)arenecessary.
106
Second,boththerelevanttradeoffsandtheinstitutionalizationofactorspointtolaws,rights,andassociationsofinterestrepresentation.Thesefeaturesofcivilsociety
arealsoneededtocounterspontaneousreinvasionorrepenetrationoftheeconomy,freedfromtheprerogativesofdirecteconomiccommand,byinformal,extralegal
typesofbureaucraticregulationthatreinforcetheweaknessesoftheinherited''economyofshortage."
107
Lawsandrightsconsistentlyformulatedandmadeentirely
publicareneeded,alongwithindependentcourtsandjudicialprocedures,toprovidepredictabilityandregularityforeconomicactorsandtoprotectthemagainstthe
discretionarypoweroftheexistingapparatusoperatingthroughlegalinconsistenciesandthegapsandloopholeswithinthelaw.
108
Butlawsandrightsalonewouldbe
powerlessagainstadministrationswhosepracticeistobypassallformalregulationthroughtheircontroloftheexecutionandimplementationofthelaws.Theymustbe
backedupbyestablishedinterestassociationsandanopenpublicsphere.Thesearealsoneededtoprovideacounterweightagainstthealreadyestablished,
monopolisticlobbies(themselvesrootedpartlyintheapparatusandpartlyinthemoderatelydecentralizedstructuresofindustry)thatnowcontrolthebargaining
processesinvolvinginvestment,subsidies,taxexemptions,andevenpricesandthatreinforcetheresourceconstrainedandbuiltinwastefulcharacteroftheeconomy
ofshortage.
Whenthereconstitutionofcivilsocietywaspromotedasacomponentofreformfromabove,especiallyintheSovietUnion,itwassupposedtostaywithincarefully
definedlimits.Theonlyinstitutionsofcivilsocietythatweretobereconstitutedwerethosemostrelevanttoeconomicrationalitytheindependentactorswereto
accomplishonlythestrictlynecessarytasks.Butbothaimswereselfcontradictory.EconomiclawsandrightsbecomesuchonlyinthecontextofRechtsstaatlichkeit
(constitutionalism),withfarmoregeneralimplications.Associationsgenuinelycompetenttoexertopeneconomicpressurearealsoableandmotivatedtoaddress
othersocialandpoliticalissues.Apublicspherethatallowcriticismofeconomicwaste,corruption,andresistancetochangecannot

Page63
easilybepreventedfromtakingupotherissues.Allthesedeparturespresupposethereductionoffearinsociety,andthereductionoffearbecomesthestimulusfor
newdepartures.Finally,movementsthatcanbeeasilyrestrainedcannotplayanimportantroleinovercomingresistancetoreform,whilethosethatcanplaysucha
rolecannotbecontrolledandareunpredictable.TheconstantfluctuationintheSovietUnionbetweenmeasuresthatleadforwardandthosethatrevivepastpractices,
betweendemocratizationandauthoritariancentralization,isbestexplainedintheseterms.Theregimewantsradicalreform,itunleashesandevenprodstherevivalof
civilsociety,butitalsowantstopressitsprerogativetodeterminethelimitsofwhatcanandcannotbechanged,includingthestructureanddynamicsofcivilsociety
itself.
Nevertheless,theprocessofsocialmobilizationandthebuildingofatleastsomedimensionsofwhattheactorsthemselvescallcivilsocietycontinuesamidstthe
fluctuation.Thelevelofsocietalselforganizationtodaywouldhavebeenunthinkableacoupleofyearsago.Butitisnotatallclearthattheresultwillberadicalreform
ratherthanhopelesspolarizationandstalemate.
109
Ifthepathologyofreformfromaboveisthatitreplacesaformalcommandsystemwithoneofinformal
bureaucraticregulation,thesteptocivilsocietysuppliesonlythenecessarybutnotthesufficientconditionofitscure.AsthePolesdiscovered,evenanorganizedand
mobilizedcivilsocietycannot,especiallyinthecontextofselflimitation,actdirectlyonanunchangedpartystateandovercometheresistanceofapoliticaleconomic
apparatuswhoselastmajorstrongholdbecomestheunreconstructedbureaucraticeconomy.
ThiswasthelessonthatinspiredthosewhoimportedthePolishprojectofradicalreformintoHungary,especiallyaftermartiallaw.KeyelementsoftheHungarian
opposition
110
reformulatedtheprogramintermsofaradicalminimalismthatneverthelessimpliedthatchangesinsocietymustbecomplementedbynecessary,ifless
radical,changeinthepartystatesphere.Atfirst,thismeantredefiningasrightstheelementsofalreadyconcededopennessanddifferentiationinHungariansocietyand
redefiningthediscretionarystate(Massnahmenstaat)asanauthoritarianRechtsstaatthatisselflimiting,atleastwithrespecttotherightsitgrants.Thesecond
version,developedatthetimeofincreasingcrisisandsome

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successininvolvingintellectualsinoppositionalactivity,proposedtoindependentsocialforcesthattheydemandpluralisminthesphereofprivatelaw(civilsociety)
andafullydevelopedRechtsstaatlichkeitinthesphereofpubliclaw.
111
Finally,in1987,atthetimewhenthefoundationsoftheKadaristsystemwerealready
cracking,adetailedmodelofradicalreformwasproposed.AppearingunderthenameSocialContract,thisinvolvedtherestorationofcivilsocietyinallits
dimensionsandareformofthepoliticalsystemtoincludeelementsofgenuineparliamentarism,aresponsiblegovernment,andareconstructionoftheplaceandroleof
theCommunistpartythatwouldpreservesomeofitsprerogatives,butonlywithinaframeworkofconstitutionallegality.Itisthestructure,ratherthantheexact
formula,thatisimportanttous,foritrepresentedacallfordiscussion,negotiation,andcompromise.ThepartisansoftheSocialContractapproachattemptedto
reconstructthedualisticprojectinheritedfromPolandintermsofamodellinkingtheradicalreconstructionofcivilsocietywithalessradicalbutnevertheless
principledreformofthepoliticalsphere.Theideawasnottoabandonthegoalofparliamentarydemocracybuttocombinetwodifferentratesofchange,oneincivil
societyandoneinthestatesphere,inamutuallyreinforcingway,andtoprovideatthesametimethenecessarychangeof"environment"forinstitutionalizingagenuine
marketeconomy.
TheSocialContractretainedanimportantlinktothePolishpoliticsofthe"newevolutionism"bymaintaining,againstotherapproachesofthetimethatstilladdressed
theregimeoritsreformistelements,
112
thatgroups,associations,andindeedmovementsoutsidetheofficialinstitutionswouldhavetheprimarytaskofpushingthe
reformsthrough.InHungary,though,theideawasparadoxical,giventheabsenceofanythingresemblingthePolishlevelofsocietalselforganization.
113
Oddlyenough,thepoliticalresultsinHungaryturnedouttobemoreradicalthaninPoland.Indeed,aftertheremovalofKadarinMay1988,theHungarian
Communistpartymadeanumberofrapidconcessions:adefactoopenpublicsphere,alawofassociationandrighttostrike,andalawthatallowedtheformationof
parties,thoughnotinitiallyaselectoralorganizations.Moreover,byFebruary1989thepartyconcededtheneedforearlycompetitive

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andunrestrictedelections,andinJune1989itenteredintonegotiationsconcerningelectoralrulesandprocedureswitheightornineprotopartyformationsrepresented
by"theroundtableoftheopposition."
Therearetwowaysofreadingthelogicofthesechanges.Thefirst(F.Kszeg)takesthepointofviewofthefledglingorganizationsofindependentsocietyandpoints
totheinnerdissolutionoftherulingparty(duetoeconomiccrisisaswellasthedestabilizingeffectsoftheSoviethandsoffpolicy)thatmadeittooweaktoresisteven
arelativelysmalldegreeofsocialpressure.Certainlythethesisseemstobeconfirmedbythehistoryofseveralkeyconcessions,whichbeganwithproposalsintending
merelycooptation,continuedwithintensepubliccriticism,andendedwiththeregimebackingdown.
114
Butthisreadingdoesnotleaveenoughroomforan
importantactoroutsidetheopposition,namelythereformgroupingswithintheparty,whichplayedanactiveroleinseveralofthesameconcessions.
Thesecondreading(J.Kis)soughttocorrectthisunderestimationbystressingtheattemptonthepartoftheincreasinglydominantreformistfactiontofindlegitimate,
viablepartnersinsocietyforinstitutingeconomicreformsalongwithnewausterityprograms.Thesearchforpartnersmightitselfhaveledonlytoanattemptedco
optationofthesocialforcesinformation,butthenecessityofviablepartners,giventhedeclineoftheregime'slegitimacy,requiredgenuinelyindependententities
operatinginanopen,competitivepoliticalterrain.
115
Inthisanalysis,thesearchforpartnersledtheregime,oritsdominantfaction,totheopeningofthespaceforthe
emergenceofpoliticalsociety.
Itisinstructivetocomparethissituationtothe19801981periodinPoland.ThenitwasSolidaritythatsoughta"historiccompromise"withtheregime,unsuccessfully,
involvingthecreationofinstitutionsofmediation.
116
Itsownpolaristicconception,andtheregime'sbeliefinthepossibilityof"normalization"andinitspowerstoenact
economicreform,playedmajorrolesinthefailureofcompromise.Perhapsatthattime,asopposedto1988,Solidarity,havingbehinditallofsociety,wassostrong
thattheregimecouldnotallowitanygenuineroleinthemakingofpolicy.By1990importantelementsoftheoldregimesthemselvesbothinHungaryandPolandhad

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acceptedtheideaoffarreachingcompromisewithrelativelyweakeropponents,andthisinvolvedthecreationofinstitutionsofmediationthatrequiredthe
participationofindependentactors.Forthisreason,theyturnedtotheactorsofcivilsociety,activelypromotingtheirtransformationandintheprocessstimulatingthe
emergenceandconsolidationofpoliticalagents(theyhoped)withoutany(orweakened)rootsincivilsociety.Tomakesuchachangeintheexistingpatternof
oppositionalpoliticsworthwhile,competitivepoliticalproceduresleadingtoelectionswereconceded.Giventherisksofelectionsforthesurvivaloftheestablished
regimes,theelitesthatreluctantlyoptedforthisprocesssoughttheirownsurvivalbyintroducingelementsofrestrictionintothecompromise(Poland)orbytakingup
rolesasmembersofthenewpoliticalsocietyinformation(Hungary).
117
Ourinterestisnotinthecorrectnessofsuchcalculationsbutintheeffectsoncivilsocietyoftheturntopoliticalsociety.Fouridealtypesofsignificantchangeoperate
inEastEuropetoday:reform,radicalreformfrombelow(orthe"newevolution"),politicaltransitiontoanewsystem,andwhathasbeenrecentlycalled
"revolution."
118
Eachhasitsactors,itspathologies,anditspotentialformofselfcorrection.Eachtakesupadifferentdimensionoftheproblemofcivilsociety.The
strategyofreform,stilldominantintheSovietUnion,hasasitsagentsmodernizingstateactors.Thepathologyofthispathisthatitreplacesformalbureaucratic
discretionwithitsinformalvariants,whichdonotonthewholeimproveeconomicfunctioningand,asinthecurrentSovietcase,mayactuallyweakenit.Theimagined
correctiveistheturntocivilsociety,whichwouldinvolveinthereformprocesscollectiveactors(groups,associations,movements,andpublics)outsidethestate
sphere.IntheSovietUnion,eventheturntotheelectoralmechanismstypicalofpoliticalsocietybypassedandforawhileevenblockedtheemergenceofindependent
politicalactors,thoughithelpedtheselforganizationandmobilizationofinformalactorsofcivilsociety.Thustheelectionsofearly1989,andthecontradictoryand
inconsistentsessionsoftheCongressofPeoples'Deputies,
119
tendedtoleadnottomediationbuttoaformofmobilizationthatisalreadypolarizingandwillturnout
tobemoresoastheeconomicreformcontinuestostagnate.Intheabsenceofbothviolent

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repressionandparliamentarymediation,theconflictswillmoreandmoretakeplaceinthestreets.
Polarization,aswehaveseeninPoland,isthespecificpathologyoftheturntocivilsocietyanditsactors,inspiteofthedramaticconsequencesofthisturnforsocietal
learningprocessesand,specifically,forthebuildingofademocraticpoliticalculture.LinkedtopolarizationinPolandhasbeenanoverunificationofcivilsocietyin
whichasinglemovementhasbeenthevehicleforheterogeneousandevencompetingsocialinterestsandidentities,somewhatblocking(evenifagainsttheintentionsof
theparticipants)theemergenceofsocietaland,later,politicalpluralism.InanationallydividedsocietysuchastheSovietUnion,asecondformofpolarization
betweencompetingethnicornationalgroups,orbetweendemocraticandnationalmovementshasbeenanevenmorenegativeconsequenceofacivilsociety
orientedstrategy.
120
Inthiscontext,theemergenceofpoliticalgroupingscapableofnegotiation,compromise,andgenuineparliamentarismrepresentsasmallhope
formediation,whichcanworkonlyiftheinstitutionalmeansarefoundtolinkthemtothedeepeninglinesofsocialconflictinvolvingnational,economic,andpolitical
issues.Thequestionishowtheincreasinglymobilizedgroupsofcivilsocietywillbeabletomanagetheirconflictswiththeregimeandeachother.Inthiscontext,there
doesnotseemtobeanalternativetotheruleoflawandmultipartyparliamentarismotherthananincreasinglydestructivepolarizationthat,intheRussiancenterofthe
crumblingimperium,couldeventuallytakeeithertheformofastalematebetweensocietalforcesandastatetheycannotoverthroworaclashbetweendemocraticand
conservativenationalistmovements,orevenacombinationoftheseoutcomes.
121
InPolandandHungary,thesupposedcorrectiveforpolarizationhasalreadybeenpromotedintheformoftheturntopoliticalsociety.Thisimpliesthattheagentsof
theprocessoftransitionwillincreasinglybetheactorsofpoliticalsociety,atleastinitiallyincludingthereformistsintheCommunistparty.Doesthismodelhaveitsown
potentialpathologies,andifitdoes,whatareitscorrectives?
AswehaveseeninthecaseofLatinAmericantransitions,oneofseveralreasonsgovernmentalelitesturntoorrevivepolitical

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societyistohelpdemobilizecivilsociety.Theydothisbothtoprotectthemselvesandthetransitionfromanexcessofeconomicdemandsandtoexcludefromthe
politicalprocessactorsandformsofmobilizationthatcouldleadtotheirownexclusion.Whiletheelitesoftheoldrulingparties,orrathertheirreformistparts,donot
havethesocialsupporttobecomeactorsofcivilsociety(withtheveryquestionableexceptionoftradeunionbureaucracies),theyhopethatbyselfconversioninto
electoralpartieswithsocialdemocraticideologiestheycanbecomeactorsinthenewpoliticalsociety.Thus,clearly,theturntopoliticalsocietyhasasitspathologythe
demobilizationofcivilsocietyandthefailuretoreplaceitsmobilizedformsbyinstitutionalizedones.ThisisaseriousmatterinEasternEurope,whereatomizationand
thedisruptionofsocialties,solidarities,andassociationsfarsurpassedanythingundereventherecentbureaucraticauthoritarianregimes,andwherecivilsociety
seemstoexistforthemomentonlyinamobilizedformwhosecontributiontotherestorationofsocialintegrationhasbeenlimited.Forthisreasonaconstellationthat
bypassesinstitutionbuildingincivilsocietywouldbehighlyunfavorableforthedevelopmentofademocraticpoliticalculture,andconversely,wherethistypeofculture
continuestodevelop,itcouldleadtoseriouslegitimationproblemsfornewpoliticalelites.
Theattemptsbythereformistelementsoftheoldelitestodepoliticizeandevenfragmentcivilsocietyarequiteunderstandable.Forthem,theissueinvolvesnotonly
maintainingtheirfreehandatmakingeconomicpolicybutalsotheirsurvivalasapoliticalforce.Therootofthedifficultygoesdeeper,ofcourse,andmayhavetodo
withbasictendencieslinkedtomodernpoliticalsocietycomposedofpartiesandparliaments.Arisingfromcivilsocietyandpreservingsomeofthemarksoftheir
origin,andhavingresistedthelabel"party,"thenewleadingpartiesofHungary,Poland,andCzechoslovakiahaveneverthelessgivenrisetoexpectationsthatthey
wouldbeabletoresistthe"oligarchic"tendenciesofmodernpoliticalparties.
122
Theyarenevertheless(orasaresult)oftencriticizedforreplacingoneeliteruleby
another,fordisregardingcivilinitiativesandsocialmovementsandevenintensifyingstatecontrolsoverlocalgovernmentandthepublicsphere,andforbypassing
socialconsultationbeforemakingmajoreconomicdeci

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sions.
123
Significantly,attemptstorefutesuchchargesbyreferencetoparliamentarysovereigntyhaveonlyledtonewchargesofparliamentaryabsolutismandeven
theexaggeratedaccusationofmultipartydictatorship.
Evenifanelitedemocracyinwhichpopularparticipationisrestrictedtoperiodicvotesisnottheidealofthemajorelementsofmanyofthepartiesandgroups
involved,thepresentcontextinmanyrespectspointsinthisdirection.Onceagain,therequirementsofeconomictransition,whichsomerigidifyintermsofa
nonsolidaristic,individualistversionofcivil(i.e.,bourgeois)society,areinpartresponsible.
124
InHungaryevenmorethaninPoland,suchtrendsarereinforcedby
conceptionsofparliamentarysovereigntybasedonthesocalledWestminstermodel,whicharepresentinallofthemajorparties.Butwillapopulationusedtosocial
guaranteeseasilyacceptthelegitimacyofdecisionsinvolvingnewausteritymerelyonthebasisofthearrangementsofelites,irrespectiveoftheirformalpossessionof
anelectoralmandate?ThereisampleexperiencefromthehistoryofLatinAmericanpopulismsthatitwillnot,electionornoelection.Thereisadangerthatpopulism,
whichhasstrongrootsinEasternEurope,willbetheresponsetoelitismonthepartofdemobilizedorundeveloped,semiatomized,unsolidaristiccivilsocieties.
SomeComparisonsandSomeProblems
Itwouldbeillegitimatetotryequatingtheprojectsjustsurveyed.Themodelsofcivilsocietythathaveemergedinthesedifferingcontextshaveshownimportant
variations.Indeed,thereareobviousdifficultieswithanysingleinterpretiveframeworkthatseekstointerrogatethemeaningof,andprovideorientationsfor,these
varyingconstellationsofstructureandhistory.Yetatheoreticalframeworkthatcananchorwhatisintheendacommondiscussionacrossboundariesisindispensable.
Afalseunificationwouldprovideonlyillusorysolutions,andwemustthereforeexplorethewholerangeofdiscoursesavailabletoday.Beforedoingso,however,we
shouldatleastjustifyourpresentationofthedifferentprojectsforreconstructingcivilsocietyasasingleset,beyondtheobvious

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useofthesameterminologyindifferentcontexts.Weshalldothisintwosteps.
First,weargueforacommonintellectualbackgroundonthelevelofthecirculationofformsofdiscourse.Inthemilieuofcriticalsocialthought,thereisnoticeable
todayapostMarxistintellectualturn,producingadiscussionofcivilsocietythatistrulyinternational.Second,wepresenttwointellectualpositions,relatedtothecrisis
ofMarxismbutnotreducibletoit,thataresharedbysocialactorsinthefourpoliticalcontexts,asour"casestudies"demonstrate.Theseare(1)critiqueofthestate
and(2)thedesiretogobeyondthealternativeofreformandrevolution,intheclassicalsenseoftheseterms.
ThecrisisofMarxismisaworldwidephenomenontoday,foravarietyoflocalandglobalreasons.Intheadvancedcapitalistcountries,thecontinuinginabilityof
Marxisttheorytoexplaintherelativestabilityandrepeatedreconstructionoftheexistingsystemisonemajorreason.Anotheristhedecisiveendtotheerawhenit
seemedpossible(nottomentiondesirable)fortheworkingclassoranyothersinglesocialstratumorgroupingtoplaytheroleoftheglobalsubjectofsocial
change.InLatinAmerica,thedecisivefactorwasMarxism'sassociationwitharevolutionaryroadthatnotonlyfailedtoproduceanykindofsocialistcommonwealth
butalsodirectlyandinsomecasesdeliberatelycontributedtotheendofliberaldemocracyandtheriseofrightwingdictatorships.Wheresocalledsocialist
revolutionssucceeded,theresultsarehardlysuchastoinspireimitation.TheSovietmodelintheEast,inthehourofitsfall,isnowalmostuniversallyrecognizedas
inefficientanddehumanizing.Thisdevelopment,reflectedintheactionsandintellectualviewsofdissidents,hasdiscreditedinadvancethegoalsofmostWesternand
SouthernCommunistorultraleftgroupingsthathaveinheritedthemantleofMarxism.Significantly,Marxiantheoriesandformsofanalyseshaverepeatedlyfailedin
theirattemptstounderstandthestructureofSoviettypesocietiesandtooutlineplausibleorientationsforactorsseekingtotransformthem.
125
Ithasalwaysbeenpossible,ofcourse,tomovefromMarxismtoanypositionfromliberalismandneoconservatismtoreligiousfundamentalism.Butifonedesiresto
avoidreplacingaMarxist

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dogmatismbyanantiMarxistone,ifonerefusestoexchangeapologeticsforoneformofdominationwiththatforanother,onehastograntthepossibilitythatMarx
didestablishsomecriticalvantagepointsthatcannotbeabandonedaslongascapitalistsocietypersists.Inmanycases,thismeansreinterpretingorreconstructing
someofhismajorconcepts,leadingtotheoreticalprojectsgoingfarbeyondthenormativeandanalyticalimplicationsofanyversionoftheclassicalMarxiantheory,
includingtheneoMarxismsofLukcs,Gramsci,andtheolderFrankfurtschool.Itisthesetheoreticalprojectsthatwewishtodescribeundertheheadingofpost
Marxism.
126
AcommonpositionofallpostMarxisms,inspiteofdifferentterminologies,isarevisionofMarx'sidentificationofcivilandbourgeoissocietyaswellas
hisvariouspoliticalprojectsaimingatthereunificationofstateandsociety.
127
PostMarxistsnotonlyregister,asdidGramsci,
128
thedurabilityofcivilsocietyunder
capitalistdemocraciesandtheconsequentimplausibilityofrevolutionintheclassicalMarxiansense,butmaintainthenormativedesirabilityofthepreservationofcivil
society.YetpostMarxismcanbedistinguishedfromallneoliberalisms(whichintheirownwayalsoidentifycivilandbourgeoissociety)bytheirattemptstothematize
theradicaldemocraticorradicalpluralisttransformationofexistingversionsofcivilsociety.
Wemaintainthattheconceptofcivilsociety,asourvarioussourcessofarhaveusedit,belongstotheintellectualworldandevenpoliticalcultureofpostMarxism
(andperhapsof"postGramscianism").Thecontemporarydiscourseofcivilsocietywasinternationallydisseminated,atleastinitially,bythecirculationofpostMarxist
ideas.Thewidereceptionofsuchaconceptforthefirsttimeinourrecenthistory,allowingforadialoguebetweensocialcriticsEastandWest,NorthandSouth,has
beenpossiblebecauseofsharedproblemsandprojectsamongthosecontexts.
Twosuchproblems/projectscanbefoundinthesourceswehavecitedalready.Firstandforemost,thereisthecritiqueofthestateandthesearchfora"poststatist"
politics.TheinabilityofSoviettyperegimes,LatinAmericandictatorships,andevenwelfarestatestosolveallorsomekeysocialproblems,andtheundesirabilityof
thesolutionsthathaveemerged,isthematizedinalltherelevantsources.Therewasatimewhentheanswertosimilardiagnoseswas

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amorerationalstateadictatorshipoftheproletariat,i.e.,oftheleftratherthantherightor(inthecaseofthewelfarestate)simplymorestate,''nationalizing"more
spheresoflife.Itseemsthatafterourrecentexperienceswithdictatorships,nationalizationsofbigindustries,andtheconsequencesofthepenetrationofsociallifeby
centralbureaucracies,noneoftheoldanswerscancarrytheirearlierweight.Itisincreasinglyimpossibletoregardthestateaseitherapassivesynthesisofaplurality
ofsocialforcesoraneutralinstrumentinthehandsofwhateverclassholdsthesociallydominantpositionormanagestohaveitspartyelectedtogovernmentalpower.
"Bringingthestatebackin"shouldmeanrecognizingthatthemodernstatehasitsownlogicandthatitconstitutesanindependentconstellationofinterests.
129

Contrarytothespiritofthegreatnineteenthcenturyrebellionagainsttheselfregulatingcapitalistmarketeconomy,thestatecannotbeaneutralmediumthroughwhich
societycanactuponitselfinaselfreflectivefashion.
130
Second,thealternativeofreformorrevolutionhasbeendiscreditedbecausebothreformistandrevolutionarypartieshavehadashareinourpresentcrises.Allofour
casestudiesreveal,explicitlyorimplicitly,thesamerenunciationoftheutopiaofrevolution,ofthedreamofasingle,imposedmodelofthegoodsocietythatbreaks
completelywiththepresent,thatisbeyondconflictanddivision.Suchamodelisnotcompatibleeveninprinciplewithanymodernnotionofdemocracy.Atthesame
time,whatthecasestudiesexpressismorethanmerelyincrementalreformattheveryleast,structuralorradicalreformismisimplied.Yeteventhesetermscoinedby
A.Gorz
131
donotexhaustwhatisatstake.Revolutionandreformarebothtodaywidelyunderstoodintermsof(andcondemnedfor)theirstatistlogic,andtheidea
ofsomehowcombiningthem,astheterm"radicalreformism"stillsuggests,nowbecomesunacceptable.Theterm"newevolutionism"istoovaguetoserveasa
replacement,buteither"selflimitingrevolution"or"selflimitingradicalism"seemsappropriate.Theideahere,workedoutbyanalystsasdiverseasJ.Kuron,A.Gorz,
N.Bobbio,andJ.Habermas,isthattheobjectofradicalreconstructionandalsoits(multiple,nonunified)subjectsshiftfromthestatetosociety.Correspondingly,
withregardtotheexistingstructures

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ofstate(and,intheWest,capitalist)economies,anewkindofselflimitationwouldhavetobeandevenoughttobepracticed.Thisideasurvivesinthetwo
temporalitiesofchangereferringtostateandcivilsociety,asproposedbySocialContract,andevenintheturntopoliticalsocietythatimpliesaconsciously
nonrevolutionaryslowingdownoftherateofchangethroughnegotiationsandelections.InaWesternversion,thesameideaisexpressedquitewellbyRosanvallon's
juxtapositionoftherebuildingofcivilsocietywithnecessarycompromisesonthestructuresofthestateandtheeconomy.Civilsocietycanhelpchangethose
structuresbutmustnotabolishallaspectsoftheirautonomousoperation.
Interestinglyenough,itisinthemostantiMarxistofourthreeconstellations,EasternEurope,thattheterm"revolution"ismostoftenusedtoindicatetransitionfrom
authoritarianrule.Itmustbesaid,however,thatthesenseofthetermdiffersfromthoseestablishedbytheFrenchandRussianrevolutions.Thesearchfortheperfect
andtransparentsocietyassociatedwiththeserevolutionsisexplicitlyrejectedasstatestrengtheningandevenunavoidablyterroristic.Someauthorsredefinetheterm
inamoreconservativesense,seekingtopreservestillexisting(orimagined)olderpoliticalculturesortraditionsthreatenedbySovietization,orconservingsomeone
else'stradition(e.g.,classicalliberalism).
132
Others,buildingonthesinglecaseofthedefeatedHungarianRevolutionof1956,seektounderstandthetransitionsinthe
makingasapure"politicalrevolution"leadingtotheestablishmentofanewformofdemocraticsovereignty,anovusordoseclorum.
133
Thefirstoftheselinesof
thought,inpartreturningtothepremodernnotionofrevolutionasanattempttoreestablishapreviousstateofaffairs,tendstomisswhatisgenuinelynewinthe
presentdayprojectsoftransformation.Itcanlendcredencetoviewsreferringto"restoration"or"counterrevolution.''Thesecondmissestheirexplicitlyselflimiting
andevolutionarycharacter.Thishasbeenrepeatedlymanifestedinthesearchforcompromiseandtransitionalsolutionsandthedeliberateacceptanceoftheslowing
downoftherateofchange.Amazinglyenough,giventhenatureofthepreviousregimes,theirsuccessorsseekneitherageneralpersonalexpropriationofthemembers
ofearlierelitesnortheirtotalexclusionfrompoliticalorprofessionalactivity.Indeed,theseoptionsare

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avoidedinareflectiveandconsciousmannereveninthefaceofrepeatedeffortstoconvertpowersofthepastintothoseofthefuture.Theselflimitingrevolution
avoidsthetotaldestructionofitsenemy,whichwouldinevitablymeanputtingitselfintotheplaceofthesovereign,
134
therebydeprivingsocietyofitsselforganization
andselfdefense.
Theterm"selflimitingrevolution"(aswellasitspartialsynonyms,"peaceful"and"velvet"revolution)avoidstheweaknessesofboththeideasof''conservative"and
"popular"revolution.Insteadofretreatingbehindthemodernmeaningof"revolution"orrepeatingitstotalizingthrust,thisideaextendstheselfreflexiveandselfcritical
discourseofmodernitytoitsmostimportantpoliticalconcept,namely,revolution.
135
Wehavealreadynotedthatthemoreorlesscommonpostureofantistatist,selflimitingrevolutionthatwediscoverinourdiversesourcesisnotexpressedintermsof
asinglecategoricalframeworkorasinglemodelforreconstructingcivilsociety.Attimeswefindseveralvariantsareproposedwithinasingleculturalpoliticalcontext,
andofcoursetheprojectsvaryevenmoresignificantlyacrosscontexts.Thecommoncoreofalltheinterpretations,though,istheconceptofcivilsociety,orrather
someofthecomponentsofthisconcept.Allagreethatcivilsocietyrepresentsasphereotherthanandevenopposedtothestate.Allinclude,almostalways
unsystematically,somecombinationofnetworksoflegalprotection,voluntaryassociations,andformsofindependentpublicexpression.Averyfewconceptionsseem
toincludefamiliesandinformalgroups.Someincludemovementsandevenequatecivilsocietywiththepresenceofsocialmovementsothers(suchasthatofthe
PolishwriterWojcicki)excludeandevenfearthispossibilityasaformofunacceptablepoliticization.Inthetextsconcerningthefourpoliticalprojects,however,we
havefoundnocomprehensivetreatmentoftherelationamongthecategoriesofcivilsocietyor,forthatmatter,ofthenexusbetweencivilsocietyasmovementandas
institution.Butthereisnoquestionthatthestressesinthevariouscontextsandtextsareoftenquitedifferent,eveniflittlehasbeenaddedto(orexplicitlysubtracted
from)theclassicallistoflaws,associations,andpublics.
136
Therearetwomajorissuesthatproduceimportantshiftsincategorialframeworks.First,shouldtheeconomybeincludedor

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excludedfromtheconceptofcivilsociety(theHegelianvs.theGramscianmodel)?Andsecond,shouldoneseektodifferentiatecivilandpoliticalsociety(the
Tocquevillianvs.theHegelianmodel)?NeoliberalsandresiduallyneoMarxistwriterstendtoagreeonincludingtheeconomicspherewithincivilsociety,albeitfor
oppositereasons.Theformer,whetherintheWestornowincreasinglyintheEast,reaffirmtheidentityofthecivilandthebourgeois,fearamodelofrightsinwhich
propertyisnotintheprimaryposition,andrejectthepoliticizationofsocietyandtheformationofsocialmovementsthatwoulddemandeconomicredistributionfrom
thestate.Whilelegitimatelyconcernedabouttheconsequencesofthelinkbetweenpopulismandstatism,thisintellectualtendencyforgetsthedestructiveeffectsofthe
selfregulatingmarketontheculturalfabricofsociety,describedsowellbyKarlPolnyi.ThoseinEasternEuropewhoforgetthislessonbecauseoftheirhatredofall
formsofstateinterventionismseekineffecttorejoinEuropenotasitistoday,facingecologicalandsocialproblemsgeneratedbythecapitalisteconomy,butasit
oncewas,invitingtherepetitionofalreadyknowndisasters.
Thesecondapproach,theresiduallyMarxistonetypifiedbyAndrGorzandtoanextentevenbyClausOffe,presupposesthesedestructiveeffectsbutdoesnot
sufficientlyconsiderthedisastrousresultsofeliminatingeconomicrationalityintheprocessofpoliticizingproductionanddistribution.Whileneoliberalsreducecivil
societytoeconomicsociety,neoMarxistseitherreducethefuture(postcapitalist)economytopoliticalsocietyorpropose,inthemannerofutopiansocialists,some
kindofsociallyreembeddedeconomy.InGorz'sFarewelltotheWorkingClass,thesetworecipesarecombined.Inthe(tous,preferable)realistGreenformulaof
Offeandhiscolleagues,aneconomicspherebasedonreciprocity,mutuality,andselfactivity(Eigenarbeit)iscombinedwithamacroeconomicallysteeredbut
neverthelessgenuinemarketeconomy.Inthisformula,economicactivitiesinthesubstantivesenseare(atleastinpart)includedincivilsociety,buteconomyasa
formalprocessisoutsideofit.
137
Whencivilsocietyintheshapeofasocialmovementisintheprocessoforganizingandinstitutionalizingitself,however,fewauthorsargueforitsunityoreven
continuitywitheconomic

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society.Thereisnoquestionofsuchreductionism,forexample,inthewritingsofMichnikandKuron.Instead,theyhaveconsistentlyarguedfortheautonomyoflegal
structures,freeassociations,andgenuinepubliclifeconceivedintermsofthepromiseofasolidaristiccivilsociety.Undoubtedlythefactthataminorchordintheir
argumentistheliberationoftheeconomyfromstatecontrolsplayedamajorrolehere.BeyondtheutopiaofthecompletedemocratizationofproductionthatKuron
stillproposedinthemid1960s,thewritersofthePolishdemocraticoppositionareforcedtofacetheharshrealitythatonlytherestorationofthemarket,beyondany
modelofsocialreembedding,couldmasterthePolishcrisisandproduceaviable,moderneconomy.Evenifindustrialdemocracyplaysaroleintheirproposals,itis
recognizedthatthismustbemadecompatiblewiththeneedsofexpertmanagementoperatinginanenvironmentthatallowsrationalcalculation.Understandably,inthe
EastEuropeancontext,theharmfuleffectsofafullyautonomouscapitalistmarketeconomyonsocialsolidarity,deniedbyneoliberalwriters,wasnotdirectly
thematizedbythemainauthorsofthedemocraticopposition.Nevertheless,theSolidaritymovement,becauseofitssocialnatureaswellasitstiestoaCatholic
syndicalisttradition,hasbeentoanextentsensitivetojustthesedangers.
Significantly,theintellectualandpoliticaljourneymadebyLatinAmericanwriterslikeO'DonnellandCardosoisinmanyrespectssimilartothatofKuronand
Michnik.Aslateas1978,O'Donnellstillused"civilsociety"intheneoMarxiansenseofbourgeoissociety.Themediationshethenproposedbetweencivilsociety
andthestate(nation,pueblo,andcitizenship)correspondedonlytotheunderdevelopedstructureofsocietiesplaguedbycyclesofpopulistunificationand
authoritarianatomization.Undertheimpactofnewformsofselforganizationandstrugglesfordemocracyinthenextdecade,O'DonnellandP.Schmitterfully
changedtheirterminologyandbegantouse"civilsociety"todescribeaspherebetweeneconomyandstate,characterizedaboveallbyassociationsandpublics.The
failureofpopulistauthoritarianefforts,moreover,ledtotherejectionofthereversesubsumption,thatoftheeconomybysocialorpoliticalinstitutions.InCardoso's
subtleanalysis,theroleofindustrialdemocracyseemstobetoestablishvantagepointsofsocialcontrolwithoutimpairingeconomicrationality.

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Onthewhole,inneitherLatinAmericanorEasternEuropehasthe"interface"ofcivilsocietyandmarketeconomybeenadequatelyanalyzed.
138
Suchananalysis,
however,isapreconditionforanyreallyseriousconceptualalternativetothedangersofeconomicliberalismandthefalsepromisesofutopiansocialism.
139
Without
suchanalternative,onecanexpectmorevacillationbetweenmarketandstateasagentsofliberationandrenewedneglectofthedestructiveeffectsofbothonsocial
solidarityandindividualautonomy.
Equallyimportantisthedivisionofopinionontheinterfacebetweencivilsocietyandstate.TheFrenchwriterswehavedescribedtendtoconsidercivilandpolitical
societyastwospheres,thesecondmediatingtherelationsofthefirstwiththestate.Inthisconception,bothcivilandpoliticalsocietymustbereconstructedto
preserveandrenewthefoundationsofassociationallifeandtobeabletomakethoseeffectivevisvisthestate.InmostoftheEastEuropeananalysescomingfrom
thedemocraticopposition,andinatleastsomeLatinAmericanwriters(e.g.,F.Weffort),thecategoryofcivilsocietyincludesandsubsumesthelevelsofitspolitical
mediations.Finally,inyetothermodels,thetwocategories"civil"and"political"appearmoreasalternativesofthetypeofcivilsocietythatisdesirableorpossible.In
thewritingsofClausOffe,forexample,thechoiceseemstobebetweenneoconservative(depoliticized)orradicaldemocratic(political)civilsociety.Intheargument
ofO'DonnellandSchmitter,thereisasuccessionoftemporalphases,withdepoliticizedcivilsocietyrepresentingthenormalphasethatcansurviveevenauthoritarian
rule,whilepoliticalcivilsocietyisonlytheexceptionalphaseofmobilizationorupsurge.Herethecycleoftypesofcivilsocietyrepresentsanotherversionofthe
politicalcycleofauthoritariananddemocraticregimes.Themovefromdemobilizedtomobilizedcivilsocietyimpliestheendoftheauthoritarianregimedemobilized
civilsociety,impliesfirstthestabilizationofdemocracyandonlyeventuallythepossibilityofareturnofdictatorship.EveninsomeEasternEuropeananalyses,achoice
betweenunpoliticalandpoliticalinterpretationshasbeenproposed(inPoland,byCatholicintellectuals)tohighlightthealternativeofantipoliticsinasocietydeeply
tiredofpreviousformsofpoliticization.

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Assumingforthemomentthatthestarkalternativebetweenpoliticalandcivilsocietyisafunctionofeitherundesirablepoliticalpolarization,inwhichthe
neoconservativeshavehadtheinitiative,oranequallyundesirablecycle,wearestillleftwithtwocompetingmodelsthatexpresstheneedtocombineprepolitical
levelsofsociallifewithpoliticalformsthatcanprovideforpubliclifeoutsidetheframeworkofpublicpoliticalauthority,i.e.,thestate.Theseinvolve,ontheonehand,
amodelofcivilsocietythatincludesapoliticalpublicsphereamongitscategoriesand,ontheotherhand,aframeworkwithinwhichcivilandpoliticalsocietyare
clearlydifferentiated.Tosomeextent,thechoiceisaquestionofinheritedintellectualtraditions.TheGermantraditionstemmingfromHegelandMarxrepresenteda
culminationofthedifferentiationoftheclassicaltoposofpoliticalorcitizensocietyintostateanddepoliticizedcivilsociety.Thistraditionhasroomformediations
betweencivilsocietyandstatewithineachdomainbutnotforanindependentdomainbetweenthemwithdistinctinstitutionsanddynamics.Incontrast,theFrench
traditionderivedfromTocquevillenevertotallydissolvedtheoldcategoryofpoliticalsocietybutinsteadestablisheditalongsidecivilsocietyandstate.Finally,and
mostconfusingly,theItaliantraditiongoingbacktoGramsciusesallthreetermsbuttendstoidentifypoliticalsocietywiththestate,echoingthetraditionalpremodern
usage.
Currentpoliticalrequirementsareequallyimportantinthechoicebetweenthetwotypesofcategorization.InbothLatinAmericaandEasternEurope,thejuxtaposition
ofcivilsocietyandstatewasaconceptuallydualisticoutcomeofaperiodofsocietalselforganizationthatledtopolarizationbetweendemocraticandauthoritarian
forces.Independentsocietywasstrongenoughtosurviveandeventochallengethelegitimacyoftheauthoritarianstate.Butitwasnotstrongenoughtocompel
genuinecompromiseortosecureatransitionbeyondauthoritarianrule.Withtheemergenceofrealpossibilitiesofnegotiationandcompromise,andevenagreement,
concerningthedismantlingofauthoritariangovernmentsinfavorofelectoralscenarios,thecategoryofcivilsocietyseemedtomanywriters(Cardoso,Kis,Stepan)to
beunsuitabletodepicttheorganizedsocialforcesenteringintoprocessesofpoliticalexchangewithstateactors.Thisledtothe

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resurrectionofthecategoryofpoliticalsociety(oritsstandins)evenwheretheinfluenceofHegel,Marx,andGramsciwasstrong.Somewritersoffernormative
reasonsfortheshift,insistingthattheturntopoliticalsocietyallowsadesirablepluralizationoftheopposition,whoselocationonthelevelofcivilsocietyissaidto
involvemonolithicunificationwithintheonegreatmovementofsociety.
140
Thus,thechoicebetweenthetwoframeworkscannotrestonintellectualhistory,currentpoliticalrequirements,oreventheircombinationitpresupposesadditional
systematicconsiderationsthatweshalloutlinelaterinthisbook.Fornow,wenoteonlythatachoiceofeitherapproachhasbeeninsufficientlymotivatedthusfar.In
particular,thestructuresandformsofactionthatwouldcorrespondtocivilasdistinctfrompoliticalsocietyhavenotbeensystematicallyanalyzedbythosewho
presupposethesharpdifferentiationofthesetwodomains.Tomaketheircase,defendersofdifferentiationwouldhavetohaverecoursetosomethingliketheold
distinctionsofmovementsandelites,aswellasofinfluenceandpower,tofleshoutthedifferencebetweenthe"civil"andthe"political."Thistheymaynotwishtodo,
however,fortacitnormativeorideologicalreasons.
Indeed,thetwoframeworksseemtohavedifferentrelationstoanalyticalandnormafiveconsiderations.Fromananalyticalpointofview,thedistinctionbetweencivil
andpoliticalsocietyhelpstoavoidthesortofreductionismthatassumesthatpoliticalactivitieswithastrategicdimensionareeasilygeneratedbysocietalassociations
andmovementsoraresomehowunnecessary.Paradoxically,anundifferentiatedconceptofcivilsocietygivesusastarkchoicebetweenthedepoliticizationofsociety
(wherethepoliticalisassignedtothestate)anditsoverpoliticization(wherealldimensionsofcivilsocietyareheldtobepoliticaloraretobepoliticized).The
distinctionbetweenthecivilandthepolitical,ontheotherhand,highlightsthefactthatneitherofthesedomainsisautomaticallyreconstitutedwhentheotheris.Indeed,
therecouldevenbeoppositionandconflictbetweentherequirementsofthetwoprojects.
Fromanormativepointofview,treatingpoliticalsocietyasamediationwithinamanyleveledcivilsocietyhasthepossible

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advantageofestablishingthepriorityofnonstrategicdomainsofsolidarity,association,andcommunication.Differentiatingthecivilandthepoliticalseemstoputthe
domainsonanequalnormativefooting.Whilethislatterapproachdoesnotmakethereconstitutionofcivilsocietyanautomaticfunctionoftheexistenceandactivityof
politicalorganizations,itneverthelesstendstorelievetheactorsofpoliticalsocietyfromthenormativeburdenofhavingtobuildorfortifycivilinstitutionsthatmaylimit
theirownfreedomofaction.Thisisaseriousproblem,becausealthoughtheactorsofcivilsocietyseemtolearnbytheirfailuresthattheycannotachievetheirown
goalswithoutrecoursetopoliticalsociety,thereverseisunfortunatelynotthecase,asthehistoryofelitedemocraciesshows.
141
Itisonlyinthelongrunthatthe
viabilityofademocraticpoliticalsocietymaydependonthedepthofitsrootsinindependent,prepoliticalassociationsandpublics.
Giventhecomplementarynormativeandanalyticaladvantagesofthetwoconceptions,onetreatingpoliticalsocietyasmediationandtheotherstressinganalytical
differentiationofthecivilandthepolitical,weproposetousebothconceptionsandattimestocombinethem.Webelievethatthisisappropriatebecauseour
methodologycombineshermeneuticandanalyticalapproaches.
Theissueoftherelationshipbetweencivilandpoliticalsocietyisconnectedtothequestionofthelocusofdemocratization.Allofourrelevantsourcesviewliberal
democracyasanecessaryconditionforbringingthemodernstateundersocietalcontrol.Theyalsoassumethatliberaldemocracyisincompatiblewithademocratic
pyramidwhosebaseisdirectparticipation.Theyhave,moreover,brokenwiththeolddreamofabolishingthestate.Nevertheless,intheWestthisnewemphasis
tendstobecoupledwithanoldone:awarenessoftheelitistcharacterofcontemporaryliberaldemocracies.Thissetofpositions,togetherwithacertaindeemphasis
(thoughnotabandonment)oftheideaofindustrialdemocracy,hasledmanyauthorsintheWesttoshifttheprojectof"democratizing"elitedemocracyfromthestate
tocivilsociety.
142
IntheprogramoftheGreens,asrepresentedbyOffe,thischangehasalsobeenarticulatedontheorganizationallevel,intheattempttocombine
partybasedwithmovementorientedstrategies.Ingeneral,thosewhoseektodemocratizecivilsocietyunderstandthisdomainascomprisedofmovementsaswellas
institutions.

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ThishasbeenalsotrueofEasternEuropeandLatinAmerica,wheremovementshavetendedtobefarmoreglobalandcomprehensivethanintheWest.Under
dictatorships,though,therewassomethingconstrainedandartificialintheshiftoftheprojectofdemocratizationtocivilsociety:Thesphereofthestate(nottomention
theeconomy)andofpotentialparliamentarymediationwasplacedofflimitsnotbynormativechoicebutbystrategicnecessity.Thelongrangegoalofparliamentary
democracywasasaruleaffirmed,withtheexceptionofthoseappealingtoadifferent(deficientorsuperior,asthecasemaybe)politicalcultureandtradition.When
thecrisisoftheregimesmadethisapossibleshorttermgoal,formanytheprojectofdemocratizationshiftedtopoliticalsociety.Someauthorseventriedtojuxtapose
"liberalization,"orientedtocivilsociety,and"democratization,"whoselocuswastobeprimarilypoliticalsociety.
143
InEasternEurope,theelitetheoretical
understandingofWesternEuropeanliberaldemocracywaseitherforgottenorabandonedinfavorofacivicstextbookversion.Therevivalofeconomicliberalismalso
increasedsuspicionofsocietalorganizationscapableofmakingdemandsonnewpoliticalelitesthatmighttranslateintounacceptableeconomiccosts.Manywhoseek
torestrictdemocratizationattacksocialorganizationssuchasSolidarityforbeingundemocratic.Someholdthatsocietaldemocratizationinhibitsthecreationofatruly
modernstatecapableofeffectivedecisionmaking.
144
Thereare,ofcourse,countervailingtendenciesrootedinthemovementcharacterofthePolishandalso,inpart,theHungarianopposition.Thereisatendencyto
articulate,moreinpracticethanintheory,adualisticstrategythatseesthedifferentformsofdemocracyanddemocratizationincivilandpoliticalsocietyas
complementary,eachindispensableforaprojectof"moredemocracy."Cardoso,inLatinAmerica,hascometheclosesttoarticulatingsuchaprogramexplicitly.
Initially,atleast,thedualismofunionandpartyinwhichthevictoriousSolidaritymovementarticulateditselffavoredasimilarformulation.Evenafterthesplitofthis
movementparty,thetwoneworganizationsthathaveemerged,theliberaldemocraticROAD(CivicMovementDemocraticAction)andtherightwingCenter
Platform,seemtosharethisdualheritage,asdoallthedynamicneworganizationsof

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Hungary(MDF,SzDSZ,Fidesz)andCzechoslovakia(CivicForum,PublicAgainstViolence).Theorganizationalmodelsofthesenewpolitical"parties,"noneof
whichisformallynamedassuch,haveatleastinitiallybroughtthemclosetothedualisticmodelsought,generallyunsuccessfully,bysomeofthenewsocialmovements
oftheWest,especiallytheGreens.
Today'strendneverthelessistoprofessionalizeand"partify"thenewparties.Somestilltalk,though,ofdevelopingmorecomplextiestotheformsofcivilsociety
withintheframeworkofincreasingdifferentiationfromthem.Suchtieswouldpresupposebothaprogrammaticopennessofthepoliticaltothecivilandasufficient
strengtheningofthelattertoallowittofunctionininstitutionalizedforms.Whatisneeded,inotherwords,areprogramsthatnotonlyestablishanongoingprocessof
politicalexchangewithorganizationsandinitiativesoutsidethepartypoliticalspherebutalsostrengthencivilsocietywithrespecttotheneweconomicsocietyin
formation.
145
OnlysuchaprogramcouldoffersomethinggenuinelynewwithrespecttopresentmodelsofWesternpolitics,therebytranscendingthebadchoiceof
eithereconomicliberalismandelitedemocracyordirectdemocraticfundamentalism.
Butevenifsuchanewcivilsocietyorientedstrategywhoserootscanbediscoveredinthevarietiesofpoliticaldiscourseexploredhereweretoemerge,itisnotyet
clearwhyitshouldbepreferredtoarenewedliberalism(verymuchontherise)oraradicalegalitariandemocracy(atthemomentonthedecline).Andifitcouldbe
showntobenormativelypreferabletothoseoptions,itmaywellbethecasethatmorecomplextheoreticalconsiderationswouldshowpreciselywhatisattractive
aboutthepoliticsofcivilsocietyisincompatiblewiththedevelopmentofmodernity.Toexaminetheseissueswithsufficientseriousness,wenowtakeourleaveofthe
discussionsofcontemporaryactorsandturntotheoreticalreconstructionandcritiqueoftheconceptofcivilsociety.

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2
ConceptualHistoryandTheoreticalSynthesis
ASketchofEarlyModernConceptualHistory
Presentdaypoliticalmodelsthatusetheconceptofcivilsocietynotonlycontradictoneanotherbutarealsorelativelypoorincategories.Furthermore,theirlinkstoa
richtraditionofinterpretationarenotclear.Sincethistraditionisnotthematized,thedifferencesbetweenthenewversionsoftheconceptandtheirhistorical
predecessorsarealsoleftunexplored.Thus,atheoreticalschemeinheritedfromthepast(orevenseveralpasts)issimplyassumed,butnotdemonstrated,tobe
adequatetomodernconditions.
Inourview,aconceptualhistoryoftheterm"civilsociety"isanimportantwaytobegintoaddressthesetasks.Suchahistoryshould,firstofall,deepenandextend
therelevantcategoricalframeworksinusetoday.Second,itshouldallowustodistinguishpremodernandmodernlayersintheconcept,indicatingwhatversionshave
becomequestionableandinadequatetoday.Whileconceptualhistorycannotremovethecontradictionsamongcontemporaryusages,itcanhelpusseewhatisat
stakeinthesecontradictionsandwhatoptionshavebecome,atleasthistoricallyspeaking,implausible.Finally,aconceptualhistorycanhelproottheusagesofa
conceptofcivilsocietyinapoliticalculturewhosemotivationalpowerhasnotyetbeenexhausted:thepoliticalcultureoftheageofthedemocraticrevolutions.
Conversely,therevivaloftheconcepttodayhelpsvalidatethisparticularpoliticalculture.

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ThefirstversionoftheconceptofcivilsocietyappearsinAristotleundertheheadingofpolitikekoinonia,politicalsociety/community.ItisthistermtheLatins
translatedassocietascivilis.Theconceptrepresentedthedefinitionofthepolis,understoodasthetelosofthehumanbeingasapoliticalanimal,zoonpolitikon.
Politikekoinoniawasdefinedasapublicethicalpoliticalcommunityoffreeandequalcitizensunderalegallydefinedsystemofrule.Lawitself,however,wasseen
astheexpressionofanethos,acommonsetofnormsandvaluesdefiningnotonlypoliticalproceduresbutalsoasubstantiveformoflifebasedonadeveloped
catalogueofpreferredvirtuesandformsofinteraction.
1
TodaywecansymbolicallyrepresentourdistancefromtheGreeksbypointingtotheabsenceofaseriesof
distinctionsandoppositionsintheconceptofpolitikekoinonia.Firstofall,theAristoteliannotiondidnotallowforourdistinctionbetweenstateandsociety.The
polisoikosdualitymayseemtoindicatethecontrary,buttheoikos,household,wasunderstoodprimarilyasaresidualcategory,thenaturalbackgroundofthepolis.
Politikekoinoniawaslogicallyonlyonekoinoniaamongmany(includingperhapstheoikos,butmoregenerallyallformsofhumanassociationfromoccupational
groupingstogroupingsoffriends,etc.)itwasmoredeeplyunderstoodastheallencompassingsocialsystemwithnothingexceptnaturalrelationsoutsideofit.
2
Thus,
therecouldbenoquestionofthepolisandtheoikosrepresentingtwosystemsof(different)socialorpoliticalrelations.First,theoikoswasnotalegalentity:Itwas
regulatednotbylawbutbythedespoticruleordominationofitshead.Second,thepluralityofhouseholdsrepresentednosystem:Theyrelatedtooneanother(in
theory)onlythroughthepolisindeed,throughtheirheadstheywereinthepolis.Economicrelationsbeyondthehouseholdwereconsideredmerelysupplementary
and,beyondamaximumpoint,pathological.
3
Theresultingconceptofpolitikekoinoniawasparadoxical.Itindicatedonekoinoniaamongmanyand,atthesametime,thewhole,awholewithpartsoutsideitself.
Theparadoxcouldberesolvedbecauseoftheabsenceofaseconddistinction:thatbetweensocietyandcommunity.Koinoniaingeneraldenotedallformsof
associationirrespectiveofthelevelofsolidarity,intimacy,orintensityofinteraction.Inthecaseofpolitikekoinonia,thisallowedforacon

Page85
ceptionthatalreadypresupposedtheexistenceofapluralityofformsofinteraction,association,andgrouplifehence,somethingofourconceptof''society."Yet
pluralityanddifferentiationweredramaticallyintegratedinamodelthatpresupposedasingle,homogeneous,organizedsolidarybodyofcitizenscapableoftotally
unifiedactionclosertoournotionofcommunity,a"communityofsocieties."Intheoryatleast,politikekoinoniawasauniquecollectivity,aunifiedorganizationwith
asinglesetofgoalsthatwerederivablefromthecommonethos.Theparticipationofallcitizens"inrulingandbeingruled"representedarelativelysmallproblemin
theory,giventhisassumptionofasharedsetofgoalsbasedonasingleformoflife.
4
ThereishardlyanydoubtabouttheidealizednatureoftheAristotelianconception.
5
Butwhatisimportantforusisthatitwasthisconceptionthatenteredintothe
traditionofpoliticalphilosophy.WeleavetothesidethefirstRomantranslationsofpolitikekoinoniaassocietascivilis,because,asfaraswecantell,herethe
conceptplayedonlyaminorrole.MoreimportantwerethemedievalLatinadaptationsfollowingthetranslationsofAristotlebyWilliamofMoerbekeandLeonardo
Bruni.WhilesomeoftheearlierutilizationsbyAlbertusMagnusandThomasAquinastendedtorestrictsocietascivilistothemedievalcitystate(astheclosest
availableequivalentoftheancientpolis),
6
suchaprudentuseoftheconceptcouldnotbemaintainedforlong,perhapsbecausetheGreeknotionalsoreferredtothe
overarchinglevelofsovereignty.OnlyinItaly,however,didcitystatesapproachthestatusoffullsovereignty,andevenhereonlyinfactandnotinlaw.Asaresult,
whentheGreekconceptionwasmoregenerallyutilized,thefeudalorderoffragmentedsovereignunits(patrimonialrulers,corporatebodies,towns,etc.)aswellas
medievalkingshipandempire,allcametobedescribedindifferentsourcesassocietascivilissiverespublica.
7
Unnoticed,thisusageintroducedalevelof
pluralizationintotheconceptthatcouldnowhardlybeunifiedundertheideaofanorganized,collectivebody,thenotionofrespublicaChristiananotwithstanding.
Asecondimportantshift,oneofdualization,occurredwhentheconcurrentrevivalofmonarchicalautonomyandpubliclawfavoredtheadaptation(however
implausible)oftheancientideaofrepublic

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(withwhichsocietasciviliswasidentified)totheStndestaatthatbalancedthenewpowersoftheprincewiththatoftheorganized,corporateestatesthatassembled
allthosehavingpowerandstatusinfeudalsociety.Thedualismherewas,however,asOttoBrunnerhastirelesslyinsisted,
8
notbetweenstateandsociety:Civilor
politicalsocietywasunderstoodasatypeofstatedualisticallyorganizedwiththe"prince"ononesideand"land"or"people"or"nation"ontheother,withthelatter
termsdenotingtheprivilegedestates.IfweacceptMarx's1843judgmentthattheoldcorporatesocietywasimmediatelypolitical,thenthehistoryoftheconceptof
civilsocietybeforeabsolutismbelongsatleastinthissensetothefundamentalpatternestablishedbytheGreekprototypeofpolitikekoinonia,despiteenormous
differencesamongthesocialformationsinquestion.
Thedevelopmenttowardabsolutismrepresentsthewatershedbetweentraditionalandmodernmeaningsof"civilsociety."Weseethereasonsforthisintwowell
knownandcomplementarydevelopments.First,thedevelopmentofprincelyauthorityfromtheprimusinterparesofapluralityofpowerholders(classicalfeudalism)
andtheseniorpartnerofadualisticsystemofauthority(Stndestaat)tothemonopolisticholderofthelegitimatemeansofviolencelaidthefoundationsofthemodern
state.Second,thedepoliticizationoftheformerpowerholders,theestatesandcorporatebodies,didnotdestroytheirorganizedandcorporatestatus.Instead,it
producedaveritablesocietyoforders.Tobesure,thetransitiontoadualityofstateandnonpoliticalsocietycouldbeandwasindeedachievedbyother,attimes
complementary,routes:theemergenceofautonomousreligiousbodiestoleratedbyamoresecularstate(NorthAmerica)
9
aswellastheriseofnewformsofprivate
economicactivityoutsidethepoliciesofthemercantilestate(GreatBritain).Inouropinion,however,theshiftfromthecorporateentitiesoftheStndestaattothose
ofthedepoliticizedsocietyoforderswasnotonlyhistoricallypriorbutwasalsomoreimportant,fortheEuropeancontinentatleast.Beforetheabsolutiststatecould
disorganizeandlevelitscorporaterivalsinthenameoftheuniversalstatusofthesubjectofthestate,acountermovementalreadybegantoreorganize"society"against
thestatethroughassociationsandformsofpubliclifethatmayhavedrawnonthe

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resourcesofestateindependence,religiousdissent,andeconomicentrepreneurshipbutthatembodiednewegalitarianandsecularprinciplesoforganization.
10
There
isnodoubt,atleastasfarasweareconcerned,thatthe"society"oftheEnlightenment,constitutinganewformofpubliclife,wastheprototypeoftheearlymodern
conceptofcivilsociety.
Ofcourse,politicalphilosophythatsoughttopreservetheidentificationofcivilandpoliticalsocietydidnotimmediatelyregistertheemergenceofanewformof
societalpublicsphere.Threeorfouralternativesweredeveloped.First,onecouldtrytocontinue,asdidJeanBodin,inspiteofdecisivehistoricalchangesbest
registeredbyhimself,thestndestaatlicheconceptionofrespublicasivesocietascivilissivesocietaspoliticus.Reappliedtotheconstellationofabsolute
monarchyandsocietyoforders,thisconceptionfalsifiedthenewtypeofdualitynowinformation,adualityBodinotherwisedefended.Nevertheless,themodel
persistedintotheGermaneighteenthcentury.
11
Second,onecouldidentifythemodernstateitselfwiththecommonwealthorcivil/politicalsociety.ThiswastheoptionofHobbes,whoofcoursebelievedthat
sovereignpowersuppliedtheonly"social"bondofnaturallyunsocialyetrationalindividuals.
12
InHobbes'stheory,thesocialcontractcreatesastate,notsociety.The
fusionofsocietyisaccomplishedonlybythepowerofthestate.WhileHobbesmerelycameclosetotheGreekviewthatconstruedtheconceptofapoliticalsociety
asanundividedsystemofpower,hesooncametorealizethattheancientconceptreliedonanotionofmoralizedlawrootedinethos,ratherthanpositivelawlimited
onlytoenactmentorcommand.ThusthelaterconstructionintheLeviathanmoreorlessleftoutthewholeconceptofcivilsociety(i.e.,thenormativeideaoffreeand
equalcitizenscomprisingthebodypolitic).Nevertheless,theidentificationofstateandcivilsocietyispreserveddowntoourowndayinsomeAngloAmerican
literature.
Thethirdoptioninvolvedabreakingupoftheoldformulasocietascivilissivepoliticussiverespublicabyretainingtheidentityofpoliticalandcivilsocietybut
distinguishingbothfromthestate.Locke'sspecificationoftheproductofthesocialcontractas"politicalorcivilsociety"
13
seemstocontinueonthepathofthe

Page88
earlyHobbes,representingnobreakwiththetradition.Atfirstsight,hisconceptionevenincludesanapparentidentificationofthebodypoliticwithgovernment.
14

Locke,however,doesclearlyseektodifferentiatebetween"government"and"society."Hedistinguishesbetweensurrenderingpowertosocietyandtothe
government"whomsocietyhathsetupoveritself"
15
andevenmoreemphatically(unlikeHobbes)betweenthe"dissolutionofthesociety"and"thedissolutionofthe
government.''
16
Characteristically,however,inthiscontextLockestaysclosetotheancientconceptwhenhespeaksofthe"onepoliticsociety"intermsof"the
agreementtoincorporateandactasonebody."Thisabilitytobecomeandtoactasonebodyisstillassignedtothelegislativepowerofgovernment.Thedissolution
ofthelegislativepowerisproposedastheendofasociety,butLockeinconsistentlyassignsthepossibilityofprovidingforanewlegislaturetothesamesocietywhen
thelegislatureisdissolved,orevenwhenitactscontrarytoitstrust.
Montesquieu'sconceptionwasmorehistoricallysensitive.Itunitedtheeighteenthcenturynotionoftwocontracts(socialandgovernmental)withtheRomanlaw
distinctionofcivilandpubliclaw(here"politicallaw").
17
Whereaspoliticallawregulatestherelationshipofgovernorsandgoverned,civillawregulatestherelationsof
membersofsocietytooneanother.Accordingly,Montesquieu,followingtheItalianwriterGravina,distinguishesbetweengovernment(l'tatpolitique)andsociety
(l'tatcivile).
18
Montesquieu'sconceptionofsocietyappearsunderashiftingterminology.Inthecontextofmonarchicalgovernment(whichrepresentsthemodern
stateforhim!)itmeant,alternatively,the"intermediatepowers,""thepoliticalcommunities,"or"societiesorcommunities"inheritedfromtheepochofestatedualism.
19
Thus,Montesquieu'santiabsolutiststrategyreliedmoreonasocietyconstitutedbyahierarchictraditionalsociety,onethathewishedtorepoliticize,thanevenLocke's
notionofpoliticalsociety,whichcontainedatleastthenotionofaninitialequalityofstatus.WithregardtotheEnlightenmentconception,Montesquieuanticipated,
howeverinconsistently,thedifferentiation,forpolemicalreasons,ofstateandsociety,whileLockeredefinedthenotionofsocietyitselfintermsoftheideaofformal
equalityderivedfrom

Page89
universalnaturallaw.Despitetheideologicalfeaturesoftheirconceptions(inMontesquieu'scase,stillexpressingtheworldviewofprivilegedbutdepoliticizedorders
inLocke's,thatofanewstatusorderincreasinglybasedonprivateproperty),thesetwophilosophersprovidedimportantconceptualpreparationforthemodern
redefinitionofcivilsociety.Theirconstructionspointedbeyondtheideologicallimitsoftheoriginalpresentations.
ItwasHegelwhosynthesizedmuchoflateeighteenthcenturythoughtonthesubject,ineffectweavingtogetherthesomewhatdivergentstrandsof"national"
development.Itwould,however,beerroneoustocreditHegelalonewithredefiningtheconceptofcivilsociety.
20
Beforeturningtohissynthesisanditsfate,then,we
pausetonotesomeoftheseothercontributors.
(1)TheconceptionwehavereferredtoastheEnlightenmentnotionof"society"(ascontrastedwiththestate)rapidlydevelopedbeyonditsoriginsinLockeand
Montesquieu.Paradoxically,thenewnotionoftencoexistedwiththemoretraditionalidentificationofcivilandpoliticalsocietywiththestate,asinthecaseof
Rousseau(andthenKant).
21
InFrance,thesetwotrendsbothsharedinthegrowingoppositiontobothsocietalpluralism,inthesenseofgrouporcollectiverights
identifiedwithsocialorders,andmonarchicalabsolutism.Thus,onemightsaythat,asthepolemicalconceptionof"societyagainstthestate"wasfashionedinthe
salons,coffeehouses,lodges,andclubsofthetime,
22
boththerhetoricofantiabsolutism(Montesquieu)andoppositiontoprivilege(Voltaire)wereunitedinasingle
conceptionofa(civil)societyopposedtoastatewhosecomponentswereformallyequal,autonomousindividualsasthesolerepositoriesofrights.Thisconception
fullycameintoitsowninaseriesofrevolutionaryconceptionsofnaturallaw.ThomasPaine'sCommonSense,thevariousAmericanbillsofrights,andtheFrench
DeclarationoftheRightsofManandCitizenclearlyjuxtaposeanindividualistic,egalitariansocietytogovernment(evenaconstitutionalstate!),withthesociety
becomingthesolesourceoflegitimateauthority.
23
(2)InEnglandaftertheGloriousRevolution,Locke'sambiguousseparationofsocietyfromgovernmentwasslowlyeroded.Whatcountedas"society"wasnow
organizedasastatethatinvolvedagradualfusionbetweenparliamentaryrepresentationandthe

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executive.
24
Theterm"society"asdistinctfrom"thestate"cametobereservedforhighorpolitesociety,acustodianofmannersandinfluence,butnotofanykindof
politicalproject.Ingeneral,theterm''civilsociety"preserveditstraditionalidentificationwithpoliticalsocietyorthestate.Anewcomponentwasaddedtothis
identificationbythethinkersoftheScottishenlightenmentFerguson,Hume,andSmith,amongotherswhocametounderstandtheessentialfeatureofcivilor
"civilized"society,notinitspoliticalorganizationbutintheorganizationofmaterialcivilization.Hereanewidentification(orreduction)wasalreadybeingprepared:that
ofcivilandeconomicsociety,reversingtheoldAristotelianexclusionoftheeconomicfrompolitikekoinonia.
25
(3)TheFrenchandBritishconceptionshadastronginfluenceinGermany,intheworksofKant,Fichte,andawholeseriesoflesserfigures.Acertainintellectual
conservatism,however,inpoliticalaswellasintellectualhistory,alsoplayedahistoricallyimportantroleinGermanyinpreparingthewayforHegel'stheory.Wehave
inmindthepreservationoftheMontesquieuianstressonintermediatebodiesorpowersinthenotionofaneustndischeGesellschaftinwhichStndeorestates(in
particular,derbrgerlicherStand)wouldbebasedonoccupationalmobilityandmerit,ratherthanbirthandinheritance,aswellasaformofaconstitutionalismthat
representedamodernizationratherthantheabolitionofthedualismoftheStndestaat.
26
Nevertheless,theattempttomodernizethenotionofestateswas
overshadowedbytheinfluenceofKant'sredefinitionofcivilsocietyasbasedonuniversalhumanrightsbeyondallparticularisticlegalandpoliticalorders.InKant's
philosophyofhistory,auniversalcivilsocietybasedontheruleoflawwaspostulatedasthetelosofhumandevelopment.Kantexplicitlyrejected(inthespiritofthe
FrenchRevolution)anycompromisewiththecorporateandestatepowersoftheabsolutistera.
27
Insteadoftheoldconcept,KantandthenFichteputforwardthe
notionofacitizensociety,staatsbrgerlicherGesellschaft,whichtheyinterpretedinthespiritoftheFrenchDeclarationof1789.
28
InFichteespecially,according
toManfredRiedel,twospecificallymodernnotionsappearforthefirsttime:thesharpseparationofstateandsociety,andtheunderstandingofsocietyitselfin
individualistanduniversalistterms.Inmakingthisshift,theyoungFichtemovedfromliberalismtoradicaldemocracy.

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ThetwostrandsoftheGermandiscussionofcivilsocietytheuniversalismofKantandFichteandthepluralismofmoretheconservativelineofthoughtcome
togetherinHegel.ButHegelalsobroughtotherstrandsintohisgreatsynthesis:inparticular,theScottishnotionofcivilizedoreconomicsociety.WhileHegel's
conceptionofcivilsocietymaynotbethefirstmodernone,wedobelievethathisisthefirstmoderntheoryofcivilsociety.Moreover,thetheoreticalinspirationof
Hegel'ssynthesisisinourviewnotyetexhausted.Despitesomeviewstothecontrary(Riedel,Luhmann),weshallarguethatseveralimportanttheoreticaltraditions
thatemergedafterHegel,withorwithoutconsciousreferencetohim,continuedtomovewithinthetermsofanalysisthathehasbroughttogether.Forthisreason,we
wouldliketopresentHegelnotinthecontextofaconceptualhistorythatanalyzesthehermeneuticstructureofourconceptsbutratherasthemostimportant
theoreticalforerunnerofseverallaterapproachesthathavepreservedtheirpotentialtoprovidemoreglobal,intellectualorientationeveninourowntime.
Hegel'sSynthesis
AllstrandsofthehistoryoftheconceptionofcivilsocietysofarpresentedmeetinHegel'sRechtsphilosophie.Heistherepresentativetheoristofcivilsocietybecause
ofthesyntheticcharacterofhisworkand,evenmore,becausehewasbothfirstandmostsuccessfulinunfoldingtheconceptasatheoryofahighlydifferentiatedand
complexsocialorder.
ItisbynowacommonplacethatHegelattemptedtounite,inaschemethatwastobebothprescriptiveanddescriptive,aconceptionofancientethoswithoneofthe
modernfreedomoftheindividual.Butitshouldalsobestressedthatinhisconception,themodernstatedid,could,oratleastshouldalsoreconciledimensionsofthe
ancient,homogeneous,unifiedpoliticalsocietywiththelatemedievalpluralityofautonomoussocialbodies.Theancientrepublicandimensioninhisconception,drawn
fromAristotleandotherclassicalthinkers,wastorestonthetwinpillarsofethicallife(ethosorSittlichkeit)andpublicfreedom.Themedievaldimensiondrawnfrom
MontesquieuandawholeseriesofGermansourcesinvolvedarenewedstressonintermediatebodiesinthefaceofthemodern

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state.
29
Thespecificallymoderncomponentwastorestonthreemajorfeatures.First,HegeltookoverfromthenaturallawtraditionandfromKanttheuniversalist
definitionoftheindividualasthebearerofrightsandtheagentofmoralconscience.Second,hegeneralizedtheEnlightenmentdistinctionbetweenstateandcivil
societyinamannerthatalsoinvolvedtheirinterpenetration.Third,hetookoverfromFergusonandthenewdisciplineofpoliticaleconomythestressoncivilsocietyas
thelocusandcarrierofmaterialcivilization.Astonishingly,hesucceededinbuildingalltheseelementsintoaunifiedframework,albeitonethatwasnotfreeof
antinomies.
OnecontradictionthatpermeatesHegel'sworkisthatbetweensystematicphilosophyandsocialtheory.Thisisexpressedpoliticallyastheantinomyofstatistand
antistatistpositionsrunningthroughboththedoctrineofcivilsocietyandthatofthestate.
30
Hegel'ssocialtheorypresentsmodernsocietybothasaworldofalienation
andasanopenendedsearchforsocialintegration.Hisphilosophicalsystem,conversely,pronouncesthatthisquesthasendedinthemodernstate.Itisneverentirely
clear,though,whetherhemeansapossibleanddesirable,oranotyetexistentbutnecessary,oranalreadyexistingstate.Butevenintheweakestversionofthis
argument,whenheidentifiesthepossibleanddesirableformofthestatewithamodernizingandconstitutionalversionofabureaucraticmonarchy,thestatist
implicationsofHegel'ssystembuildingbecomeclear.Yet,atthesametime,Hegel'srecurringargumentsagainstmonarchicalabsolutismandrevolutionary
republicanismreviveanantistatiststressonintermediarybodieslimitingbureaucraticsovereigntyandprovidingalocusforpublicfreedom.Thistrendinhisthoughtis
compatibleonlywiththerepeatedimplicit(andnowheresystematized)denialthatthesearchforsocialintegrationcanendininstitutionslike"ourmodernstates,"which
canonlyprovidecitizenswith"alimitedpartinthebusinessofthestate."
31
ThecontradictionrunsthroughHegel'sanalysisofcivilsocietyintheformoftwointerrelatedquestions:(1)IsSittlichkeitorethicallifepossibleonlyasinheritedand
unquestionedethostowhichindividualsubjectsmustconforminordertobeconsistentwiththeirveryidentity,orisitpossibletothinkofethicallifeinatruly

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modernform,permittingandevenrequiringitsownquestioningandcriticismaswellasapluralityofnormativelyvaluedformsoflife?(2)Iscivilsocietytobe
conceivedasSittlichkeitorAntisittlichkeitorasadynamiccombinationofboth"moments"?
Thetwoquestionsareofcoursedeeplyrelatedandmayindeedbeultimatelythesame.Toanswerthem,wemustbeginwithsomeofthebasiccategoriesofthe
Rechtsphilosophie.Hegeldifferentiatedobjectivespirit(objektiverGeist),rationallyreconstructedintersubjectivestructuresofmeaning("spirit")embodiedin
institutions("objective"),inthreedimensions:abstractright,morality,andSittlichkeit(ethicallife).Thedifferentiationamongthemisnotsomuchthatofcontents
(thoughthesedogetprogressivelyricheraswemovethroughthethreelevels)butamongthreelevelsofmoralargumentation.Abstractrightrepresentsaformof
argumentonthebasisofdogmaticallyassumedfirstprinciples,asinnaturalrightstheories.Morality,alevelclearlyreferringtoKantianethics,representstheself
reflectionofthesolitarymoralsubjectastheproposedfoundationforauniversalistpracticalargumentation.Finally,Sittlichkeitrepresentsaformofpracticalreason
that,throughselfreflection,istoraisethenormativecontentandlogicofinheritedinstitutionsandtraditionstoauniversallevel.OnlySittlichkeitallowstheexploration
ofnormativequestions(including"rights"and''morality")onthelevelofconcrete,historicallyemergentinstitutionsandpracticesthatrepresent,atleastinHegel'sview
ofthemodernworld,theinstitutionalizationoractualizationoffreedom.
32
Ethicallifeisitselfdifferentiatedinaway(entirelyuniquetoHegel)thatcombinesthetwo
dualitiesofoikos/polisandstate/societyinthethreepartframeworkoffamily,civilsociety,andstate.
33
Civilsociety(brgerlicheGesellschaft)isdefinedvariously,
butmostrevealinglyasethicallifeorsubstance"initsbifurcation(Entzweiung)andappearance(Erscheinung)."
34
Tounderstandthisdefinitionofcivilsociety,wemustexaminethenotionofSittlichkeitmoreclosely.CharlesTaylorissurelyonsolidfoundationsinatleastone
dimensionofHegel'stextwhenheinterpretsthecontentofthisnotion"asthenormsofasociety'spubliclife...sustainedbyouraction,andyetasalreadythere."
35

AccordingtoTaylor,"inSittlichkeitthereisnogapbetweenwhatoughttobeandwhatis,betweenSollenandSein."
36
Hegel'soverall

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schemerepeatedlystressesthetotalidentityofthe(rational)willofthesubjectwithlawsandinstitutions,
37
makinganyclashbetweenparticularanduniversalwill,
subjectandobject,rightandduty,impossibleoratleastirrational.
38
TaylorisonlesssolidgroundwhenheinterpretsMoralittandSittlichkeitmerelyintheformofopposition.ModernethicallifeasHegelunfoldsitisdistinguished
fromallancientethosbecauseitcontainstheothertwoethicaldimensionsrightsanduniversalistmoralityonahigher,i.e.,aninstitutionalized,level.Indeed,
accordingtoHegel,aninstitutionalspaceiscreatedforprivatemoralitythatshouldnotbecome"matterforpositivelegislation."
39
Onthisbasis,Hegelcouldhavegone
ontorecognizethepossibilityofinstitutionalizedconflictbetweentheoryandpractice,normsandactuality,asthegreatestachievementofthemodernworld.Thathe
didnotdosoallowsTaylortointerprethimprimarilyasan"ancient,"entirelyagainstHegel'sownintentions.Ofcourse,Taylorfocusesononlythemainstrandof
Hegel'sconception,nottheantinomicwhole.Hegel'sowndefinitionofSittlichkeitinvolvesagreaterstressonitsproductionandreproductionthroughselfconscious
action.
40
ArethebasesofsuchactiontobefoundinSittlichkeitalone,orinMoralittaswell,oratleast,forthemodernworld,inaformofethicallifethathas
incorporatedmorality,alongwiththetensionbetweenisandought?WhenwesaythatSittlichkeit,asthenormsofasociety'spubliclife,isalreadythere,Hegel's
authoritytakesusonlysofarastoregistertheinstitutionalexistenceofthenormsinquestion,possiblyinformsofdiscourseonly,oraslegitimationsandideologies.
Theiroften"counterfactual"characterisnotedbyHegelhimself,forexample,inthecaseoftheprinciplesandpracticeofpositivelaw.Unfortunately,Hegeldidnot
discoverthatmoderncivilsocietyischaracterizedbytheconflictnotonlyofmoralities(whichheattimesseemedtonote)butalsoofthenormativeconceptionsof
politicsitself.ThushedidnotseethatitwaspossibletoestablishanewformofSittlichkeitcontainingapluralityofformsoflifethiswouldmakeconsensuspossible
onlyonthelevelofprocedures,butevensuchaconsensuscanleadtosomesharedsubstantivepremisesandevenacommonidentity.Hecertainlydoesadmitthe
possibilityofconflictbetweeninstitutionalizednorm,theactualbasisofmoralopposition,andthepractice

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ofinstitutions.Primarilyforthisreason,histhoughtandthesocialworldhedescribesareopentoimmanentcritique.
Becauseoftheinternaldivisionofitsinstitutionalsphere,civilsocietyistheframeworkparexcellencewherethetensionbetweenisandoughtemerges.Ouraimisto
showthatthisdivisionhardlydisappearsinHegel'stheoryeveninthestatesphere,whichissupposedtobetheoneinwhichallantinomiesarereconciled.
41
Although
Hegelperiodicallyimpliesthatnoactuallyexistingstateshouldbeconsideredalreadyrational,heneverthelessholdsthatethical(sittliche)substancedefinedinterms
oftheidentityofrationalselfreflectionandactualizedinstitutionsisthe"wirklicheGeisteinerFamilieundeinesVolks."
42
Theabsenceofcivilsocietyandthe
presenceofthefamilyandthestate,thelatteronlyaspeople,arethenotablefeaturesofthisdefinitionofSittlichkeit.Consistentlyenough,civilsocietyreappearsin
thenextparagraphonlyasan"abstract"and"external"versionofSittlichkeit.
43
Thesectiononthetransitionbetweenthefamilyandcivilsocietyspeaksof''the
disappearanceofethicallife"anditsreemergenceonlyasa"worldofethicalappearance."
44
Hegelgoesontospeakofcivilsociety"asasystemofethicallifelostin
itsextremes."
45
ThuscivilsocietyisalevelofSittlichkeitwheretheoppositionsofought/is,subject/object,right/duty,andevenrational/actualwouldallreappear.Butitwouldnotbe
difficulttoarguethatthislevelofSittlichkeitisitsveryantithesis,aGegenorAntisittlichkeit.
46
MuchofHegel'sdiscussionofcivilsocietyemphasizesthe
disintegrationofthesupposedlynaturalformofethicalliferepresentedbythefamilyinaworldofegotismandalienation.Nevertheless,whenhespeaksoftheethical
rootsofthestate,hespeaksofthefamilyandthecorporation,thelatter"plantedincivilsociety."
47
Hereistherealsenseofseeingcivilsocietyasthe"bifurcationof
ethicallife,"asbothSittlichkeitandAntisittlichkeit,wheretheunityofsubstantialethicallife(accordingtoHegel'sfinaljudgmentoncivilsociety)isattainedonlyin
appearance.
ByfollowingHegel'sunfoldingofthecategoriesofcivilsocietyfromthesystemofneedsandsystemoflawstothepolice(generalauthority)andcorporations,and
evenbeyondtotheestateassemblyandpublicopinion,wegainadepictionofmodernsocietyasadialecticofSittlichkeitandAntisittlichkeit.Onlytheillusionsof
sys

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tembuildingputanendtothismovementinthe(highlyinconsistent)depictionofthestateasfullyrealizedbutnolongernaturallygivenethicallife.
48
WeshouldstoptoconsiderthegreatimportanceofatwosidedunderstandingofHegel'sconceptofcivilsociety.Ifweweretointerpretitonlyasalienation,social
integrationwouldhavetobeconceivedexclusivelyonthelevelsoffamilyandstate.Inrelationtocivilsociety,then,theprescriptiveorcriticaldimensionsofthetheory
wouldcometothefore,butatranscendentversionofcritique
49
wouldhavetotaketheformofromanticcommunalism,withfacetofacerelationsasitsnormative
standard,orofstatism,whoseselflegitimationcouldtakevariousrepublicanornationalistforms.Ifcivilsocietywereinterpretedexclusivelyintermsoftheformsof
socialintegrationthatemergehere,however,thedescriptiveandtendentiallyconformistelementsofthetheorywouldcomeforward,andthenegativeaspectsof
bourgeoiscivilsocietythatHegelwasoneofthefirsttopointoutindetailwouldbelostfromview.TherichnessandpowerofHegel'ssocialtheoryliespreciselyinhis
avoidingbothatranscendentcritiqueofcivilsocietyandanapologyforbourgeoissociety.
ManyinterpretersofHegelseetheintegrationofmodernsocietyasaseriesofmediationsbetweencivilsocietyandthestate.However,thiswayofputtingtheissueis
alreadyahostagetothestatistdimensioninHegel'sthought.IfwearenottoacceptfromtheoutsetthattheonlyimportantlineofthoughtinHegelassumesthestate
(butwhichelementofthestate?)asthehighest,mostcompleteanduniversallevelofsocialintegration,theissueofmediationshouldbeputdifferently.Onamore
abstractlevel,itshouldalreadybeclearthatmediationisbetweenAntisittlichkeitandSittlichkeit.Onamoreconcretelevel,however,itisthedistancebetween
privateandpublicthatistobemediated,ifweunderstandtheformerasthevanishingpointwherethesocialintegrationofthefamilyisdissolvedbeforethe
mediationscharacteristicofcivilsocietybegin.ThusitisourthesisthatthemediationofAntisittlichkeitandSittlichkeitculminatesinanotionofpubliclifethatHegel
onlyinconsistentlyidentifiedwithstateauthority.
50
AfterMarx'searlycritiqueofHegel'sphilosophyofthestate,littlewouldbeleftofthisidentification,exceptforthe
smalldetailoftheroleofstatism,in

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thecritiquesofthecapitalistmarketeconomyinthenextcenturyandahalf,includingthosebyMarx'sownfollowers.
51
InbothHegel'sandMarx'swork,however,
thestatisttrendisinapowerfultensionwithantistatistoptions.
AsanyreaderofHobbesknows,theroadtostatismispreparedbytheidentificationofsocietyoutsidethestatewithegotisticcompetitionandconflict.Suchisalso
theoutcomeofthewellknownMarxianidentificationofcivilandbourgeoissociety.
52
ThetraditionalGermantranslationofsocietascivilisasbrgerliche
Gesellschaftisnottheonlybasisofthistheoreticalmove.Hegelhimselfrepeatedlyidentifiesbrgerlichasbourgeois,
53
andnowheredoesheusetheadjectivalform
intheclassicalsenseofBrgerorcitoyen.WhenhestatesthatindividualsasBrgerofcivilsociety,the"externalstate,"
54
areprivatepersons,
55
heparticipatesina
fundamentalshiftintheconceptofcivilsocietyawayfromtheoriginalmeaningofcitizensociety.Atthesametime,ifthebourgeoisweretobeunderstoodashomo
oeconomicus,thenclearlyitwouldrepresentonlyonedimensionofwhatHegeldefinesasthesubjectofcivilsociety,theconcreteperson.
56
Ofcourse,thelatteris
firstdefinedas"atotalityofneedsandamixtureofnaturalnecessityandarbitrarywill(Willkr)."ButthisisonlyHegel'sstartingpoint:Thesystemofneedsisthefirst
levelofcivilsociety.Astheargumentproceedsthroughthenextlevels"theadministrationoflaw"and"generalauthorityandcorporation"weencounterthe
concretepersonagainundernewheadings:legalperson,clientofgeneralauthority,andassociationmember.
57
Itisonlyonthelevelofthesystemofneeds,the
descriptionofwhichHegelderivesfrompoliticaleconomy,
58
thataradicaldepictionofcivilsocietyasAntisittlichkeitisconsistentlyupheld.Forexample,when
HegeldefinescivilsocietyasasystemofSittlichkeit"splitinitsextremesandlost,''
59
hehasinmindaconditionwhereegoisticindividualismoneextremeis
integratedbymeansofanabstractgenerality(universalinterdependence)theotherextremethatisentirelyforeigntothewillofindividuals.Accordingly,civil
societyas"anachievementofthemodernworld"
60
involvesthecreationofanewtypeofmarketeconomythatintegratesthe"arbitrarywills"ofselfinterested
economicsubjectsbymeansofanobjectiveand"external"processthatachievesauniversalresultunintendedandunantici

Page98
patedbytheparticipants.
61
Thisobjectiveprocesscanbereconstructedbyasciencespecifictothemodernworld,namelypoliticaleconomy,thatHegelregardsas
beingentirelyparalleltothesciencesofnature.
62
Hegel'smodelofintegrationonthelevelofthesystemofneedstakesofffromAdamSmith'sdescriptionoftheselfregulatingmarketasaninvisiblehandlinkingself
interestandpublicwelfare.Buthisargumentsarelesseconomicthansociological,evenifthetremendousprocessofeconomicgrowthimpliedbythemodernmarket
economyunderliesthewholethesis.
63
Heseesthreelevelsofintegrationinthiscontext:needs,work,and"estates."Needsinmodernsocietybecomemoreandmore
abstractintheformofmoney,whichmakeseveryone'sneedscommensurable.Itismonetarizationthatmakesthegeneralrecognitionandsatisfactionofneeds
possible.Hegelalsoseestheundersideoftheprocess:Theabstractionofneedsallowsfortheirtremendousexpansion.Andtheresultofthelimitlessexpansionof
needscanonlybegreatluxuryandextravagancealongsidepermanentwant,i.e.,theinabilityofsometosatisfyevenbasicneeds.
64
Workinmodernsocietymediates
particularityanduniversalitythroughtheprocessofvaluecreation(theparticularworkoftheindividualcreatingproductsthatarecommensurablewiththeproductsof
allothers)andthedivisionoflabor,leadingtothe"dependenceofmenononeanotherandtheirreciprocalrelation."
65
AgainHegelseestheundersideoftheprocess,
thistimein''thedependenceanddistressoftheclass"thatistiedtoformsofincreasinglyonesidedandrestrictedworkthat"entailinabilitytofeelandenjoythe
broaderfreedomsandespeciallytheintellectual(geistigen)benefitsofcivilsociety."
66
Finally,Hegelhasatheoryofstratificationaccordingtowhichthedifferentiated
socialstrataofcivilsocietythathestillcallsStnde(estatesororders)integrateindividualsasmembersof"oneofthemomentsofcivilsociety"withitsownrectitude
andstatushonor(Standesehre).
67
Hegelinsiststhathisestatesaremodern,andthatindividualsbecomepartofthemfreely,throughtheirownachievement,ratherthanascriptively.
68
Nevertheless,itis
clearthathehasonlypartiallydiscoveredthespecificallymodernprincipleofstratification,namelysocioeconomicclass.
69
Theworkingclass,towhich(as

Page99
Avinerishowed)herestrictsthenewtermclass(Klasse),isnotincludedinhisschemeofagricultural,business,anduniversal(i.e.,bureaucratic)estates.
70
Thisisa
seriousomission,especiallybecauseHegelclaimsthathisestatescorrespondtoeconomicdifferentiation.Infact,however,hedidnotdiscoverthespecificallymodern
formofstratificationbasedonsocioeconomicdivisionsofinterestandlinesofconflictbecausehedidnotadequatelydistinguishbetweendifferentiationandintegration.
Thus,histheoreticalinstrumentsfailedhimwhenheconfrontedanincreasinglydifferentiatedclass,thevictimofpovertyandthealienationoflabor,thathetherefore(as
itturnedoutwrongly)consideredonlyasbeingunabletointegrateinto,andunabletocontributetotheintegrationof,civilsociety.
Strictlyspeaking,integrationthroughestatesdoesnotbelongtothelevelofthe"systemofneeds,"whereintegrationisthefunctionofobjective,unwilledprocesses.
ThisisshownbythefactthattheanalysissimplyduplicateswhatHegelelsewhereassignstothefamily(theagriculturalclass
71
),tothecorporation(thebusiness
class
72
),andtothegeneralauthority(theclassofcivilservants
73
).ItisonlywhatHegelconsiderstheundersideofthisprocessoftheemergenceofnew,
nonascriptivestatusgroupsthatbelongstothesocioeconomiclevelofhisanalysis.Accordingly,theworkingclassrepresentsaformofinequalityproducedbycivil
society
74
inwhichtheabsenceofinheritanceandotherwiseunearnedincome,aswellasaspecificformoflife,makesestatemembershipinaccessibleandexposes
individualstothehazardsofeconomiccontingenciesbeyondtheircontrol.
75
Takentogether,need,labor,anddifferentiationachievealevelofuniversalityincivilsocietyonlyatgreatsocialcost.Hegelisacutelyconsciousofthisevenifhedoes
notandcannotnoticethelevelofthecorrespondingpotentialofconflict.Unlikesomepoliticaleconomistsheknew(inparticular,Ricardo),hedidnotreadily
thematizetheproblemofconflictinrelationtotheworkingclass,
76
perhapsbecauseofhisbeliefthatestates(i.e.,newtypesofstatusgroups)aloneconstitutedthe
modernprincipleofstratification.
77
Nevertheless,hedidunderstandthe"systemintegration"ofcivilsocietytobehighlyunstable,thoughhedidnotposethisissuein
termsofactiontheoreticcategories.Evenso,morethanany

Page100
politicaleconomist,heunderstoodthatsocialintegrationmustoccuroutsidethesystemofneedsinorderforthemarketeconomyitselftofunction.Unlikeearly
modernpoliticalphilosophersinthenaturallawtradition,however,hedoesnotconfinethislevelofintegrationtotheexerciseofsovereignpower,tothesphereofthe
state,ortothefamily,anotherpossiblechoice.Itwasinconsciousoppositiontothesetheoreticaloptionsthathedevelopedatheoryofsocialintegrationthat
constitutedoneofthefoundingactsofmodernsociology,oratleastoftheparadigmdevelopedbyDurkheim,Parsons,andHabermas,amongothers.
Hegel'stheoryofsocialintegrationmovesthroughsixsteps:legalframework(Rechtspflege)generalauthority(Polizei)corporationthe(bureaucratic)executivethe
estateassemblyorlegislatureandpublicopinion.Whilethefirstthreeofthesearedevelopedaspartsofthetheoryofcivilsociety,andthesecondthreebelongtothe
theoryofthestate,orratherconstitutionallaw,theargumentturnsouttobeessentiallycontinuous.
78
Weshouldperhapsthinkoftheseastwolinesofargument,even
ifHegel'smovementbackandforthbetweenthemissoconstructedastoavoidtheappearanceofsuchdifferentiation.Itisthisdoubleargumentconcerningsocial
integrationonwhichweshallconcentrate.
Aswehaveshown,thesystemofneedsinHegel'stheoryisitselfintegrated,butinamannerthatis"external"(outsideofwillandconsciousness),incomplete(lessthan
fullyuniversalist),andselfcontradictory.Integrationbeyondthesystemofneedsoperatesaccordingtotwodifferentlogics:thelogicofstateinterventionintosociety,
andthatofthegenerationofsocietalsolidarity,collectiveidentity,andpublicwillwithincivilsocietyitself.Throughmostofthetext,theunfoldingofthetwologicscan
beclearlydifferentiated:Oneseriesuniversalestate,generalauthority,crown,executiveexpressesthelineofstateinterventionanotherestates,corporation,
estateassembly,publicopinionfollowsthatoftheautonomousgenerationofsolidarityandidentity.
Onlyinthe"administrationoflaw"isitdifficulttoseparatethetwolinesofargument.InHegel'sexposition,thislevelrepresentsthepossibilityoftheuniversally(orat
leastgenerally)validresolutionoftheclashofparticularsincivilsociety.TheovercomingofGegensittlichkeitasthedivisionofparticularanduniversalbegins

Page101
here,butinaformthatiscapableofgeneratingonlyalimitedcollectiveidentity.Thelegalpersonidentifieswiththecollectiveonlyintheformofabstractobligations.
Hegelnotonlyrecognizesthenoneconomicpresuppositionsofeconomyinthemodernsense,inthelawofpropertyandcontract,
79
buthealsoseesthattheir
implicationsgofarbeyondtheeconomy.Inparticular,thepublicationofthelegalcodeand,evenmore,thepublicityoflegalproceedingsarechangesofuniversal
significanceandvaliditythatmakepossibletheemergenceofauniversalistsenseofjustice.
80
ThisargumentbecomesfullyintelligibleinthecontextofHegel's
understandingoftheconceptofthepublic(ffentlichkeit)thatgoesbeyondtheRomanlawdichotomyofpublicandprivate.Weshallanalyzethisconceptindetail
below,butherewesimplystressthatHegelseesafunctionalrelationbetweenmodernlawandthesystemofneeds:Eachisnecessaryfortheemergenceand
reproductionoftheother.Healsoinsists,however,thattheinstitutionalizationofsubjectiverightandobjectivelawprotectsthefreedomanddignityofmodern
subjectsinawaythatprivatepersonsratherthanisolatedindividualsbroughttogetherinapublicprocesscanmutuallyrecognize.
81
ToHegel,theinstitutionalizationof
rightaslawrequiresbothstateaction(hestronglyprefersstatutorycodificationtoprecedentbasedadjudication
82
)andautonomousculturalprocesses.Heisneither
alegalpositivistnoranaturallawtheoristnorevenahistoricist.ForHegel,universalrightshavemorethanjustahistoricallyrestrictedvalidityeveniftheyemergein
culturaldevelopmentandcanbeuniversallyrecognizedonlythroughaprocessofeducation(Bildung)thathasbecomepossibleincivilsociety.
83
Universalrightsdonot,however,attainobjectiveexistencewithoutbeingpositedaslaw(gesetztalsGesetz),whichinvolveslegislation,codification,and
administrationbypublicauthority(ffentlicheMacht).Withoutautonomousculturalprocessesthatcreatethem,rightscannotacquirevalidityorrecognition.But
withoutthevariousnecessaryactsofthestateanditsorgans,neithertruedefinitionnorasystematicrelationtootherrightsispossible.
84
Onlythecombinationofthe
twoyieldsobligatoryforce.Hegelwiselyrecognizesthepossiblediscrepancyofthetwomoments,
85
culturalandpolitical,"betweenthecontentofthelawandthe

Page102
principleofrightness."
86
Yetwithintheanalysisoflaw,hecanofferonlysomeformalandproceduralrequirementsthatlegislatorsandjudgesshouldnotviolate,in
particulartherequirementofpublicityandtheformalgeneralityoflaw.Presumablyheexpectsacloserfitbetweentheprincipleofrightandpositivelawregarding
substantivelegalrulesthroughtheabilityoftheotherinstitutionalmediationsofhistheorytocreatelaw.
IntegrationthroughtheState
Hegelcannotmaintainthecomplementaritybetweensocietalandstatiststrategiesofsocialintegrationbeyondhisanalysisoftheadministrationoflaw.Fromthispoint
onintheargument,
87
thetwotypesofstrategiesbecomeidentifiedwithdifferentinstitutionalcomplexes.ThestatisttrendinHegel'sthought,anticipatingMarxand
especiallyMarxism,isclearlyconnectedtothenotionofcivilsocietyasGegensittlichkeit,rootedintheanalysisofthesystemofneeds.
88
Thepathological
consequencesofthesystemofneeds,involvingextremesofwealthandpoverty,wantandluxury,aswellasaseverethreattothehumanityandveryexistenceofthe
classofdirectlabor,callformeasuresthatallowHegeltoanticipatefeaturesofthemodernwelfarestate.
89
Inparticular,astatebureaucracy(theuniversalclass,the
classofcivilservants)iscalledupontodealwiththedysfunctionalconsequencesofthesystemofneeds,intwoforms.
(1)Theuniversalestateiscalleduponasthekeymechanismtodealwiththeantagonismofestates.Heretheanalysissuffersfromalackofreferencetotheclass
Hegelknowstobeboththeproductofthemoderneconomicorderandthemostendangeredbyit.Nevertheless,theassumptionthatestatesproducebothintegration
withinstrataandantagonismbetweenstratadoesrepresentanimportantopeningtoasociologyofconflict.Inthiscontext,Hegelmaintainsthatthestatushonorand
economicconditionoftheestateofcivilserviceimplythatparticularor"privateinterestfindsitssatisfactioninitsworkfortheuniversal."
90
Thesalariedconditionof
theofficial,therequirementforopenaccesstooffices,andthelimitsagainstturningofficesintoprivatepatrimoniesallinhibittheformationofthesortofselfinterested,
closedestatethat

Page103
characterizedmosttraditionalbureaucracies.Theeducationofthepublicservantmakestheideaofpublicserviceconsciousanddeliberate.
91
Thus,accordingto
Hegel,theuniversalestateisinauniquepositiontoresolvetheantagonismofestates.
ThereisnoneedtorepeatMarx'sbrilliant1843critiqueofthepretensionsofHegel'sviewoftheuniversalestate,whichpinpointeditsparticularinterestsandstatus
consciousness.Hegelmanagedtodeludehimselfonthisscorepartlybecauseofthestatiststraininhisthought,andpartlybecausehedidnotseeanyreasonto
considerthesocialantagonismimpliedbytheexistenceofthe"classofdirectlabor."Beingincapableofintraclassintegration,workersinthisviewdonotseemtobe
capableofinterclassconflict.Thedysfunctionalconsequenceoftheplightofthisclassisseenintheexistenceofananomicmass,thePbel,whoseintegrationrequires
measuresthataimatindividuals(i.e.,clients)ratherthanintegratedgroups.Butwiththepooreststratumremovedfromthefieldofanalysis,theideathatthe
bureaucracyrepresentsageneralinterestneedstobereconciledonlywiththeinterestsofthelandedclasses.
92
Hegel'sdiscussionofcivilservantstakesplaceintwosectionsofhisanalysis:thoseonthesystemofneedsofcivilsocietyandtheexecutiveofthestate.Thisis
justifiedbythefactthatthebureaucracyisbothasocialstratumandastateinstitution.
93
ButHegel'stheoreticaldecisiondisguisesthefactthatthisestatediffersfrom
othersintworespects.First,itisconstitutedbythestateandnotbythesocietaldivisionoflabor.Second,inthestatethebureaucracyfindsitsinstitutionalplaceinthe
executiveratherthanintheestateassembly.Thus,Hegel'sargumentconcerningthefortunatedoublemeaningoftheGermantermStnde,
94
referringbothtosocial
ordersandtoadeliberativeassembly,doesnotapply.BycallingthebureaucracyaStand,Hegelmissestheopportunitytodiscoverthesecond,primarilymodern,
formofstratificationwhoseconstitutiveprincipleispoliticalpower.Evenmoreimportantly,hedisguisesthestatistprincipleoftheformofsocialintegrationunder
consideration.
Thewaythebureaucracyistoaccomplishtheintegrationofantagonisticestatesrevealsatleastsomeoftheconsequences.Thestateexecutiveorpoliticalbureaucracy
hastheroleof"subsuming

Page104
theparticularundertheuniversal"byapplyingthelaws.Hegelacceptstheparliamentaryassumptionthatanestateassemblyiscapableofgeneratingapublicand
generalwill.Buthebelievesthatincivilsocietyalltheparticularinterestswillreappear,andthatforthisreasonoutsidethestatesphereproperthebureaucracymust
betheagentofuniversality.Thefactthathefeelscompelledtoadmitthattheauthorityoflocalcommunities(Gemeinden)andcorporationsisneededasa"barrier
againsttheintrusionofsubjectivecapriceintothepowerentrustedtothecivilservant"
95
shows,though,thatHegelisawarethatrealitycanbequitedifferentfromhis
idealizeddepiction.Presentingthebureaucracyasanestateofcivilsocietyisthusnotonlyawayofdisguisingtheactuallevelofstateinterventionheadvocatesbutis
alsoawayofdeflectingtheresponsibilityfordysfunctionalorevenauthoritarianinterventionfromthestatetoasocialgroupandtothesubjectivecapriceofits
members.
(2)Themodelofintegrationthroughstateinterventionisfurtherdevelopedinthetheoryofpoliceorgeneralauthority(PolizeiorallgemeineMacht).Unfortunately,
themodernterm"police"doesnotcoverHegel'smeaninghere.Inaccordancewithearlierabsolutistusage,hemeansmorethanthepreventionofcrimeandtortand
themaintenanceofpublicorder.However,Hegelalsousestheterm"generalauthority"insensesnotcoveredbythesectiononthePolizei.Thus,itmaybebest
simplytolisthisactualusesofthisconcept:surveillance(linkedtocrimeandtort)
96
interventionintheeconomyintheformofpricecontrolsandregulationofmajor
industrialbranches
97
andpublicwelfareintheformofeducation,charity,
98
publicworks,
99
andfoundingofcolonies.
100
Theideabehindlinkingtheseapparentlydiverseareasisnotquitecoherent.ThefunctioningofthesystemofneedsislinkedinHegel'sconceptiontotworather
differentfactors:acentrifugaldysfunctionalitybasedonthesubjectivecapriceandcarelessnessofindividuals,andsystematicallyinducedeffectslargelybasedon
worldwidecompetitionandthedivisionoflabor.Thepolicerepresentstatepenetrationintocivilsocietytoservetheinterestsofjusticeandorderbycompensatingfor
bothofthesephenomenawithouteliminatingtheirbasiccauses,whichlieinthedynamism

Page105
ofthesystemofneeds.Asaresult,thecentrifugalandanomicconsequencesofconflictarediminishedbutnotentirelydoneawaywith."Crimeprevention"andthe
punishmentofcriminalsdonoteliminatecrimebutkeepitwithintolerablelimits.Provisionsforsocialwelfareandpubliceducationdonotabolishconflictand
alienation,buttheycanpreventthedeclineoftheclassoflabortothestatusofarabble(Pbel).Inthesecasesandalsointhecaseofpriceandproductioncontrols,
thegoalHegelespousesiscompensationforthedysfunctionalsideeffectsofthenewtypeofmarketeconomy,acoredimensionofmoderncivilsociety.Thedetailsof
hisanalysisdonotalwaysmakeclearwhetherheisdefendingprecapitalistformsofpaternalistinterventionoranticipatingfeaturesofamodernwelfarestate.The
generalconception,however,involvesreactivecompensationfortheeffectsofagenuinemarketsystemmorethanproactive,statistsubstitutionformarketfunctions.
Thestatistfeatureofthedoctrineofthepolicelieselsewhere.Hegeldoesnotsystematicallydistinguishbetweenstateinterventionintheformofeconomicsteering
(e.g.,pricecontrolsinasystemofmarketprices)andinterventioninnoneconomicspheresoflife(e.g.,surveillance).Whilefromthepointofviewofmarket
dysfunction,eachofthesemeasuresrepresentspostfactocompensation,surveillanceandotherformsofsocialcontrolareproactivefromthepointofviewof
noneconomicformsoflife,substituting,asTocquevillenoted,statizedrelationsforhorizontalsocialties.
101
Asimilarproactivecharactercanbenotedintherolesof
generalauthoritydealingwithtrusteeshipandeducation.
102
Theproblem,ofcourse,isnotthatHegelhopestopreventorphansandthechildrenofthepoorfrom
fallingintopoverty,butthathedefinestheremediesintermsofa"right"ofsocietyasawholeratherthantherightsoftheindividuals,families,andcommunities
concerned.OnceagainHegelreplaceshorizontalsocialinteractionandsolidaritybyverticaltiesbasedonstatepaternalism.Evenifitweretruethatcivilsociety
destroysthefamilytiesthatprotectedindividualsinpremodernsociety,theideaofthegeneralauthority(thestate)"takingovertheroleofthefamilyforthepoor"
103
is
amystificationofmeasuresthatdonotproducebutreplacesocialsolidarity.

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SocialIntegrationthroughCivilSociety
Hegeldoesnotclaimthatonthislevelthestateproducesathoroughgoingunificationofsociety.Moreover,thekindofuniversalityitachieveshereamountstoaform
of"external"impositionandcontrol.
104
Incivilsocietyweencounterthestateonlyintheformofexternality,andthemetaphorofcivilsocietyas"universalfamily"is
entirelymisplacedinthetheoryofthepoliceorgeneralauthority.ThismetaphorbelongsinsteadtothesecondstrandofHegel'sconceptionofsocialintegration,the
solidaristicstrandthatrunsfromthefamilytothecorporation,theestateassembly,andpublicopinion.But,sinceHegel(wrongly)considerstheintegratingroleofthe
familytobenegatedincivilsociety,
105
thecorporationbecomesthestartingpointoftheselfintegrationofcivilsociety.Asinthecaseofthepoliceandtheestates,
onecanlegitimatelyquestionwhetherHegel'stheoryofthecorporationrevivesapremodernformofsociallifeoranticipatesapostliberalformofsocialintegration.
Weshallreturntothisquestion,notinghereonlythatHegelwasbothharshlycriticaloftherevolutionaryandliberalattacksontheoldcorporateentitiesandinfavorof
aformofcorporateorganizationsignificantlydifferentfromthatoftheoldregime.
106
Indeed,heproposedanddefendedaversionofthecorporationthatwasopento
entryandexit,thatwasbasedonnoascriptiveorhereditaryprinciple,thatwasvoluntaryandnotallinclusive,andthatdidnotimplyanysuspensionoftheindividual
rightsofmemberswithrespecttothecorporatebody.Unlikethecaseofamodernunion,however,bothemployersandemployeeswouldbemembersof
corporationsintheeconomicsphere.Moreover,Hegeldoesnotrestrictcorporateorganizationtothatsphere:Learnedbodies,churches,andlocalcouncilsarealso
includedintheconcept.
107
TheprimaryfunctionsofthecorporationinHegel'stheoryaresocializationandeducation.Thebusinessassociationinparticularismeanttocombinevocationaltraining
withtrainingforcitizenship.Thusallofcorporatelife,assumingthealreadymentionedmodernizationofitsstructure,helpstoovercomethegapcivilsocietyproduces
betweenbourgeoisandcitizenbyeducatingindividualstointernalizethecommongoodanddevelopcivic

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virtue.Intheprocess,solidaritiesareexpectedtodevelopthatwouldaffectthemotivationalstructureofindividuals,substitutingcollectiveconcernsandidentifications
foregoisticones.Inthiscontext,Hegel'sproblemwasthesameasRousseau's,namely,howtomovefromtheparticulartothegeneral,givenmodernindividuality.But
hisanswerissignificantlydifferent,becauseHegeldidnotbelievethattherealityofthemodernlargescalestateorofamoderncivilsocietywithadynamicsystemof
needscouldorshouldbeimaginedaway,orthatindividualswhoareentirelyegotisticalinprivatelifecanattainthegeneralinthepoliticalsphere.Inhisview,generality
canbeattainedonlythroughaseriesofstepsthatincorporatesomethingofthepublicspiritinwhatisjuridicallytheprivatesphere.ThecorporationsthatRousseau,his
naturallawphilosophicalforebears,andhisrevolutionaryrepublicansuccessorssoughttobanishfromsociallife,replacetheparticularityinHegel'stheorywitha
limitedformofgeneralityonalevelwhereresocializationisactuallypossible.
WhilethecorporationrepresentsacrucialstepinthedevelopmentofthestrandofHegel'sthoughtthatstressestheselfintegrationofsociety,theantinomyofhis
politicalpositionisneverthelessvisibleinit.LikeMontesquieubeforehimandTocquevilleafterhim,hesoughtanintermediatelevelofpowerbetweenindividualand
statehefearedthepowerlessnessofatomizedsubjectsandsoughttocontrolthepotentialarbitrarinessofthestatebureaucracy.
108
Butatthesametime,inlinewith
hisdoctrineofthestate,hewantstodefendamodelofsocializationthatwillmakethetransitiontoastatecenteredpatriotismplausible.Inthiscontext,Hegel'saimis
toprovideasmoothtransitionbasedineverydaylifefromtheGeistofthecorporationastheschoolhouseofpatriotismtotheGeistofthestatewherepatriotismisto
achieveitsfull"universality."
109
Muchdepends,ofcourse,onwhethertheconceptionofthestateimpliedhereisbasedonapublic,parliamentarygenerationof
identityorabureaucraticmonarchicimpositionofunity.Butsincetheantinomyisnotresolvedonthelevelofthestate,theroleofthecorporationinpoliticaleducation
alsobecomesambiguous.This,inturn,affectsthetherelationofthecorporationtothegeneralauthorityasHeimanshows,Hegelwasneverabletodecidebetweena
medievalistdoctrineinvolving

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corporateindependenceandlegalpersonalityandaRomanlawconceptionstressingstatecontrolandoversight.
110
WhatevertheambiguitiesofHegel'scorporatedoctrine,thedifferentcenterofgravityherewhencomparedtotheconceptofthepolicecannotbeoverlooked.Both
policeandcorporationareattimesidentifiedastheindividual'ssecondfamily.Theyalsosharesomefunctionalassignments,suchaseducation.Furthermore,the
normativejustificationsproducedforeachareequallyconvincing.Thecorporationisasecondfamilysmallanddeterminateenoughinitspurposetoallowgenuine
participationbyitsmembers.Thesemembers,however,includeonlyapartofthepopulationwhileitappearsgeneralwithregardtoitsmembers,thecorporation
inevitablyrepresentsaparticularinterestwithrespecttoothergroupsandthosenot''incorporated."Nevertheless,thecorporationiscapableofcreatinginternal
motivations,anditdoesnotdependonexternalsanctionsguaranteeingcompliance.Ontheotherhand,theregulationofthepoliceisuniversalistandoughtnottoallow
theformationofparticularclustersofinterests.However,theactivityofthepolicedoesrelyonexternalsanction,involvesnoparticipationofthoseconcerned,and
doesnotleadtotheformationofautonomousmotivation.
Asthecomparisonofpoliceandcorporationshows,statisminHegel'sthoughtislinkednotonlytosomekindofpoliticalopportunismbutalsototheideaof
universality,withoutwhichnomodernconceptionofjusticeispossible.Hegelhasgoodreasonsnottomakeadefinitivenormativechoicebetweenpoliceand
corporation,betweenabstractuniversalityandsubstantialparticularity.Thesemomentsaresunderedincivilsociety,anditisHegel'sthesisthattheycanbereunited
onlyinthestate.Itwouldbeonlyonthislevelthatthecorporation,asthesecondethicalrootofthestate(afterthefamily),wouldachieveitsuniversality.
OurreconstructionofHegelchallengesinterpretationssuggestingthattheantinomiesofcivilsocietyareresolvedonthesupposedlyhigherlevelofthestate.Instead,
wewouldarguethatitismorefruitfultointerpretHegel'sthoughtasdualisticorantinomiconbothlevels.Whatwecrudelylabelas"statist"and"solidaristic"trendsin
histhoughtappearintheanalysisofbothcivilsocietyandstate.Accordingly,thedoctrineofthestateitselfcanbeanalyzedin

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termsofthesetwotrends.Thus,itwouldbeamistaketoopposetothestatistdimensionofHegel'sthoughtaquasiliberalconceptionaccordingtowhich
civilsociety,asopposedtothestate,istheonlysourceofgenuinenorms.Suchaviewwouldbeallthelessdefensiblebecauseoftheunavoidableelementof
particularismattachedtotheimportantintermediarybodiesofcivilsociety.Thus,thetransitiontoakeynormofmodernityuniversalitycannotoccurwithoutsome
participationofstateinstitutions.Evenifweweretonotethattheprotectionoftheindividualrightsofmemberscanbewrittenintothechartersofmodern
corporations,theestablishmentofuniversalrightsaspositivelawpresupposes,aswehaveseen,theactivityofthestate.Butwhichdimensionofthestate?The
questionwemustconsideriswhether,inHegel'stheory,theestateassemblyandpublicopinionortheexecutivebureaucracyandpublicadministrationisthelocus
andsourceofthehighestlevelofsocialintegrationandwillformation.
InHegel'sconception,weshouldrecall,thepolicerepresentthepenetrationofthestateintocivilsociety.Analogously,theestatesassemblyrepresentsapenetration
ofcivilsocietyintothestate.However,thecivilsocietyrepresentedinthestatethroughtheestateassemblyisalreadyorganizedtoHegelthepresenceofanatomized
civilsocietyinthestatewouldbemostregrettable.AccordingtothefreebutconvincingtranslationofKnox:
Thecirclesofassociationincivilsocietyarealreadycommunities.Topicturethesecommunitiesasoncemorebreakingupintoamereconglomerationofindividualsassoonthey
enterthefieldofpolitics,i.e.,thefieldofthehighestconcreteuniversality,iseoipsotoholdcivilandpoliticallifeapartfromoneanotherandasitweretohangthelatterinair,
becauseitsbasiscouldthenonlybetheabstractindividualityofcapriceandopinion.
111
Thisconceptiondirectlylinkstheestatesandcorporationsofcivilsocietywiththeassemblyofestates.WhileHegelatfirststressesthelinkofestatestothelegislature,
asindicatedbytheGermantermStnde,themoreimportanttheoreticalfoundationoftheassemblyisinfactthecorporation,theexistenceofwhichistheonlyreal
evidenceprovidedfortheclaimthatorganizationandcommunityarepossibleinanotherwiseatomizedcivilsociety.Thedeputiesof

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civilsocietyare"thedeputiesofthevariouscorporations."
112
Earlier,thisstatementislimitedandexpanded.Atavistically,theagriculturalestate(suddenlymeaning
onlythenobility)istobedirectlypresent,asintheassembliesoftheStndestaat.Thebusinessestate,ontheotherhand,isrepresentedbythedeputiesof
associations,communities,andcorporations(Genossenschaften,Gemeinden,Korporationen),whichareallincorporatedformsofassociation.Hegeldoesnoteven
feeltheneedtoindicateandjustifyhisexclusionfrompoliticallifeoftheoneclass,directlabor,thatissupposedlytotallydisorganized.
113
Moreimportantthanthe
conformistandconservativeelementsinhisthought,however,arehisreasonsforrecommendinghisparticularversionofrepresentativegovernment.Accordingto
Hegel,whencivilsocietyelectsitspoliticaldeputies,it"isnotdispersedintoatomisticunits,collectedtoperformonlyasingleandtemporaryact,andkepttogetherfor
amomentandnolonger."
114
Rather,intheprocessofdeliberatingandchoosingdeputies,theassociationsandassembliesofsociallifeacquireaconnectiontopolitics
inthesameactthatgivespoliticsafoundationinorganizedsociallife.Itispreciselyatthislevel,atthepointwherecivilsocietyandthestateinterpenetrate,thatHegel
rediscoversandintegrates,withoutexplicitlysayingso,theancienttoposofpoliticalsociety.
Theestateassemblyhastheroleofcompletingthejobbegunbythecorporation,butonasocietywidelevelofgeneralitythathe(andespeciallyhisEnglishtranslator)
oftenreferstoas"universality."Thisjobistobringpublicaffairsand,evenmore,publicidentityintoexistence.
115
Againparalleltothedoctrineofthecorporation,the
legislatureisregardedasamediatingorgan,thistimebetweenthegovernment(Regierung)andthepeople,differentiatedasindividualsandassociations.
116
The
formeristhuspreventedfrombecomingtyrannicalandthelatterfrombecomingamereaggregate,amasswithanunorganizedandthereforedangerousopinion.Hegel
ofcoursestressestheroleoftheestateassemblyinlegislationandevenconstitutionmaking,
117
buthismaininterestthroughoutisintheconstitutionoftheagentof
legislationand,evenmore,itspropermedium.Thecategoryofpublicityindicatesthatonlythegenuinerepresentativesofthepublicarelegitimatelyentitledtomakethe
laws.Thelawstheyenactaretobeconsidered

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legitimateonlyiftheproceduresofpublicdeliberationarerigorouslyfollowed.SinceHegelinsistsongenuineandunconstraineddiscussionanddeliberation,he
emphaticallyrejectstheimperativemandate,theprincipleofthetraditionalStndestaat.Theassemblymustbe"alivingbodyinwhichallmembersdeliberatein
commonandreciprocallyinstructandconvinceoneanother."
118
Hegel'svehementinsistenceongenuinepublicityinthelegislature(aswellasthecourts)hasotherimportantgrounds.Hewishestopromoteknowledgeofpublic
businessinsocietyand(howeverinconsistently)tomaketheestateassemblysusceptibletotheinfluenceofpublicopinion.QuitelikeTocqueville,Hegelisambivalent
concerningpublicopinion.Definedas"theformal,subjectivefreedomofindividualstoexpresstheirownjudgments,opinions,andrecommendationsconcerning
generalaffairswhenevercollectivelymanifested,"
119
publicopinionisinternallycontradictoryand"deservesasmuchtoberespectedasdespised(geachtetals
verachtet)."
120
Respectisduebecauseofahiddenstrainofrationalitythatis,however,buriedandinaccessibletopublicopinion'sopinionaboutitselfbecauseofits
concrete,empiricalformofexpression.Interpretingpublicopinionisthustheroleofintellectualandpoliticalelites.
121
Inordertopromotetheformationofpublic
opinion,Hegelsupportsextensivefreedomofpubliccommunication(especiallyspeechandpress),andheworriesonlyslightlyaboutpossibleexcesses.Indeed,he
believesthatthegenuinepublicityoflegislativedebateshasagoodchanceoftransformingpublicopinionandeliminatingitsshallowandarbitrarycomponents,
renderingitharmlessintheprocess.
122
Nevertheless,itisalsoimpliedherethatthedebatesoftheassemblycantransformpublicopinionpreciselytotheextentthatits
essentialcontentandelementsofrationalityareraisedtoahigherlevel.Inthissense,notonlydoesthepoliticalpublicofthelegislaturecontrolpublicopinion(Hegel's
stress),butaprepoliticalpublicsphereplaysanimportantroleinconstitutingpubliclifeinthepoliticalsense.
TheconceptofpublicopiniondevelopedbyHegelisnotfreeoftheantinomiesofhispoliticalthought.Thestatisttrendinthiscontextisexpressedintheconcernto
controlanddisempowerpublicopinioninordertomakeitcompatiblewiththemanagementofthestate.Thesolidaristictrend,ontheotherhand,involvesthe

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raisingofpublicopiniontoahigherlevelofrationalityinaparliamentaryframeworkbetweenstateandsociety,itselfexposedtothecontrolsofpublicity.Fromthefirst
pointofview,publicopinionisultimatelyathreat,andtheproperrelationshiptoitonthepartofpolitical(includingparliamentary)elitesismanipulative.Fromthe
secondpointofview,publicopinionistheconditionofpossibilityofpoliticalpubliclife,andtheproperrelationshiptoitonthepartofeliteswouldhavetobeoneof
publicdialogueinwhichtruthwouldbeanopenquestiontobedecidedbythemoreconvincingargumentsratherthantheaprioripossessionofoneofthesides.The
publicsphereoftheestateassemblyplaysaroleinenlighteningandeducatingpublicopinionpreciselybecausetruthhereisnotknowninadvancebutratheremerges
duringthedebateitself,alongwiththevirtuesthatcanserveasexamplestothelargeraudience.
123
OnetrendinHegel'sthoughtimpliesthatinthosestateswherethe
lifeofthelegislatureisgenuinelypublicthestructureofpublicopinionwillitselfchange:"Whatisnowsupposedtobevalidgainsitsvaliditynolongerthroughforce,
evenlesshabitandcustom,butbyinsightandargument(EinsichtundGrnde)."
124
Atothertimes,however,thedialoguemodelofrationalpoliticaldeliberationis
restrictedtotheparliamentarypublicsphere.Inthesecontexts,thestatisttrendinHegel'sthought,supportedbythefalseanalogybetweenthesearchforscientific
truthandtheattainmentofnormativetruthinpolitics,stopshimfromextendingthemodeltothepublicsphereasawhole.
Atissuehere,aswellasinHegel'spoliticaltheoryasawhole,istheultimatelocusandnatureofpublicfreedom.Weaccepttheinterpretationaccordingtowhich
HegelsoughttodevelopapoliticaldoctrineintermsofawholeseriesofmediationsthatrelativizetheRomanlawdistinctionbetweenprivateandpubliclaw.
125
But
weacceptitwithtworeservations.
First,weseethemediationsastwodistinctseries:civilservants/police/executive/crown,andestates/corporation/estateassembly/publicopinion.Thetwoexpressthe
conflictingtrendsinHegel'sthought.Indeed,theverymannerinwhichtheymediatethespheresregulatedbyprivateandpubliclawissignificantlydifferentineach
case.Thefirstseriesinvolvespubliclawcategoriestakingonbothprivateandpublicroles.Thesecondindicatesprivatelaw

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entitiesdevelopingstructuresofpublicityandtakingonpublicfunctionsrootedinthesestructures.
126
Thissecondpatternisthesameasthemodelinwhich
constitutionalrightsconstitutethepubliclawrightsofprivatesubjects.
127
Oncethesetwopatternsareseparated,however,themeaningofthepublicsphereinHegel
becomesuncertain.Isitsprimaryparadigmthatofpublicauthorityorthatofpubliccommunication?Andifhemaintainsbothparadigms,whatistobetheir
relationship?
Second,wedonotaccepttheimplicitidentificationofstateandpublicpresupposedbytheinterpretation,ortheideathateachsucceedingstepinHegel'sexposition
represents(evenintermsofhisownargument)anunambiguouslyhigherlevelofpubliclifethantheonebefore.ForHegel,undoubtedlythehighestpurposeofpublic
lifeistogeneratearationaluniversalidentitythatheequateswiththepatrioticethosofthestate.Whatremainsuncleariswhetherthegenerationofthisethosis
assignedtoastatespheredominatedbytheexecutiveandlinkedonlytotheprojectionsofthestateintocivilsociety,ortoaspheredominatedbyalegislature
drawingonautonomoussocietalresourcessuchasthecorporationandpublicopinion.Theissuecannotbedecidedifwestresstheproblemofmediatingbetween
privateandpublicrealmsalonemostcategoriesofHegel'stheoryofSittlichkeit,beginningwiththesystemofneeds,providesuchmediations.Butitcanbedecided
ifwelinktheprocessofgeneratingamodern,rationalcollectiveidentitytotheconceptofpublicfreedomthatHegelrepeatedlyusesinthiscontext,thatis,toa
processthatallowstheeffectiveparticipationofindividualsinthefreeshapingofthemeaningofa"we."Obviously,publicfreedomisquiteabitmorethanthekindof
freedomavailabletotheagentsofthesystemofneeds,whocannotparticipateintheformationofanycollectiveidentitywhatsoever.ButHegelalsoregistersserious
doubtsaboutwhetherthemodernstateassuchcanbethelocusofpublicfreedom,doubtsthatruncompletelycontrarytothestatiststraininhisthought.
Weshouldnoteonceagainthat,whileHegelnowheresystematizesaconceptionofthepublicsphere(ffentlichkeit),thecategoriesofpublicauthority,public
freedom,publicspirit,publicopinion,andpublicityplaykeyrolesinhiswork.LetusrecallIlting'sthesisthatthePhilosophyofRightseeksabovealltosynthesizethe
negative

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freedomofmodernliberalismandthepositivefreedomofancientrepublicanthought.Thecategoriesofthepublicsphererepresentimportantwaysinwhich
republicanismcouldbesustainedinHegel'sthoughtafterhissupposedconservativeturn.Butevenherethereisanessentialdifferencewithancientrepublicanism.
InsteadofrestrictingtheformationofpublicfreedomtoasinglesociallevelpoliticalsocietyHegelworksoutamodernrepublicantheoryinwhichawholeseries
oflevelshavekeyrolestoplay,includingthepublicrightsofprivatepersons,thepublicityoflegalprocesses,thepubliclifeofthecorporation,andtheinteraction
betweenpublicopinionandthepublicdeliberationofthelegislature.Notalloftheseprocesseshaveapublicpoliticalpurpose.Yettheyarethestagesoflearning
leadingtotheformationofpublicidentity.Whatiscommontoallofthemisthefreepublicparticipationofthoseconcernedintheformationofdecisions.
128
The
publicpurposeoftheactsofthepolice,attimesidentifiedasgeneral(allgemeine)andevenpublic(ffentliche)power,isbeyonddoubtforHegel.Thesameistrue
oftheactsoftheexecutiveand,inaRechtsstaat,ofthecrownaswell.YetinthesecasesHegelspeaksneitheroftheformationofpublicspiritnoroftheactualization
ofpublicfreedom.Infact,ithasbeennoticedthatHegel'smostexplicitdiscussionofpublicfreedomjuxtaposesthecorporation,belongingtocivilsociety,tothe
modernstate:
Inourmodernstates(modernenStaaten)citizenshaveonlyarestrictedpartinthegeneral(allgemeinen)businessofthestateyetitisessentialtoprovidemenethical
entitieswithactivityofgeneralcharacteroverandabovetheirprivatebusiness.Thisgeneralactivitywhichthemodernstatedoesnotalwaysprovideisfoundinthe
corporation.
129
InthispassageHegelnotonlyregistersthetensionbetweenthemodernstateandpubliclifebutidentifiesadifferentlocusforpublicfreedomthandidclassical
antiquity.Thecorporationsare,inhiswords,"thepillarsofpublicfreedom(ffentlichenFreiheit)."
130
YetforHegelthepublicfreedompossibleinthecorporation,
involvingarelativelyhighlevelofparticipation,cannotbeprimaryinsocietyasawhole.PelczynskiandothersaresurelyrightwhentheyarguethatHegelbelievedthat
hehadprovedthat"the[modern]stateistheactualityofconcretefreedom."
131
Thisargumentissupported,ingeneral,bythegreateruniversalityofthe

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estateassembly,thisveritablecorporationofcorporations,overtheinevitablyparticularisticsocietalassociations.Butitalsodisguisestherealityofthemodernstateas
ahierarchyofoffices,asthemonopolisticpossessorofthemeansofviolence,andasacompulsoryassociation.Byreversingthesociologicallyobvioushierarchyof
themodernstate,makingthelegislatureprimaryandtheexecutivesecondary,Hegelisconstructingalegitimationbothinthesenseofcounterfactuallyjustifyinga
structureofauthorityandinthesenseofestablishingasetofnormativeclaimsopentocritique.Thesecriticalpotentialscomeintoview,forexample,whenthe
assemblyfromwhichthenormativeclaimsofstatearedrawnisdepictedasitspenetrationbycivilsociety.
Hegel,thepeerlesssocialtheoristofhistime,wasclearlyawareofthesociologyofthemodernstate.WearefortunatetohaveatourdisposalIlting'scareful
reconstructionofHegel'sturnfromanearlierconceptionstressingthefreedomofthecitizeninthestatetoonestressingthefreedomofthestate.
132
Theshiftmay
wellhavehadindependentintellectualmotivations,whichwerethenreinforcedbyHegel'sreactiontothereactionaryKarlsbaddecrees.Hegelknewandrejectedboth
absolutistandrevolutionarystatism,assomuchoftheRechtsphilosophiedemonstrates.IsittoofarfetchedtoassumethatareactionaryturninPrussianpoliticsmade
himrealize(asdidTocquevillesoonafter)thatfeaturesoftwosupposedlyaberrantversionsofthemodernstatebelongedtoitsidealtypeinstead?Ifthiswereso,the
shifttoinstitutionsofcivilsocietyasthepillarsofpublicfreedomwouldbelogicalandalsoindispensablefromthepointofviewofstrengtheningthisdimensioninthe
parliamentaryinstitutionsofthestate.Thus,Hegelinhismaturetextnotonlyrestrictedthepossibilityofthecitizen'sfreedominthestatebutalsoexpanded,inIlting's
words,theliberties(Freiheitsrechte)ofcivilsocietyintorightsofparticipation(Teilnehmerrechte).
ThemostobviousobjectiontoourreadingofHegelwouldbethathehimselfdidnotadmitand,forsystematicreasons,wouldhaverejectedtheideaoftwo
unreconciledstrandsinhisthought.Wearenotparticularlyconcernedwiththiscriticism(inanycase,itisrefutedbyIlting'sreconstruction)orwiththesystematicaims
ofHegel'swork.WeareinterestedonlyinrebuildingHegel'sconceptionaroundwhatmaywellbeasubtextualantinomyinhis

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politicalphilosophysothatwecantraceanewtheoryofcivilsocietybacktotheinstitutionallymostelaboratedconceptionfromwhichwecanstilllearn.Thus,amore
seriousobjectiontoourreconstructionwouldinsist,asdidtheyoungMarxin1843,thatthedimensionswebringintospecialreliefrepresentelementsinHegel's
thoughtthatarenotmodern,incontrasttothemodernityofhisconceptionofthesystemofneeds,ontheoneside,andthebureaucracy,ontheother.Inthisreading,
Hegel's"corporation"isanattempttosavemedievalcorporatedoctrinehisestateassembly,theinstitutionsoftheStndestaathisnotionofpublicopinion,theearly
bourgeoispublicsphereandperhapstheveryideaofpublicfreedom,theancientcitystates.Accordingly,ifwearetolookforthemodernityofHegel'ssocial
theory,wewoulddobettertofocusonthecriticalaspectsofhisdepictionofthecapitalisteconomy(Lukcs)orhisanticipationofthewelfarestate(Avineri).
Ofcourse,eachinterpreterfavorabletoHegeltriestointerprethimthroughaspecificconception,andeventoenlisthisalliance.Thetheoryofcivilsocietyweare
tryingtodevelopisnoexceptiontothisrule.Nevertheless,webelieve,inthecontextofbothsubsequentsocialandintellectualhistory,thatthecategorieswestress
werenotmereatavismsinHegel'stimeandhavebecomeevenlesssointhepostliberal(andnowalsothepoststatist)epoch.Inthiscontext,thehistoryofsocial
theoryoffersanimportant,ifhardlyconclusive,proof.WhilethetheoryofthesystemofneedswasfruitfullydevelopedbytheMarxiantradition,andthetheoryof
bureaucracybecameacornerstoneoftheworksofWeberandhisfollowers,theideaofcivilsocietyasthecentralterrainofsocialintegrationandpublicfreedomwas
tobecomejustasfruitfulinalineoftheoreticaldevelopmentthathaditsbeginningsinTocqueville,itscontinuationinDurkheim,inEnglish,French,andAmerican
pluralism,andinGramsci,anditsculminationinParsonsandHabermas.Inouropinion,thistraditionofinterpretationhasshownattheveryleastthatthebasic
categoriesofHegel'sRechtsphilosophiecanbethoroughlytranslatedintomodernterms.IfwearetobelievethetestimonyofsocialactorsEastandWest,Northand
South,suchreconstructedtermsofanalysishavenotyetexhaustedtheircriticalandconstructivepotential.

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3
TheoreticalDevelopmentintheTwentiethCentury
TheuntenabilityoftheHegeliansynthesisandthecollapseofitssystematicassumptionsdonotrepresenttheendofthetheoryofcivilsociety.Subsequenttheorists,
however,tendedtofocusonlyonspecificdimensionsofthemultilayeredHegelianconcept,developingthesetotheexclusionofallothers.Marxstressedthenegative
aspectsofcivilsociety,itsatomisticanddehumanizingfeaturesbutinsodoing,hemanagedtodeepentheanalysisoftheeconomicdimensionsofthesystemofneeds
andwentfarbeyondHegelinanalyzingthesocialconsequencesofcapitalistdevelopment.
1
Tocquevilleremovedtheambiguitiesfromthediscussionofpublicity,
discoveredinvoluntaryassociationsamodernequivalentoftheanachronisticcorporation,anddemonstratedthecompatibilityofcivilsocietyanddemocracy,albeitin
acontext(America)thatheconsideredtobeanuncharacteristicversionofmodernsociety.GramscireversedthereductionisttrendoftheMarxiananalysisby
concentratingonthedimensionofassociationsandculturalintermediationsandbydiscoveringmodernequivalentsofHegel'scorporationsandestates.Finally,
Parsonsfocusedonthedimensionofsocialintegrationintermsofawholeseriesofinstitutionsconstitutiveofwhathecalled"societalcommunity."MorelikeHegel
inhissystematicaspirationsthananyoftheothers,Parsonsattemptedtosynthesizethenormativeclaimsoftraditionwiththoseofmodernity.Hisconcessionsto
ideology,againreminiscentofHegel,werethepricehepaidforthefailedattempt.
Inthischapterourprimaryinterestisintwotwentiethcenturyattemptstodeveloptheoriesofcivilsocietyonthefoundations

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providedbyHegel.Thisseemstousthebeststrategytotesttheviabilityofaformoftheorizingoriginallyattachedtotheproblemsofearlymodernstatesand
industrialsocietyandbasedonamodeofempiricalgeneralizationwhoseplausibilityrestedonsurvivingideologiesandinstitutionsfrompremodernconstellationssuch
ascitystates,Stindestaaten,andsocietiesoforders.
ThecombinationofParsonsandGramsciiseasilyjustified.BothareinfluencedbyHegel,andyetbothcorrecthimbydifferentiatingcivilsocietyfromtheeconomyas
wellasthestate.Theoneovercomesliberal,theotherMarxian,reductionism.Bothareinclinedtointerpretcivilsocietyinfunctionalterms,asthesphereresponsible
forthesocialintegrationofthewhole.Atthesametime,bothareaware,evenifambiguously,ofthenormafiveachievementsofmoderncivilsociety.Thecrucial
differencesbetweenthem,linkedtotheirdifferenttheoreticaltraditionsandpoliticalassumptions,canbefoundinthewaytheycombinenormativeandfunctional
theory.Parsonsidentifiesthenormativelydesirablewiththeactualfunctioningcivilsocietyofthepresent,therebyfallingintoanunconvincingapologyforcontemporary
Americansociety.Gramsci,focusingonthenormativedesirabilityofafuture(socialist)civilsociety,tendstotreatthecivilsocietyofthepresentonlyintermsofits
functionforasystemofdominationhecompletelyrejects.Hiscombinationofanexcessofutopiawithanexcessofrealismdoesnotallowhimtoadoptagenuinely
criticalattitudetotheSovietUnion,thecountryoftherevolutionwherenotonlybourgeoisbutallcivilsocietywassuppressed.Intheend,then,neitherissufficiently
criticalofhisownideologicaltradition,andasaresult,neitherisfullyabletothematizethedualityofmoderncivilsocietyitsliberatingpromiseaswellasitslinksto
heteronomy.
Parsons:
CivilSocietybetweenTraditionandModernity
TheclassicalsociologicaltraditionbroughttocompletionbyTalcottParsonsrarelyusedtheconceptofcivilsociety,foritwasundoubtedlyconsideredaremnantof
presocialscientificdiscourseabouthumanaffairs.AllthemoreremarkableisthereappearanceoftheconceptinParsons'swork.Tobesure,itappearsbothina
newdisguiseandinthecontextofanewmodelofdifferentiation.

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Parsons'sconceptofasocietalcommunitythatisdistinguishedfromtheeconomy,thepolity,andtheculturalsphererepresentsasynthesisoftheliberalconceptof
civilsocietyasdifferentiatedfromthestatewiththestressonsocialintegration,solidarity,andcommunitythattypifiesthesociologicaltraditioninitiatedbyDurkheim
andTnnies.Thissynthesis,inwhichbothindividuationandintegrationarecentral,involves,remarkablyenough,apartialandconsciousreturntotheHegeliantheory
ofcivilsociety.
2
While(unlikeHegelbutsimilarlytoGramsci)Parsonsdifferentiatesthesocietalcommunityfromtheeconomyaswellasthestate,thecontinuities
betweenthetwoconceptionsaremorestrikingthanthedifferences.
ForParsons,asforHegel,modernsocietyisstructuredbynormativeframeworksofplurality(associations)andlegality.Publicityandparticipationarealsopresent,
butasinHegel'swork,theyaredeemphasized.Moreover,Parsons,likeHegel,isreadytopronounceasingleversionofmodernsociety(inhiscase,theUnited
States)asmoreorlessthehighestrealizationofthepotentialsofmodernity.''Thecompletionofthesociety...calledmodern"willtakeplacewhentheintegration
problemsofthissocietyortypeofsocietyareresolved.Finally,Parsonsisconsciousofthedebtthatmodernsocietybearstothehistoricalprojectoftheageof
democraticrevolutions,evenifheconsidersthisprojecttobefullyaccomplished(andhenceannulledasaproject)bythedevelopedWesternsocieties:"Themore
privilegedsocietiesofthelatetwentiethcenturyhavetoanimpressivedegree,whichwouldhavebeenimpossibletopredictacenturyago,successfullyinstitutionalized
themore'liberal'and'progressive'valuesofthattime."
3
Asfarasthesesocietiesareconcerned,thestrugglefordemocratizationis,onthewhole,relegatedtothe
nineteenthcentury.
4
ThislastthesisconcerningtheactualaccomplishmentofthevaluesoftheageofrevolutionsopensParsons'sconceptofmodernsocietytothechargeof"bourgeois
apologetics"leveledatallpost1848usagesofthe"utopia"ofcivilsociety.
5
Parsons,though,isideologicalonlyinthesensethatHegelwas,namely,intheextentto
whichhemixesnormativeinsightwithmystificationsconcerningexistinginstitutions.Yet,andagainlikeHegel,thetheorypointsbeyondideologyinsofarasitlinks
thesenormativeinsights

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tothepotentialitiesofexistingsociety,evenifParsonshimselfdoesnotrecognizethattheseareactualizedonlypartiallyandselectively.
Parsons'sdivisionofthesocialsystemintofourfunctionsorsubsystemsappearsdistinctlyunhistoricalnexttoHegel'sspecificationthatitismoderndevelopmentthat
producesthedifferentiationbetweenstateandcivilsociety.ButParsons,too,insiststhatinearliersocieties,undifferentiatedinstitutionalcomplexescarriedoutmore
thanone,andpossiblyall,ofthemajorsocialfunctions.Forexample,intribalsocieties,kinshipwasthekeysocial,cultural,political,andeconomicinstitutionthe
feudalbondintheHighMiddleAgesorganizedsocial,economic,andpoliticalrelationsandtheabsolutistmercantiliststatewasapoliticalandeconomicentity.The
developmentofmodernityisthusconceivedasthedifferentiationofwhathadbeenimplicitlythereinallsocieties,ininstitutionsthatmayhavehaddimensionslinking
themtoallfunctionsbutwhosecenterofgravitywastiedupwithasinglefunction.Thisteleologicalinterpretationofhistorymaywellinvolveanimpermissible
projectionofmodernWesterncategoriestopremodernandnonWesternsocieties,sothattheuniversalapplicabilityofacategorysuchasdifferentiationistherefore
opentodoubt.
6
Therelevanceofthiscategorytomoderndevelopmentitselfis,nevertheless,highlyplausible.
7
ToParsons,thesocietalcommunityistheintegrativesubsystemofsociety:Itsfunctionistointegrateadifferentiatedsocialsystembyinstitutionalizingculturalvaluesas
normsthataresociallyacceptedandapplied.Thedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunityfromthecultural,economic,andpoliticalsubsystemswasaccomplished,
accordingtoParsons,bythethreemodernrevolutions:theindustrial,thedemocratic,andtheeducational.Eachoftheseisrepresentedasastepin"thesocietal
community'sdeclarationofindependence"fromtheothersubsystems,which,however,alsoacquiretheirdifferentiatedinstitutionsintheprocess.
8
Actually,in
Parsons'sanalysis,thedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunitywasbeguninthemajorEnglishantecedentstothethreerevolutions:(1)thecomingofreligiousplurality
andtoleration,whichdifferentiatedreligionandthestatefromoneanotherwhiletosomedegreefreeingthesocietalcommunityfromareligious

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definitionoffullmembership(2)theestablishmentofpurelyeconomicrelationsthroughamarketeconomyfreedofsocial,ifnotyetpolitical,restraints(3)the
developmentofanaristocraticformofrepresentativegovernmentthatdifferentiatedgovernmentanditsconstituency(primarilythearistocracyandthegentry)and
stabilizedtheirrelationsthroughparliamentaryrepresentationand(4)thedevelopmentofaformoflawthathelpedtocarveoutasocietalspherenotopentoarbitrary
interventionevenbythestateitself.Inpresentingtheseantecedents,Parsonssimplifiesbylinkingstepsinthedifferentiationofeachofthefoursubsystemstoasingle
process,evenifthestephasconsequencesforothersubsystemsaswell.Thus,forexample,thedevelopmentoftheruleoflaw,whichhelinkstotheinstitutionalization
ofthelegalprofessionandthestabilizationofasystemofindependentcourts,isalsothemostimportantpreparationforadifferentiatedsocietalcommunity.
Significantly,Parsonsconsidersthattheprocessofdifferentiationofthesocietalcommunitywouldhavebeenincompletewithoutallthreerevolutions.Inoneversionof
hisargument,theserevolutionsrepresentthedifferentiationoftheintegrativesubsystemfromoneothersubsystemineachcase.
9
Inanotherversion,
10
Parsonsinsists
thateachrevolutionactuallystrengthenedtheothersubsystem:theeconomicinonecase,thebureaucraticadministrativeintheother.Thereisnoinconsistencyhere,
however,becauseParsonsseesdifferentiationasareciprocalandnonzerosumprocessthatinvolvesinstitutionbuildinginalltherelevantspheres.Butthereisone
majorinconsistencyinhisaccount:Thedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunityfromthemarketeconomyisnowhereprovidedforinthedoctrineofthethree
revolutions,inspiteofgeneralclaimstothecontrary.Asaresult,theargumentmustsurrenderitsparallelstructureinparticular,thedramaticprocessinwhichthe
societalcommunitydeclaresindependencefromthestate,vividlyportrayedbyParsons,doesnothaveaparallelintherelationshipofthesocietalcommunitytothe
newtypeofmarketeconomy.WemightsuggestthatParsonsherecameupagainstaproblemhesoughttodeemphasize:theproblemofcapitalismandacenturyof
socialistresponsestoit,symbolizing,asKarlPolnyinoted,society'sselfdefenseagainsttheeconomy.

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InParsons'sconception,thedemocraticrevolution,whosecenterwasFrance,certainlydidleadtoatremendousstrengtheningofthestatepowerthatwasfirstbuiltin
theepochofabsolutism.Nevertheless,fromthepointofviewofthesocietalcommunity,theoriginalcontributionofthisrevolutionwasthecreationofanewtypeof
solidary,nationalcollectivitywhosemembershaveequalclaimtopoliticalrightsinadditiontothecivilrightsalreadyaffirmedinEnglishdevelopment.
11
The
emergenceofthisnewtypeofcollectivityinvolvesareversalofprimacywithrespecttotheabsolutistera:"Thesocietalcommunitywastobedifferentiatedfrom
governmentasitssuperior,legitimatelyentitledtocontrolit."
12
Again,noinconsistencyisinvolvedinaffirmingthesimultaneousstrengtheningofstatepowerandthe
developmentofamoreautonomoussocietycapableofdefendingitselfagainstthispower,becauseParsonsrightlydoesnotconsiderpowertobeazerosumgame.
13
Obviously,Parsonsthoughtoftheindustrial"revolution"asentirelyparalleltothedemocraticone.Thisistrue,however,onlyifwetaketherelationshipofpolity
economytobethethecentralaxisofinterest.Accordingly,theindustrialrevolution,whosecenterwasGreatBritain,completedthetrendofearliercapitalist
developmentbyenormouslyextendingthedivisionofsociallabor(inDurkheim'ssense)andbydifferentiatinganeconomicallydefinedsocietyfromthestate(in
Polnyi'ssense),leadingtothecomplementarygrowthofbothsubsystems(asbothDurkheimandPolnyinoted).
Sofartheparallelbetweenthetworevolutionsworks.Butifwechooseasouraxiseconomysocietalcommunity,asdidPolnyi(onwhomParsonsotherwise
greatlyrelies),theparallelismstops.Insteadofdifferentiationandcomplementaryexpansion,theindustrialrevolutionproducedaneconomicsociety(themarket
economy)thatthreatenedtosubsumeandreduceautonomoussocialnorms,relationships,andinstitutions.WhileonewouldhardlyexpectParsonstobesensitiveto
theMarxiandiscussionsofreificationandcommodification,itisindeedsurprisingthathedoesnotexaminePolnyi'sthesisthataselfregulatingmarketproducesan
"economization"ofsociety,againstwhichaprogramoftheselfdefenseofsocietyemergedinthenineteenthcentury.

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Indeed,thisprogramhadmanyfeaturesparalleltotheeighteenthcenturyliberalconfrontationofsocietyandstatetowhichParsons'sconceptionofthedemocratic
revolutioninpartrefers.
AspectsofPolnyi'sstressonsociety'sselfdefenseagainstthedestructivetrendsofclassicalcapitalismdo,ofcourse,returninthediscussionoffeaturesofthe
twentiethcenturywelfarestateandunionism.
14
But,characteristically,Parsonsconsiderstheissuesolvedwiththedevelopmentofthewelfarestate.Indeed,thelatter
seemsto"transcend"bothcapitalismandsocialism.Uncharacteristically,however,theproblemisnotconsideredinthecontextofthethesisofdifferentiation.One
suspectsthatthisthesiscouldnothavebeenappliedinaconsistentandconvincingfashiontotheeconomysocietalcommunityaxis.
Thethesisoftheeducationalrevolutionaddressesthesameissueonceagain,thoughthistimeinaratherfuturisticperspective.Curiously,itisinthiscontextthatwe
findsomeofParsons'smostcriticalremarkswithrespecttoclassicalcapitalistdevelopment:
Thecapitalistalternativeemphasized,first,freedomfromtheascriptivepast,thenprotectionfromgovernmental"interference."Thesocialistalternativeproposedthemobilization
ofgovernmentalpowertoinstitutefundamentalequality,ignoringalmostcompletelytheexigenciesofeconomicefficiency...Bothfailedtogroundthemselvesinadequate
conceptionsofthesocietalcommunityandoftheconditionsnecessarytomaintainitssolidarity.
15
TheAmericancenterededucationalrevolution,abstractlylocatedontheaxisculturesocietalcommunity,implies,accordingtoParsons,amoreconsistentfreeingof
thesocialstructurefromallascriptivepatternsofstratificationthancouldbeprovidedforbyprivateproperty(capitalism)orgovernmentaloffice(socialism),providing
equalityofopportunity(thoughnotensuringequalityofresults).Evenmoreimportantly,hemaintainsthatthecentralinstitutionalcomplexofthisrevolution,the
university,providesforthedevelopmentofanassociationalpatternofsocialorganizationthatistobedistinguishedfromandcounterposedtothebureaucraticand
individualisticformspromotedbythestateandthemarketeconomy,respectively.Thus,heseestheeducationalrevolution,amazinglyenough,asasolidaristic
correctivenotonlyto

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socialismandcapitalismbutalsotothedemocraticandindustrialrevolutions.Itpromises,inshort,apotentialcompletionofmodernitycapableofsecuringthe
autonomyandintegrationoftheintegrativesubsystem,thesocietalcommunity,aliascivilsociety.
Parsons'sclaimthatthemodernuniversityprovidesanalternativemodeloforganizationtobothmarketandbureaucracywouldbebizarreifitwerenotsimplya
specialcaseofhisgeneralargumentabouttheassociationalcharacterofcontemporaryAmericansociety.Beforeturningtohisideologicalmystificationofaspectsof
thissociety,however,wemusthighlightanotherdeficiencyinhisconception.
WehavealreadynotedthatatleastonestrandofParsons'sconception,apparentlycontradictedbyanother,makestheemergenceofthemodernsocietalcommunity
aresidualresultoftheselfdifferentiationoftheothersubsystemsinthethreerevolutions.Withinapurelyfunctionalistscheme,suchadepictionleadstonointernal
contradictions,butParsonscancontinuetooperatewithinsuchaschemeonlytotheextentthathisevolutionarymodeldeniesitselfthepossibilityofexplainingthe
actualmechanismsofsocialchangeinvolvingactionandconflict.Hecandothisonlyasasociologistasahistorian,herepeatedlyrunsintotheproblemofsocial
movementsandconflicts.Butthefunctionalistsociologistisreadywithhisanswer:Theradicaldemocraticmovement,thesocialists,andthenewleftaredepictedas
thefundamentalistwingsofthethreerevolutions
16
whoseprojectsapparentlyinvolvethesortofshortcircuitingofprocessesofproblemsolvingascribedto"Value
orientedmovements"byNeilSmelser.
17
Parsons,however,forgetsSmelser'sothertypeofmovement,the"normorientedmovement"thatiscapableofpositively
influencingsocialchange.ThisomissionontheleveloftheoryisallthemoreoddgiventhatParsonshimselfdepictedthecivilrightsmovementintheUnitedStatesin
termsofthisparadigm.
18
AsaresultofthetheoreticalshortcircuitinParsons'sapproachtosocialmovements,therearetwoissuesthathecannotevenraise,muchlessresolve:theproblemof
theagenciesinvolvedintheselfconstitutionofthenewtypeofsocietalcommunityhedescribes,andtheproblemoftheresistanceofanincreasinglymodernsocietal
communitytotrendsthreateningitsdifferentiation.Weshalladdresstheseinturn.

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Withregardtothefirstissue,inParsons'sanalysis,agencycanapparentlyonlyshortcircuitsocialchangethatiscausedbyobjectiveprocesses.Inthecaseofthe
othersubsystems,however,thestatemakersandjurists,theentrepreneursandmanagers,theeducatorsandfiduciariesareneverdescribedasfundamentalistsofany
kind.Thus,actionintheserviceofsocialchangeispossible,butonlyonthepartofelitesandforsubsystemsotherthanthesocietalcommunitywhosedifferentiation
doesinthissensebecomeresidual.
Withregardtothesecondissue,withthedemocraticmovement,theworkingclassmovement,andthestudentmovementalldescribedasfundamentalist,wegetthe
impressionthattheirformsofactionaswellastheirgoalsaimedatdedifferentiationineachcase,thatis,theabsorptionofthemoderneconomy,state,andeducational
systemintoasolidaristicsocietalcommunitywhoseownmodernitywouldtherebybeplacedindoubt.Allofthesemovementsdidindeedhavesomeelementsand
ideologiesthatwerefundamentalistinexactlythissense.However,Parsonsfailedtoseethatotherdimensionsoftheverysamemovementsstruggledpreciselyfor
socialautonomyand,therefore,forthedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunity,alongwithitsnormsandinstitutions.Thisissimplytheothersideofhisfailuretotake
intoaccountthetendenciesofthemodernstate,thecapitalisteconomy,andevenmodernsciencetodedifferentiation,thatis,theabsorptionandpenetrationofthe
othersocialspheres.Atheoryofmodernsocietythatfallstoseethesetrendsnecessarilyturnsideologicalandapologetic.
19
Parsons'stheoryofthesocietalcommunityisanexcellentobjectofimmanentcriticismbecausehebothelaboratesthenormativeachievementsofmodernityand
representstheseasiftheywerealreadyinstitutionalized.Indeed,hefacilitatesthejobofthecriticbypointingtointegrationproblemsthatimplicitlythrowmuchdoubt
ontheclaimsofsuccessfulinstitutionalization.TheconceptionofsocietalcommunityrepresentsyetanotheranswertoHobbesandAustin,maintainingtheexistenceof
anormativeorderwithoutthedeusexmachinaofsovereignty.
20
Theconceptitself,bringingtogetherTnnies'swellknownpairingGemeinschaft/Gesellschaft,
consciouslyaimsatthesamekindofsynthesisofancientand

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moderncategoriesasdidHegelinhisdoctrineofcivilsociety.Ifanything,Parsons'smodelseemstoputgreateremphasisthanHegelonelementsthatmodernand
traditionalsocietieshaveincommon.Hedefinesthesocietalcommunityintermsofthetwodimensionsof"normativity"and"collectivity."Theformerisasystemof
legitimateorderproducedbytheinstitutionalizationofculturalvaluesthelatteristheaspectofsocietyasasingle,bounded,organizedentity.Weshouldnotethat
Parsons,likeHegel,isreadytoseethewholeasa"politicallyorganized''collectivityofcollectivities:"Perhapstheprototypeofanassociationisthesocietalcommunity
itself,consideredasacorporatebodyofthecitizensholdingprimarilyconsensualrelationstoitsnormativeorder."
21
Butinthecaseofamodernsociety,equal
emphasisisplacedonthemultiplicityofoftenconflictinggroups,strata,loyalties,androlesthemodernsocietalcommunityisatbesta"collectivityofcollectivities."
Suchanoverarchingcollectivesolidarity,whichissufficienttoproduceacapacity,aswellasmotivations,foreffectivecollectiveaction,
22
ispossiblebecauseof
loyaltytonormsbasedonconsensus.Here,too,Parsonsassumesakindofunificationhardlycharacteristicofmodernsocietieshisnotionthatultimately"Valuesare
mainlylegitimizedinreligiousterms"tendstocommithimtotheviewthatalegitimatesocialorderrestsonsharedsubstantivevalues.But,onceagain,heisreadytotry
tomodernizetheconceptionby(inconsistently)referringtoa"relativeconsensus,"onethatisonly"amatterofdegree,"
23
which,however,couldhardlyplaytherole
ofrepresentingthedecisiveforumthatresolvestheconflictofloyaltiesamongindividuals,andevenwithineachindividual.Amerematterofdegreecannotprovidethat
"highpositioninanystablehierarchyofloyalties"thatParsonsseekstoascribetoloyaltytothesocietalcommunityitself.
24
Iftheoverallcontoursoftheconceptionareopentothechargeofinsufficientlyrepresentingmodernsociety,initsdetailtheargumentiscapableofdealingwiththis
objection.OnceagainthereareuncannysimilaritiestoHegel,thistimeintermsoftheveryarchitectonicofthepresentation:Modernsocietalcommunityisunderstood
aboveallasaframeworkoflawsandassociations.AswehavealreadyarguedwithrespecttoHegel,thereisonenotableabsencethesystemofneedsanda
notablepresencetheciti

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zenshipcomplex.Thelatter,understoodintermsofthreecategoriesofrights,isinfactanoutgrowthofthesystemoflaws.
ForParsons,themostimportantstepintheemergenceofamodernlegalsystemisthetransitionfromlawasaninstrumentofstatepolicytolawasthe"mediating
interface"betweenstateandsocietalcommunity,formallyconstitutiveoftheirdifferentiation.Suchalegalsystemputsthestatein"thedualpositionofdefiningand
enforcingcertainlegallyembodiedrestrictionsonitsownpowers."Thisparadoxcouldbesustainedonthebasesofjudicialindependence,thecorporateintegrityof
thelegalprofession,andespeciallytheopennessoftheboundariesofthelegalsystem"permittingtentativeapproachestoconsensusbeforefull'legalization'ofanorm
anditsenforcement''basedonappealsto"collectivesolidarity,moralstandards,andpracticality."
25
WhileParsonsassignsdefinitepriorityheretothedevelopmentof
thecommonlawwithrespecttocontinentalvariants,quiteevidentlythedevelopmentof"constitutionalism,"thatis,theenforceabilityofconstitutionsevenagainststate
policy,waseverywherestructurallyrelatedtothedifferentiationofamodernsocietalcommunityandthestate.
26
Thecitizenshipcomplex,anoutgrowthofconstitutionalismandtheruleoflaw,representsitsfurtherdevelopmentinthreeareas.(1)Embodyinguniversalnorms,
modernrightsanchorconstitutionsinprincipleshigherthanthetraditionsofparticularsocieties.(2)Representingamovefromobjectivelawtosubjectiveright,modern
citizenshipmakesconstitutionalclaimsactionableonthepartofindividualsandgroups.Asaresult,(3)thecitizenshipcomplexnotonlyfurtherdifferentiatessocietal
communityandstatebutestablishesthepriorityoftheformeroverthelatterinthesenseofbothnormativeprincipleandpoliticalaction.
Parsons'sdefinitionof"society"asthesocialsystemhavingthehighestlevelofselfsufficiencyisresolutelyintermsofpoliticallydelimitedterritorialunits,generally
"nationstates."
27
Thenormativestructuresthatdefinetheidentityofasocietythusareneverfreeofadimensionofparticularism,eveniftheculturalvalueordersin
whichthelegitimacyofnormsisrootedoftentranscendthelimitsofanygivensociety.
28
Themoderncitizenshipcomplex,withitsegalitariantendencytofree
membershipfromallascriptive

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characteristics,isrootedinanimportantattempttobasethenormsofmodernsocietiesinnotonlytranssocietalbutactuallyuniversalvalues,ofwhichthefirstversion
wasthedoctrineofnaturalrights.Constitutionalrightsthusbecomenormativeembodimentsofuniversalprinciplesthatrepresentlimitationsonthepowerofthestate
tiedtotheinterestsofaparticularpoliticallyorganizedsocietyinthenameofsomethinghigher.Thedemocraticrevolution,inParsons'sconception,attemptedtoturn
suchphilosophicalclaimsforthesuperiorityofthesocietalcommunity,"thenation,"intoactualpoliticalprimacy.Thecitizenshipcomplexinthisargumentconsistsof
threesetsofcomponents,civilpoliticalsocial,thatrepresenttheprojectofinstitutionalizationofsuchprimacy.Heconsidersthe"structuraloutline"ofmodern
citizenship"complete,thoughnotyetfullyinstitutionalized."
29
ForParsons,citizenshipinthemodernsensesignifiesequalconditionsofmembershipinthesocietalcommunityratherthaninthestate.
30
Itscivilorlegalcomponent
consistsofequalrightsguaranteeingautonomousformsofactionwithrespecttothestateinotherwords,"negativeliberties."Rightsinvolvingproperty,speech,
religion,association,assembly,andindividualsecurityalongwithsubstantiveandproceduralequalitybeforethelawwerefirstformulatedinthenaturallawtradition
andareenshrinedintheFrenchDeclarationoftheRightsofManaswellastheAmericanBillofRights.InParsons'spresentation,theyrepresenttheprincipleof
constitutionalismreformulatedassubjectiverightsofprivatepersonsassuch,theirfunctionistostabilizethedifferentiationofsocietalcommunityandstate.
31
Politicalrightsarepositiverightsofequalparticipationratherthan"freedoms"or"liberties"theyinvolvebothindirectparticipationinrepresentativegovernmentthrough
thefranchiseandrightstoinfluencepolicy.ItissignificantthatParsons,atleastinthefirststatementofhisposition,includedhereagaintherightsoffreespeechand
assembly.
32
Theoverlapmeansthattherightsofparticipation,especiallywhensostronglylinkedtonegativerights,donotmeandedifferentiation,butratherthe
emergenceofnewmediatingstructures
33
thatindirectlycontributetodifferentiationthroughinterpenetrationaswellasnewformsofintegration.Itisthesestructures
thataresupposedtoestablishtheprimacyofthe

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societalcommunity,goingbeyondtheconstitutionalstate(Rechtsstaat)alreadyestablishedbynegativerights.
Finally,thesocialcomponentsofcitizenship,notcalled"rights"byParsons,consistofthe"resourcesandcapacities"requiredforimplementingrights,for"realistic"
ratherthanmerely"formal"opportunitiesfortheirequalutilization.Atissueare"adequateminimumstandardsof'living,'healthcareandeducation.''AlthoughParsons
mentionsheresomesortof"equalityofconditions,"hisrealconcernistodefendagenuine,asagainstan"empty,"versionofthe"equalityofopportunity."Whetherhe
doesthisinaconvincingmannerisaquestionwemustnowask.
AccordingtoParsons,"Inonesensethe'social'componentofcitizenshipisthemostfundamentalofthethree."
34
Wearenottoldinexactlywhatsensethisistrueof
thistemporallylatestadditiontothecitizenshipcomplex.Inanycase,Parsonselsewherenotesalackofparallelismbetweenthe"citizen"andthewelfare"client."
35

Thefactthathedoesnotspeakofsocialrights,thathedoesnotnoteanoverlapherewithotherpartsofthecitizenshipcomplexasinthecaseofpoliticalandcivil
rights,indicateshisawarenessofafundamentallackofsymmetry.Hedoesmakeagoodcaseonbehalfoftheneedforasocialcomponentofcitizenship.The
theoreticalproblemisonlythatthiscasedoesnotprimarilybelongtotheproblemcomplexofthedifferentiationofsocietalcommunityandstateandthestabilizationof
thisdifferentiation.Whileonecouldarguethattheautonomyofthesocietalcommunitydependsontheresourcesandcapacitiesofitsmembers,thethreattothese
comesnotonlyfromthemodernstatebutalsofromthemoderncapitalisteconomicorder.AndwhileatleastinonecontextParsonsmentionsthe"social"component
ofcitizenshipinrelationtothedifferentiationofeconomyandsocietalcommunity,
36
thediscussiongoesnowherebecauseParsonswantstodenythefunctional
necessityorevenplausibilityofbothrightsandformsofparticipationwithrespecttothemoderneconomicorder.
37
Thisunwillingnessdefinitivelylinksthe"social"
componenttotheroleofclient,onethatclearlydoesnotbelongtoanycitizenshipcomplex.Evenmore,thisroleactuallycontradictstheideaofcitizenship,which
cannotbemadeconsistentwithanyformofpaternalism.
Parsonsis,ingeneralterms,verymuchconcernedwiththedifferentiationofsocietalcommunityfrombotheconomyand

Page130
state,butwhilehearguesforaprincipleoforganizationspecifictothesocietalcommunity,thusestablishingthepatternofdifferentiation,thestructureofmediationhe
providesstabilizesthisdifferentiationonlybetweenthesocietalcommunityandthepolity.WehavealreadynotedthatParsonsconsiderstheprincipleofassociationto
betheformoforganizationofthesocietalcommunity,paralleltobureaucracyinthecaseofthepolityandthemarketinthecaseoftheeconomy.Thedepthstructure
ofassociationsislinkedtothemutualsolidarityofmembers,andthisiswhatdistinguishesthesocietalcommunityfromthedifferentindividualisticpatternsofthe
marketandthebureaucracy.Indeed,togetherwiththethirdtypeofindividualisticpatternrepresentedbythecitizenshipcomplex,thesolidaristicdimensionofthe
societalcommunityisthesecretofthevarioussynthesesstressedbyParsons,betweenmodernityandtradition,individualismandcollectivism,Gesellschaftand
Gemeinschaft.
InParsons'sconception,anassociationrepresentsacorporatebodywhosemembersaresolidarywithoneanother,inthesenseofhavingaconsensualrelationtoa
commonnormativestructure.
38
Parsonsbelievesthatthisconsensus,generallyestablishedbyprestigeandreputation,isthesourceofthe"identity"oftheassociation,
ofitsbecominga"We."Theassociationalprincipleinvolvesnotonlyasolidaristicbasisofidentitybutalsoadifferentdeterminationofcollectiveaction:Herebasic
decisionsemergefromtheorganizationitselfandarenotmerelyappliedbyit,asinthecaseofthebureaucraticprinciple.ToParsons,allorganizedframeworkshave
associationalcomponents,butonlyincaseswherethisisdominant(unlikethemodernfirm,orauthoritariangovernments)canwespeakofanassociation.
39
Inhis
view,thecontemporarytrendinorganizationistowardassociationsratherthanbureaucracies,andhemaintainsthatthistrendemanatingfromthesocietalcommunity
penetratesgovernmentandbusinessfirmsaswell,thoughinthelattercase(concerningwhichParsonsisinconsistent)withoutbecomingprimary.
Theemergenceofconsensusthroughappealstoprestigeandreputation,deliberatelycounterposedtotheacceptanceofvalidargumentation,
40
pointstolessthanfully
modernassociations.Indeed,inseveralcontexts,suchastheroleoftheassociational

Page131
principleinvoting,Parsonsexplicitlyspeaksof"traditionalism"asagainstrationalaction.
41
Nevertheless,forthecontemporarysocietalcommunity,heisinterestedin
workingoutthespecificallymoderntypeofassociation.Eveninrelationtovoting,hemaintainsthatassociationalmobilityandthepossibilityofbelongingtoa
multiplicityofassociationspartiallycounteractthetraditionalistimplicationsofallassociations(withthepossibleexceptionofthefamily).
42
Thesecharacteristicsare
functionsofthefirstspecificallymodernprincipleofassociations:voluntariness,allowingrelativelyeasyentryandexit,basedinthenormativeprincipleofthefreedom
ofassociation.Thesecondsuchprincipleistheequalityofmembers,constitutingahorizontalasagainstahierarchicalpatternoforganization.Thethirdis
proceduralism,inthesensebothofprovidingdefinite,formalrulesforregulatingdiscussionandofvoting.Sincetheframeworkofdiscussionanddeliberationis
understoodasthelocusofconsensusbuildingthroughpersuasion,itispossibletoseethesethreeprinciplesastheapplicationofthegreatmoderntriadofliberty,
equality,andsolidaritytothemodelofassociation.
Again,themodernityofthemodeldependsontheinterpretationoftheterms"consensus,""persuasion,"''solidarity,"and"influence."Parsons,asastudentof
Durkheim,isobviouslyawareofthedifferencebetweentraditionalandmodernsolidarity.Solidarityachievedthroughconsensusisinsomecontextsidentified
specificallywiththeidealtypeofvoluntaryassociation.
43
ButParsonsalsonotestheimportanceofanother,Gemeinschafttypeofsolidarity,"amutualrelationof
diffusesolidarity"basedon"commonbelongingness."
44
Thetwomodelsthusseemtobe(1)theachievementofsolidaritythroughdiscussionanddeliberationamong
individualswhofreelychoosetoparticipateinanassociation,and(2)thegenerationofconsensusamongindividualsonthebasisofapreexisting,diffusesolidaritythat
isnotopentoquestioningorthematization.Unfortunately,thekeyconceptofinfluencetendstosubmergethefirstmodelinthesecond,andthetwoaretreatedalmost
interchangeablyasthebasisofhavinginfluence.
TheconceptofinfluencehasamajorstructuralroleinParsons'stheoryofthedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunity.Alongwithmoney,power,andvalue
commitments,influenceisoneofthe

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fourgeneralizedsymbolicmediaofinterchangethatreplacerelationsofdirectnegotiationor"barter"inthefoursubsystems,regulatingtheirinternalrelationsaswellas
theirexchangeswithoneanother.
45
WhileParsonsislessinsistentthanNiklasLuhmannonthehistoricalprocessesoftheevolutionofmediaregulatedformsof
action,histheorydoesalsoimplythattherealimportanceofthemediaemergesinthemodern,differentiatedsocietiestheyhelptoconstitute.Inrelationtothe
modernityofinfluenceasamedium,thereare,however,threeunresolvedtendenciesinhisthought.First,theanalogywithmoneyandpower,andtheideathat
influenceisfullyexchangeablewiththesemedia,pointstoamodernprincipleofintegrationthatreducescommunicationtotheproductionandreceptionofcodesand
actiontoanadaptationtointerconnectionsestablished"behindthebacksofactors."Thisconceptioncannotgroundthedifferencebetweentheorganizingprincipleof
thesocietalcommunityandthoseoftheeconomyandthepolity,andittreatsintegrationthroughsolidarityasaformofcontrol.
46
Second,theargumentthatinfluence
''mustoperatethroughpersuasion...inthatitsobjectmustbeconvincedthattodecideastheinfluencersuggestsistoactintheinterestofacollectivesystemwith
whichbotharesolidary"
47
pointstoamodelthatisspecificallymodern,yetsignificantlydifferentinprinciplefrommoneyandpower.Thedifferenceisclearlyindicated
bytheideathat,whereasmoneyandpowerworkthroughalteringthesituationsofactors,influence(alongwithvaluecommitment)worksbyoneperson'shavingan
effectonanother'sintentions.
48
Finally,whileParsonsisunabletomakeuphismindabouthowinfluenceasa"generalizedmediumofpersuasion"actuallyworks,
49

hisstressisclearlyonthereputationandprestigeofinfluentialindividualsandnotonthe"intrinsic"validityoftheirargumentation.Herethemodeleasilyslipsintooneof
traditionalintegrationofactionunless,moreconsistentlythanParsons,oneweretospecifythattheultimatefoundationsofanindividual'sreputation,withrespecttothe
givenissues,mustbecapableofdefenseaswellaschallengeintermsofargumentation.WhilethisideaispresentinParsons,
50
itisincompatiblewithanother,namely,
thattheabilityofonepersontoinfluenceanotherisrootedinabackgroundofdiffuse,Gemeinschafttypesolidarity.

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Parsons,ofcourse,fullyassumesthathedoessucceedingroundingthedifferentiationofthemodernsocietalcommunityfromthestateandtheeconomyintermsofhis
categoriesofassociationandinfluence.HethusfacesHegel'sproblemofthematizingtherelevantmediations.Withrespecttothesocietalcommunitystateaxis,these
turnouttobetheclassicalonesthepluralisttraditioninheritedfromHegelandTocqueville:thepublic,thelobbies,thepoliticalparties,andthelegislature,whichare
thechannelsforsocietalinfluenceontheadministrationofthestate.
51
Theireffectiveoperation,accordingtoParsons,presupposesthesystemofmass
communicationsthathepronouncesthe"functionalequivalentofsomefeaturesofGemeinschaftsociety,"againrunningintoalltheambiguitiesthatcharacterizehis
theoryofinfluence.Throughoutthisstrandofhisargument,hepresupposesthatsocialconstituenciescommunicatewithinstancesinthepoliticalsysteminwaysthat
areentirelyundistortedbymoneyandpower,andthatthereisasymmetricalrelationshipofexchangebetween"publicsupport"and"publicinfluence."
SinceParsons'sexplorationoftheproblemofthedifferentiationofsocietalcommunityandeconomyisunsatisfactory,itisnotsurprisingthathedoesnotrealizethathis
theory,unlikeHegel's,needsaseriesofmediationsinthiscontextaswell.
52
Suchmediationsdomakealimitedappearanceinvariousessays.Welearn,forexample,
thattheassociationaltrendalsopenetratestheeconomyintheformofprofessionalassociationsandfiduciaryboards.Inthecaseofthemodernfirm,however,we
alsofindoutthatthemembersoftheassociation(thestockholders)haveapassiverole,whiletheboardisassimilatedtobureaucraticmanagement.
53
Asfaras
workersareconcerned,Parsonsrejectsanymodelofdemocraticparticipationinmanagement,
54
andherestrictstheroleofunions,inthegapbetweenhouseholdand
workplace,tothatofimprovingtheeconomicpositionoftheworkingclass.
55
Parsons'sdiscussionoftherelationofthesocietalcommunitytotheeconomyraisesexistingcapitalistpracticetothelevelofnorm,oratleastoffunctionalnecessity.
Histheoryofthesocietalcommunityasawhole,however,consciously(thoughunsuccessfully)aimsatamodelthatgoesbeyondthealternativesthatmightbe
describedascapitalisteconomismandsocialiststatism.Theastonish

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ingpartofthistheoryistheclaimthatsuchapostcapitalist,postsocialistmodelisnotonlythecounterfactualnormativeconstructionofasocialpoliticalprojectbutis
alreadyactualized,evenifnotyetcompletely,incontemporaryAmericansociety.Onceagain,therationalisthereal,therealistherational:
TheUnitedStates'newtypeofsocietalcommunity,morethananyothersinglefactor,justifiesourassigningittheleadinthelatestphaseofmodernizationWehavesuggested
thatitsynthesizestoahighdegreetheequalityofopportunitystressedinsocialismItpresupposesamarketsystem,astronglegalorderrelativelyindependentofgovernment,
anda"nationstate"emancipatedfromspecificreligiousandethniccontrol....Aboveall,Americansocietyhasgonefurtherthananycomparablelargescalesocietyinits
dissociationfromtheolderascriptiveinequalitiesandtheinstitutionalizationofabasicallyegalitarianpattern....Americansociety...hasinstitutionalizedafarbroaderrangeof
freedomsthanhadanyprevioussociety.
56
TheUnitedStates,inParsons'sview,isnotonlytheproperhomeoftheeducationalrevolutionwithitsemphasisonthe"associationalpattern,"butalsothemost
successfulsynthesisoftheresultsofthedemocraticandindustrialrevolutions.Americanmodelsofrepresentativegovernmentandfederalismyieldthehighestlevelof
differentiationbetweenstateandsocietalcommunity.Thisisthecasebecausethissocietyisthefreestfromascriptiveandpoliticaldefinitionsofmembershipand
(muchlessplausibly)thispoliticalsystemisleastencumberedbysocialrestrictionsonparticipationatanylevel.Representativegovernmentmakesallsocietalmembers
itsproperconstituency,buttheseparationofpowersprovidesthepoliticalsystemproperwithbroadfreedomofaction.Thestructuresofrepresentation,nationaland
federal,adequatelymediate,accordingtoParsons,betweenthestateandthesocietalcommunity.
Parsonsislessable(but,giventheinconsistencyofhisnormativeconception,lesscompelled)toclaimasimilardegreeofdifferentiationbetweenthesocietal
communityandtheeconomy.Hedoesseemtoadmitthatsincethe"socialcomponentofcitizenship"inAmericalagsbehindthatofEuropeanwelfarestates,
57
market
economicrationalityhasagreaterpoweroversociallife.Nevertheless,hemaintainsthatAmericansocietyisalsobeyondtheobsolete,

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failedalternativesofcapitalismandsocialism,whichhedefinesprimarilyintermsofanabsenceofgovernmentalcontrolsontheeconomyversustotalgovernmental
control.
58
Tobefair,Parsons'sanalysisdoescontainthesuggestivenotionthatneithercapitalismnorsocialismisgrounded"inadequateconceptionsofthesocietal
communityandoftheconditionsnecessarytomaintainitssolidarity."However,hisdepictionofAmericaasapostcapitalist,postsocialistsocietyisfocusedprimarily
ontheemergenceofthemixedeconomy,andheisapparentlyunawareofthepossibilitythatmoderninterventionistwelfarestatesarealsocapableofthreateningand
displacingsocialsolidarity.ItmaybethatParsonsassumes,inthiscontextatleast,thatovercomingthedysfunctionaleffectsofcapitalismthroughstateregulationand
redistribution,withinthelimitsofthemarketeconomy,establishessocialcontrolovertheeconomy.Andperhapsheseessuchacontroloperatingthroughthe
secondarymediationofrepresentativegovernment,whichprovidesamoredirectformofcontroloverthestate.However,theasymmetrybetweenthetwoformsof
supposedcontrolisobvious.AnyidentificationofsocialcontrolwithstateregulationimplicitlyviolatesParsons'sownstressonthedifferentiationofthesespheres.And
eventheideathatrepresentativegovernmentisthemediumofsocialcontrolwouldbypass,inanillegitimateway,Parsons'sdepictionoftheinternaldifferentiationof
thepoliticalsystemandhisstressonelitesasprovidingtheactualmechanismofrule.
Tobefair,Parsonsalsoaffirmstheexistenceofstructuralpositionsfromwhosepointofviewananalogouscontroloverstateandeconomycouldbeconceived.
Americansocietyisunderstoodasthemosthospitableterrainpossiblefortheprincipleofassociationism,whichParsonspresentsasthealternativetobothcapitalism
andstatism,symbolizingrespectivelyamoderneconomyandamodernstatefreeofanysocialcontrols.ContinuingthelineofanalysisbeganbyTocqueville,Parsons
rootstheimportanceofapluralisticversionofassociationsdeeplyinAmericanhistory.TheorganizationofAmericanProtestantismhasfavoredbothpluralismand
associationalism,thelatterbytheinternalstructureoforganizationofmanyofthechurches,theformerbythemultiplicityofdenominationsandtherelativelylong
historyoftoleration.

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Butsecularpatternscontributedgreatlytothesetrends,inparticularanexceptionallylonghistoryofvoluntaryassociationsandalater,butevenmoreimportant,
patternofinclusioninAmericansocietyofawholeseriesofethnicgroupsthatwereneverthelessabletopreservetheirindividualidentities.ThestruggleofAmerican
blacksforcivilrights,concerningwhichParsonswroteoneofhisbestessays,representedforhimagreatculminationpreciselyofthepreexistingnormativeand
organizationalpatternsofAmericanhistory.
59
Inthisonecontext,Parsonscouldseethatmovementsincontemporarymodernsocietiesdidnotnecessarilyimplyfundamentalismbutcouldactualizeuniversalist,
normativepotentials(herethepremisesofthedemocraticrevolution)inamannercapableofcreatingandpreservingparticularidentities.Unfortunately,though,he
seemedtoexpectthatassociationalismwouldbegeneralizednotbynewmovementsfollowinginthispatternbutonlythroughthesocialimplicationsofthesocalled
educationalrevolutionanditssupposedlycollegialpatternoforganization.Parsonsdidnot,however,explainhowtheassociationalformsoftheuniversityareto
transformbureaucraticstructuresintherestofsocietyorhowtheseformscanbeprotectedagainstpenetrationbyeconomicwealthandpoliticalpower.Onereason
whythisissuedoesnotcomeup,despiteParsons'sobviousfamiliaritywithcontemporaryuniversities,isthatheidentifiesitwiththeclaimsofsupposed
fundamentalism.Heinsisted,forexample,onseeingonlythefundamentalist,communitariansideoftheNewLeftandthestudentmovement,andnotthesidethat
demandeduniversitydemocracy(andassociationalrights)aswellasautonomyanddifferentiationwithrespecttoeconomicandpoliticalinstitutions.Bydogmatically
rejectingthesemovements,heclosedhimselftoanimportantdiscoursethatisinmanyrespectscontinuouswithhisown.
60
ThisissueisimportantbecauseParsonsfullyrecognizesthat"associationism"todaycannotbedefendedonthenineteenthcenturygroundofsmalltownAmerica,
whichevenTocquevilleconsideredtobesomewhatatavistic.
61
Buthisvariousattemptstoprovideadequatemodernalternativesallfailbecausehenevertakesinto
accountthenegativepotentialsofcontemporaryinstitu

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tions.Whileheisrighttonotice,beyondtheelitetheoryofdemocracy,theelementofsocialcontrolinherentinrepresentativeinstitutions,heiswrongtobypasstheir
oligarchictrendsandtostylizeexistingpoliticalelitesasthe"functionalequivalentofaristocracy"that"democraciesurgentlyneed."
62
Heisrightininsistingonthe
importantnormativeimplicationsofthepluralistictraditionsofAmericansociety,buthisdismissalofthespecificselectivityandasymmetrybuiltintotheexisting
practiceofpluralismisbothunsophisticatedandmisguided.
63
Finally,heisrightinnottakingthemasssocietythesistooseriously,aswellasininsistingonthe
continuedimportanceof"kinshipandfriendship"alongwith"associationalactivitiesandrelationships,"
64
butheiswrongtothinkthatthisremovesthegroundfrom
anotherdistinction,thatbetween"public''and"massculture."Indeed,hisviewsconcerningmasscultureandmassmediacouldhavebeenbasedonfleshingoutthe
insightconcerningtheexistenceoftwotrendsidentifiablewiththisdistinction,onetowardmanipulationandtheothertowarddemocraticcommunication.
65
Instead,
afternotingthepossibilitiesofoverconcentration,manipulation,declineofculturalstandards,andpoliticalapathyaspossibleconsequencesofthemodernmassmedia,
hedismisses,oratleastvastlydeemphasizes,therelevanceofthesetrendstoAmericansociety!Andafterpresentingthesystemofmasscommunicationsasakindof
market,
66
heinconsistentlydeclaresthatthissystemrepresents"afunctionalequivalentofsomefeaturesofGemeinschaftsociety."
67
Givenhisdifficultiesinbasinghistheoryofassociationonspecificallymoderntrends,itisnotsurprisingthatParsonsseeksafunctionalequivalentofGemeinschaft.In
thiscontext,however,hischoiceofthemassmediacanamountonlytoatacitadmissionofdefeat.InParsons'stheory,thisimplicitdefeatappearsinhisthematization
ofintegrationproblemsincontemporaryAmericansociety,thesolutionofwhichwouldcompletemodernityitself.Indeed,weshouldnotethathedoesnotadmitthat
thedifferentiationofthesocietalcommunityanditsassociationalformoforganizationareinanyrespectincomplete.Nordoesheconsidertheculturalvaluesof
modernsocietiestobeinanysensedeficientorcontradictory.Rather,histhesisisthatsuccessfuldifferentiationandreorganizationhaveproducedintegrationgapsor
lagsthat

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havenotyetbeensuccessfullyaddressedbecausenormscapableofgeneratingsufficientlyhighlevelsofmotivation,legitimacy,andsolidarityhavenotbeenadequately
institutionalized.Asaresult,thesocietalcommunityis"thestormcenter"offutureconflictsthatcannotbedealtwiththroughthecontrolofmoneyandpower.Onthe
otherhand,thedemandofnewmovementsforparticipationandcommunity,consideredexclusivelyintheirfundamentalistversionsassignsofintegrationstrains,can
providesolutionsonlyatthecostofmassivededifferentiationandregression.Betweenthesetwoextremes,thedirectioninwhichParsonshimselfwouldlookfora
solutionremainsquiteunclear.
Abstractly,histheorycommitshimtotheviewthatonlythegenerationofnewformsofinfluencecouldleadtoanormativeconsensusthatcouldprovidesymbolic
resourcescapableofintegratingthesocietalcommunity(solidarity)aswellasregulatingitsinterchangeswiththestate(legitimacy)andtheeconomy(motivation).
Unfortunately,becausehistheoryofinfluenceisindeterminate,itishardtoseepossiblesolutionstoproblemsofsocialintegrationthatcouldderivedfromit.The
assimilationofinfluencetomoneyandpowerleads,forexample,tothetechnocraticsolutionofplanningandmanipulatingitssourcesandconditionsofapplication,
presumablythroughthemassmedia.Alternatively,aninterpretationofinfluenceasrootedinprestigeandreputationlinkedtotraditionalsolidarityleadstoa
neoconservativeoptionthatwouldhopetorestoreanauthoritarianandpossiblyreligiousfoundationfornormsthatwouldbeclosedofftoquestioningandcriticism.
Finally,anunderstandingofinfluenceintermsofrationalargumentationasthe"intrinsicmeansofpersuasion"leadstoademocraticalternativethatwouldhavelittle
plausibilityunlessdemocratizationwerecontinuedasanopenendedprocesscarriedon,inpart,bysocialmovements,apossibilitythatParsonsexplicitlyrejects.
Indeed,heseemsunawarethatallthesedifferentoptionsarecompatiblewithoneoranotherofthecontradictorysubstantivevaluecomplexesinheritedbymodern
societies,orthattheirdifferentformsofinstitutionalizationwouldpresupposeunavoidableorganizationalchanges.Aboveall,hedoesnotseethattheyimplythe
projectsofthreealternativeversionsofthemodernsocietalcommunityorcivilsociety,amongwhichsocialactorsmay

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infactchoose.OnesuspectsthatParsonsnevermakesuphismindamongthesealternatives,thatheaffirmsallofthem,orratheracombinationoftheminwhichthe
respectiveweightsareunclear.Thus,heisopentotheobjectionthatthedemocraticelementsinhistheoryimplyonlyalegitimatingwindowdressingforatraditional
modelofcivilsocietythathasbecomeimpossible,orforatechnocraticmodelthatistheculminationofthegenealogyofunfreedom.
Actually,though,thesituationmayhavebeenthereverse.PerhapsthetraditionalandapologeticelementsinParsons'sthoughtinterferewithhisgenuineinsightsinto
thecriticalplaceofcivilsocietyinmodernity.Thisreadingissuggestedbyhislasttwopublishedessays.
68
HereParsonsdemonstratedthathisreconstructionofthe
conceptofcivilsocietydidnotrepresentadeadendandwascapableoffurtherdevelopment.Thecontext,though,wasnotsystemconstructionbutimmanentcritique,
namelyofR.M.Unger'simportantbookLawinModernSociety.Ungeroffersacritiqueofbothformalist,marketorientedandsubstantialist,stateinterventionist
structuresoflawfromthepointofviewoftheendangeredvaluesofsolidarityandmutualrecognition.Inthefaceofoldermodelsofliberalandcontemporarywelfare
statecapitalism,heseekstojustifyathird,communitarianformoforganizationcombiningsubstantivejusticewithamoralitybasedonfacetofacerelations.YetUnger
cannotsavehismodelfromthechargeofprimitivism.Heconcedesthatwhilethewelfarestatehasinasensereturnedtoearlier,bureaucraticformsoflaw,hisown
alternativealsocompletesahistoricalcyclebyreturningtocustomarylaw.Callingthismovementaspiralratherthanacircledoesnotalleviatethedifficulty.
Despitehisownambiguitieswithrespecttoatraditionalorganizationforthesocietalcommunity,Parsonswillhavenothingtodowithcommunitarianism,whichhe
identifiesastheabsolutizationofthedimensionofsocialintegration(inahighlymisleadingway,hespeaksof"theabsolutismoflaw").
69
Butheiswillingtotakeup
Unger'schallengetopushthecritiqueofformallaw(andthusliberalcapitalism)andsubstantiveorpurposivelaw(andthusthewelfarestate)tothepointwherethe
outlinesofathirdoptionbecomevisible.Weshouldnotice,evenifhedidnot,thatthetwo

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criticizedoptionsarenot,asinhisearlierwork,liberalcapitalismandsocialism,withthewelfarestaterepresentingtheirfinalsynthesis.Withoutnoticing,hetookfrom
Unger'scriticaltheorythepremisethatcritiquemustaimbeyondallcontemporaryformations.
70
Thecrucialpoint,fromthepointofviewofhisownconceptionof
civilsocietyasthesocietalcommunityrestingonnormsandassociationsandcounterposedtoboththeeconomyandthepolity,
71
isthatheishereabletoformulatea
twosidedcritiqueofmarketandstateintermsthatavoidallregressiontohistoricallyobsoletestructuresoflawandsociety.
HefindstheArchimedeanpointinUngerhimself,whodistinguishesbetweensubstantiveandproceduralpatternsofthedeformalization(rematerialization)oflaw.
Substantivelawinvolvesinterventionswhosepurposeistobringaboutspecificsocialresultsbenefitingspecificinterestsprocedurallaw("thegreatintermediateand
mediatingcategory"),however,aimsonlyattheequalizationofpartnerswhosenegotiationundercarefullydeterminedproceduresistoreachagreementconcerning
meansandends.Unger'spreference,likethatofmanydefendersofthewelfarestate(suchasT.H.Marshall),isforsubstantivelawheconsidersprocedurallawto
bestillwithinthetraditionofformallawbecauseofitspreservationoftheprincipleoflegalgeneralityonthe"meta"levelofprocedure.ToParsons,ofcourse,this
elementofcontinuitythatpreservesthestatusoflawasalimitationratherthananinstrumentofsovereignpowerisattractive:Thedifferentiationofthesocietal
communityfromthepolitydependsonit.Procedurallaw,moreover,preservesthepossibilityinherentincontractlaw,recognizedneitherbylegalpositivismnorfor
thatmatterbyUnger,thatlawcanbecreatedbysocialentitiesotherthanthestate.
Equallyimportant,Parsonsdiscoveredthelinkofprocedurallawtohisownconceptofassociationalism,contrastedwithboththebureaucracyandthemarket.He
goestoofar,though,andidentifiesallinstitutionsgovernedbyproceduresasthedomainofprocedurallaw,fromcourtsandparliamentstoelectionsandvoluntary
associations.Inthismanner,eventheverycorporatismthatappearstoUngerasadangertothepublicandpositivefeaturesofthelawisrecastbyParsonsasan
instanceofindepen

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dentlawmakingbysociety.Fromasupposedindicationofthedecompositionofautonomouslaw,hethusobtainstheproofofessentialcontinuity.Itisapitythatthis
initiallypromisinganalysishassuchaflatoutcome.
Whatgoeswrong?First,Parsonsvitiateshisownimportantpointconcerningthelinkofprocedurallawandassociationsbyconfusingprocedureandprocedurallaw.
Whileallmannerofinstitutionscanberegulatedbyprocedures,includingundemocraticandhierarchicones,procedurallawinUnger'sprovocativedefinitionisin
effectreflexiveanddealswithprocedures(ofequalization)thathaveotherproceduresastheirobjects.Thus,togiveanexampleaccessibletoneitherUngernor
Parsons,whiletheassociationsparticipatingincorporatistbargainingmayandgenerallyareregulatedbyprocedures,procedurallawwouldtargettheseproceduresto
produceinternaldemocracyandtheprotectionofindividualsandminorities.Again,whilethesecretbargainsofalimitednumberofassociationsmightbearrivedat
underfixedprocedures,procedurallawmightseektomakethisprocesspublicandopentootherinterestedparties.Thus,procedurallawdoesnotmerelyreflectthe
existenceofassociations,asParsonssuggests,butaimsatthedemocratizationoftheirinternallifeaswellastheirinterrelations.
TherearetworeasonsforParsons'sanalyticalerror.First,heidentifiesprocedurallawas"acooperative...frameworkwithinwhich'parties,'whethertheybe
individualsorgroups,canbe'broughttogether'toadjusttheirinterestswitheachotherunderanormativeorder."
72
Thisdefinitioncapturesonlyhalfofwhatismeant
byprocedurallaw,becauseitbringsproceduresundertherulenotofproceduresbutofahighernormativeorderthatisnotfurtherdefined.Ifthatorderwerelegal
norms,thenthedefinitionwouldbegthequestionwithrespecttothetypeoflaw(formal,procedural,orsubstantive)thattheseentail.Butwehavegoodreasonto
thinkthatwhatParsonshasinmindisnotlawatall,butthehighernormative(religiousmoral)orderofsociety.Withthemetalevelthusoccupied,Parsonsapparently
seesnoimportantreasontodistinguishbetweenproceduresthemselvesandtheproceduresthatproduceorregulateprocedures.Inotherwords,hecannotdiscover
themeaningofprocedurallawasaspecifically

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modern,reflexive,andintersubjectiveregulationoftheproductionofnorms,becauseforhimagreementsandperhapslawscanbeproducedonlyasthe
institutionalizationofwhatisalreadythereonahighernormativelevel.
Second,whilehedoesnotnoticethatthroughanimmanentcritiqueofUngerhehasimplicitlybeenbroughttoapositioncriticalofallexistingsocieties,hedefinitely
seekstoescapethisimplicationonamoreconcretelevel.Asalways,heisinarushtopronounceexistingAmericansocietytobetheresolutionofallantinomies,this
timeofliberalcapitalismandthewelfarestate,atleastfromthelegalpointofview.Ifprocedurallawisthesolutionoftheriddle,asheinsightfullynoteswithinUnger's
text,thenthebulkofAmericanlawmustbeprocedurallaw.Thisapologeticclaimcanbesustained,however,onlythroughthemisidentificationofprocedurallawand
procedure.Onceagain,hisdiscoveryofthepotentiallycriticalterrainofcivilsociety,thistimeontheleveloflegaltheory,isvitiatedbyhisapologetictreatmentof
Americansocietyasrepresentingsomekindof"endofhistory."Inthisrespect,ParsonsremainedathroughandthroughHegeliantotheendofhislife.
GramsciandtheIdeaofSocialistCivilSociety
IfParsonscanbesaidtorepresentatwentiethcenturyrehabilitationoftheHegelianideaofSittlichkeitinsocialtheoreticalterms,withinevitablyapologetic
consequencesforcontemporarycivilsocieties,Gramscicanbesaidtoreflectamodernrenewaloftheleftradicalcritiqueofcivilsociety.Thischaracterizationshould
notbetakentoimply,however,thathesimplyfollowstheclassicalMarxiananalysisandcriticismofcivilsociety.AlthoughafollowerofMarx,Gramscigeneratedhis
ownconceptionofcivilsocietydirectlyfromHegel.
73
AndunlikeMarx,heturnednottothesystemofneedsbuttothedoctrineofcorporationsforhisinspiration.
UndoubtedlyawareoftheMarxianuseofthetermbrgerlicheGesellschaft,Gramsci'sinterpretationofHegelwasthusatthesametimeanimplicitcritiqueofthatof
MarxandEngels.AlthoughhedidnotknowMarx'stextthatdenouncedtheconceptofthecorporationassomuchmedievalism,Gramsciwaskeenlyawareofsuch
aninterpre

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tation.Nevertheless,readingHegel'sconceptionprimarilyonanabstractanalyticallevel,hewasconvincedthatthecontentsdrawnfromtheworldoftheoldregime
could,were,andhadtobegivenmodernreplacements.Accordingly,Gramscirecognizedthenewformsofpluralityandassociationspecifictomoderncivilsocietyin
modernchurches,unions,culturalinstitutions,clubs,neighborhoodassociations,andespeciallypoliticalparties.
ThemostdecisivedepartureofGramscifrombothHegelandMarxishishighlyoriginaloptionforathreepartconceptualframework.AgainstHegel'sversion,and
moreconvincingly,Gramscilocatedbothfamilyandpoliticalcultureonthelevelofcivilsociety.UnlikeHegelandMarx,however,hedidnotincludethecapitalist
economyonthislevel.Wecanonlyspeculateaboutthereasonsforthesecondofthesemoves.
74
Gramsciwasessentiallyapoliticalthinkerwhowasinterestedin
theoryforthesakeofpoliticalorientation.Inthisheconfrontedtwogreatand,forhim,decisiveproblems:thefailureofrevolutionintheWestandits(supposed)
successinRussia.Inneithercontextdidtheeconomisticreductionofcivilsocietytothepoliticaleconomy,soprevalentinMarxism,allowtheproblemoftransitionto
agenuinelydemocraticsocietytobeseriouslyposed.IntheWest,thereductionledtothedisappearanceofthedefensive"trenches"oftheexistingsystem:formsof
cultureandassociationthatprotectbourgeoissocietyevenwhentheeconomyisincrisisandthepowerofthestatehascrumbled.
75
Onlythe"methodological"
76

differentiationofcivilsocietyfromboththeeconomyandthestateallowedaseriousthematizationofthegenerationofconsentthroughculturalandsocialhegemonyas
anindependentand,attimes,decisivevariableinthereproductionoftheexistingsystem.
IntheSovietUnion,where"thestatewaseverything"andcivilsocietywas"primordial"and"gelatinous,"thecollapseofthestatedidmakerevolutionpossible.But
giventhefactthatthatthenewrevolutionarypowerconstituteditselfinastatist("statolatry")andeven''Caesarist"or"Bonapartist"and"totalitarian"form,theproject
ofcreatingafreesocietythatcouldabsorbstatepowerwasputindoubt.Theveryconstellationthatmaderevolutionpossiblewasapparentlythegreatestroadblock
fordevelopingafreesociety.Thus,inthiscontextaswell,Gramscicametofocusontheproblem

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ofcivilsocietyasindependentofeconomicdevelopmentandstatepower.
Therewere,ofcourse,otherreasonsforGramsci'sstressoncivilsociety.OnecertainlyhastodowiththepeculiaritiesoftheItaliansituation.Anacuteanalystof
Italianhistoryandsocialstructure,Gramsciwasawareofthefailureofliberalismtoattain"hegemony"aftertheRisorgimento.Inthisassessmenthewasdirectly
influencedbythegreatItalianphilosopherandhistorian,BenedettoCroce.LikeCroce,heattributedthisfailure,inpart,tothepowerofthechurchinItaliancultural
andsociallife.AlthoughthechurchnolongerhaddirectpoliticalpowerintheItalianstate,itspowerwithincivilsocietyremainedimpressive.Indeed,throughits
organizationofeverydaysociallifein"civil"institutionssuchaschurchfunctions,education,neighborhoodfestivals,anditsownpress,theCatholicchurchwasableto
occupymanyofthetrenchesofcivilsocietyandtoconstituteapowerfulbarriertotheformationofliberal,secularbourgeois,hegemonyonthisterrain.Accordingly,
Italiancivilsocietywaspreventedfrombecomingfullymodern.Atthesametime,likemanyotherintellectualsofhisday,andmorespecificallyundertheinfluenceof
GeorgesSorel,GramscibelievedthatItalyandtheWestasawholesufferedfromageneralcrisisofculture.Herelatedthecontemporary''waveofmaterialism"tothe
crisisofauthoritythatresultedfromtherulingclass'sinabilitytoorganizeconsensus(hegemony)andthecorrespondingdetachmentofthemassesfromtheirtraditional
ideologies.(Therulingclasswasthusonlydominant,nothegemonic.)"Thecrisisconsistspreciselyinthefactthattheoldisdyingandthenewcannotbeborn."
77
In
otherwords,themomentforthetriumphofliberalideologyhadbeenmissed,whiletheoldactionorientingworldviewshadbecomeanachronisticandwerebeing
increasinglyunderminedbysocialandstructuraldevelopments.Thus,civilsociety,andespeciallyitsculturalinstitutions,appearedasthecentralterraintobeoccupied
inthestruggleforemancipation.
Gramsci'sconceptionispresentedinanotoriouslyconfusingterminology.
78
Civilsocietyisvariouslydefinedasthecounterpartofthestate(whichissaidtobeeither
identicalwithpoliticalsocietyoritsmainorganizationalform),asapartofthestatealongwithandcounterposedtopoliticalsociety,andasidenticalwiththe

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state.Theideathatrunsthroughalltheseattemptsatadefinitionisthatthereproductionoftheexistingsystemoutsidetheeconomic"base"occursthrougha
combinationoftwopracticeshegemonyanddomination,consentandcoercionthatinturnoperatethroughtwoinstitutionalframeworks:thesocialandpolitical
associationsandculturalinstitutionsofcivilsociety,andthelegal,bureaucratic,police,andmilitaryapparatusofthestateorpoliticalsociety(dependingonthe
terminology).
79
ItmaybehelpfulheretorecallNorbertoBobbio'sinsistencethatGramscibattledtwoformsofreductionism,onereducingthesuperstructuretothe
baseandtheother,culturalprocessestocoercion.WithintheframeworkofclassicalMarxianhistoricalmaterialism,Gramscisoughtsimplytoasserttheindependence
andevenprimacyofthesuperstructure.WewouldgofurtherthanBobbio,arguingthat,againstGramsci'sintentions,thisshiftrenderedthewholedoctrineofbaseand
superstructureirrelevant.
80
Andyet,thisirrelevantdualism,nowintheformofanidealistreversal,couldhavebiasedGramsciattimestotreatthetwodimensions
withinthesupposedsuperstructure,civilsocietyandstate,eitherassomehowoneoratleastasexpressingthesameprincipleandlogic.Oneofhisterminologies,the
oneintegratingbothcivilandpoliticalsocietyinthestate,seemstoexpressthisoption.Nevertheless,whenhewasforcedtoconfronttheconsequencesofreducing
socialintegrationtopoliticalcoercion,hepostulatedthattheoppositionbetweencivilandpoliticalsociety(heremeaningthestate)wasindeedoneoftwodifferent
principles,hegemonyanddomination.
81
Onemightsay,therefore,thatGramscidevelopedhisdoctrineofcivilsocietyintermsoftwo"declarationsofindependence,"
onefromtheeconomyandtheotherfromthestate,andthattheresultingtrichotomousconception,howeverinconsistently,bursttheboundsofhistoricalmaterialism.
Asatheorist,GramscisurelytraveledaroadfromMarxtoHegel,eventhoughhispoliticalprojectremainedaMarxistone.
82
Ofcourse,theHegelofthePhilosophy
ofRightalsoprovedinadequateforhispurposes.NotonlydidhewanttouseatrichotomousconceptiondifferentfromHegel's,onethatcouldnotleadbacktoeither
economismorstatism,
83
butheconsideredthecorporatedoctrine,whichhelocatedastheheartoftheHegeliantheoryof

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civilsociety,tobehopelesslyobsoleteintheforminwhichitwasoriginallydeveloped.GramscinotesthatHegel's"conceptionofassociationcouldnothelpstillbeing
vagueandprimitive,halfwaybetweenthepoliticalandtheeconomicitwasinaccordancewiththehistoricalexperienceofthetime,whichwasverylimitedand
offeredonlyoneperfectedformoforganizationthe'corporative'(apoliticsgrafteddirectlyontheeconomy."
84
Thus,likeMarx,Gramsciisfullyawareofthemodernstate'sdestructionoftheolderformsofcorporatelifethatconstituteda"dualpower"inthelatemedievalworld
(intheStndestaat,thatis).Heisevenaware,likeTocqueville,oftheexistenceofanintermediaryformtheabsolutiststateandthedepoliticizedsocietyof
orders
85
fromwhichthecontentsofHegel'smodelaredrawn.Moreimportantly,however,unlikeMarxorevenTocqueville,Gramscithoroughlyunderstoodthat
theeffortsofJacobinandbureaucraticstatemakerstothecontrary,theoldercorporateformswerecapableofmodernreplacements.Hestressesinparticulartherise
ofmodernunionismandculturalassociations.
86
Andwhilemodernchurches,surrenderingtheirearlierroleinthestate,alsobecameinstitutionsofthenewtypeofcivil
society,modernpoliticalpartiesgraduallyreplacedthemasthemainorganizationalformforintellectuals.
87
Althoughheisclearlyawarethatmodernstatemakersseektoabolishallintermediaryassociations,Gramscidoesnotstresstheobviouspointthattheirreappearance
inmodernformhadtobeatleastpartlytheresultofwhatusedtobecalledthestruggleofsocietyagainstthestate.Instead,hetendstoargue,inamoreorless
functionalistmanner,thatthedemandofthestateforconsent,anditstendencytoorganizeandeducatesuchconsent,isthemajorreasonfortheemergenceand
stabilizationofnewtypesofassociations.
88
Ofcourse,Gramsciviewedtheparticularcontentandformofcivilsocietyastheoutcomeandobjectofaclassstruggle.
Fromthispointofview,theoutcomedependsonwhichsocialgrouphasbeenorisbecominghegemonic.Wherethebourgeoisieishegemonic,civilsocietyis
bourgeoissociety,anditsconstitutionalguarantees(rights)andpoliticalexpression(parliamentaryrepresentation)arewindowdressingforbourgeoisrule.
ItisworthnotingthattheassociationalformsthatreplaceHegel'scorporationscan,forGramsci,turnintokeyvehiclesfor

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socialmovements,evenifGramscidoesnotemphasizethestate/societyoppositioninthiscontext.Indeed,henotonlydiscoveredthemodernreplacementsforthe
corporationbutalsoaddedthedimensionofsocialmovementstotheconceptofcivilsociety,givingitadynamisminadditiontoandindependentofthesystemof
needs.Whatisgivenwithonehandis,however,takenawaywiththeother,forthedynamismofcivilsocietyastheterrainofsocialmovementslastsonlysolongas
theworkingclassisinopposition.Oncecivilsocietybecomessocialist,theraisond'treforsocialmovements,thatis,forclassstruggle,willhavedisappeared.Aswe
shallshow,onetendencyinhisthought,namelythefunctionalistreductionofthepoliticalculture(representativedemocracyandrights)andofassociationalformsof
moderncivilsociety(clubs,interestgroups,bourgeoispoliticalparties)tothereproductionofbourgeoishegemonyand/ortothecreationofsocialisthegemony
(unions,communistparties),locksGramsciintoanoverlyschematizedconceptionthatisatoncetoorealistandtooutopian.
WehavealreadynotedGramsci'sconvictionthattheassociationsandculturalinstitutionsofcivilsocietyinthedevelopedcapitalistcountries,astheinner"trenches"of
theestablishedsystem,haveaddedimmeasurablytothestabilityofthisformofdomination.Atthesametime,henotestheirabolitionundercontemporary
dictatorships.Itisforjustthisaspectoftheirrulethathedubsthem"totalitarian."
89
Thus,Gramsciseemstoregisterfivephasesofrelationbetweenthestateandcivil
society:(1)medievalcorporatismanddualism(theStndestaat)(2)theabsolutistdualismofstateanddepoliticized,privilegedorders(3)theearlymodern
dissolutionoftheoldercorporateformsthat,strictlyspeaking,existsonlyinrevolutionaryterror(4)thedualismofthemodernstateandnewformsofassociationsan
finally(5)thetotalitarianGleichschaltungofmodernassociationsandculturalforms.Whatismostsignificantinthistypologicalreconstructionofthehistoryofcivil
societyisthat"totalitarianism,"asagainstearlierstatistforms,isdepictedasthedissolutionandatomizationofmodernformsofsocialandculturalintegration!Butwhy
andhowareeffectiveformsofsocialintegration,oftheorganizationofconsent,dissolved?Andifitisdissolvedundertotalitarianism,doescivilsocietyhaveasecond
chanceofbeingreconstructed?

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Thesequestionsaredifficulttoresolvebecauseofthreesystematicambiguitiesor"antinomies"inGramsci'sanalysis.Thefirstcomesfromhisapplicationoftheterm
"totalitarianism"toboth"progressive"and"regressive"versionsthesecondcomesfromhisdiscussionofthenormativestatusofcivilsociety,whichsometimesimplies
theconsolidationofasystemofdominationthroughtheorganizationofconsentandatothertimetheweakeningandeveneventualabolitionofdominationandthe
thirdcomesfromhisconceptionofafreesociety,whichalternatesbetweenapluralisticcivilsocietyandaunifiedstatesociety.
90
Allthreeantinomiesarelinkedto
theattempttoworkoutcriticaltheoriesoftwoverydifferentsocieties:SovietRussia(ofwhichGramsciremainedsupportive)andcontemporarycapitalistsocieties
andtheirtotalitarianvariant(towhichhewasunalterablyopposed).
WithoutdisguisinganythingabouttheformofsocialorganizationandrepressivepoliticalpracticesintheSovietUnion,Gramscineverthelesstriestodistinguish
between"regressive"and"progressive"versionsoftotalitarianism,bothofwhichinvolveabolishingtheindependenceoftheinstitutionsofcivilsociety.
Atotalitarianpolicyisaimedprecisely(1)atensuringthatthemembersofaparticularpartyfindinthatpartyallthesatisfactionsthattheyformerlyfoundinamultiplicityof
organizations,i.e.,atbreakingallthethreadsthatbindthesememberstoextraneousculturalorganisms(2)atdestroyingallotherorganizationsoratincorporatingthemintoa
systemofwhichthepartyisthesoleregulator.Thisoccurs(1)whenthegivenpartyisthebearerofanewculturethenonehasaprogressivephase(2)whenthegivenparty
wishestopreventanotherforce,bearerofanewculture,frombecomingitself"totalitarian"thenonehasanobjectivelyregressiveandreactionaryphase.
91
Thepoliciesofthetwototalitarianismswithregardtocivilsocietyaredepictedasbeingexactlythesamebothsuppressculturalmeaning,socialsolidarity,andforms
oforganizationoutsideaunifiedpartystate,thusendingsocialdivisions.Buttheirintentionsaresupposedlycompletelydifferent.Inthiscontext,thedefenseofthe
SovietUnionbyanantifascistmustseembizarre.LeavingasideGramsci'spoliticalcommitments,however,thewholeargumentdoesinfactfollowconsistentlyfrom
hisfunctionalistdepiction(stilltiedtoclassicalMarxism)oftheinstitutionsofcivil

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societyintheadvancedcapitalistcountriesasformsoforganizationofconsentwhoseroleisexclusivelythestabilizationofdominationitssocialintegration,asit
were.Giventhisinterpretation,smashingtheseinstitutionsbysubordinatingthemtoamonolithicpartystatecanberepresentedasatleastpartofthenegativeworkof
socialemancipation.(Weshallreturntothequestionofwhatwassupposedtobethepositivepartofthiswork.)Totalitarianismisregressiveorreactionaryinthis
readingonlywhenitspurposeistoblock"progressive"totalitarianism,ratherthancreateanewculture,inacontextwheretheinnertrenchesofcivilsocietyare
sufficientlyweakenedtoraisetheprospectsoftheirprogressivelymotivatedabolition.Allinall,Gramsciseemstoindicateonlythreepossiblepoliticalpositions:a
conservativedefenseoftheexistingversionofcivilsocietywhosefunctionisthesocialintegrationofcapitalistdominationatotalitarianrevolutionaryabolitionofthis
civilsocietyforthesakeofbuildinganewcultureandatotalitarianrevolutionaryabolitionwhosepurposeistoconservetheexistingstructureofdomination.
ItisalsopossibletodetectinGramscithefoundations(oratleastitstraces)foryetadifferentversionof"progressive"politics,onethatisradicallyreformistrather
thantotalitarianrevolutionary.BobbiodevelopssuchaninterpretationonthebasisofGramsci'sstressonbuildinganewculturalhegemonybythesocialistpartyin
civilsociety.
92
Theobviouscontrastisbetweentheculturalworkofbuildinganewconsensusthatwoulderodetheoldformsofconsentandaprogramof
revolutionaryoverthrowusingviolentmeans.
ItisdifficulttopinpointsuchastrategyinGramscibecauseofhissecond"antinomy":aMarxianfunctionalistconceptionofcivilsocietyasthelocusforproducingthe
hegemonythatwillstabilizebourgeoisdomination,andaconflictingtheoreticalconceptionofaterrainwheretwoalternativestrategiesforhegemonybuildingcontest
oneanother.
93
Inthecontextofthefirstposition,astrategyforbuildingcounterhegemonywouldsimplyintegratetheworkingclassintotheestablishedinstitutional
networkofcivilsociety,whichwouldhavetobetotallyabolishedinordertobreakwiththeexistingsystemofdomination.Inthecontextofthesecond,however,
whichpostulatesthepossibilityofbuildingacultural

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hegemonyincompatiblewiththeexistingsystem,theinstitutionsofcivilsocietywouldthemselveshaveadoublestructure,linkedtobothdominationandemancipation.
Aradicalreformiststrategywouldhavetobuildonthisdualstructure.
InthetermsofthefunctionalistversionofGramsci'stheory,astrategyofhegemonybuildingcouldbe,andmostofthetimeprobablywas,entirelyinstrumental,given
thedifficultiesthetrenchesofbourgeoiscivilsocietyplaceontheroutetodirectrevolutionarytransformation.Theaim,inthisinterpretation,istoerodetheexisting
formsofsocialintegration,tocreatealternativeassociations,andtopreparethesubjectofrevolutionarypolitics.Giventhenegativeassessmentoftheexistingcivil
societyinthisinterpretation,however,theassociationsandformsofacounterhegemonywouldhavetoberegardedinstrumentally:Theindependentpartiesandunions
oftheworkingclasswouldhavethefunctionofproducingdysfunctionwithintheexistingformofsocialintegration,helpingtoproduceacrisisinwhichtheopposing
sidewouldhavetorelyondominationalone.Inthisinterpretation,therefore,arevolutionaryrupture,withforcefacingforce,mustcompletetheinternalworkof
transformation.
94
Moreimportantforourargument,inthiscontextatleast,therewouldbenoreasonwhytheindependentorganizationsinvolvedinbuildinga
counterhegemonyshouldplayanyroleaftertherevolution.Gramscisupportsthisview,especiallywhenheassignsthetaskofconstructinganewsocietyand
civilizationprimarilytothestateandwhenhestatesthatitisessentialthattheoldmechanismsofproducingbourgeoishegemonybeeliminated.Withinthefunctionalist
interpretation,thiswouldofcoursemeantheendofapluralisticsystemofparties,unions,andchurches.
Thealternative,conflicttheoreticalviewofhegemonybuildingincivilsocietyimplies(evenifGramscineverexplicitlydrewsuchaconclusion)apositivenormative
attitudetotheexistingversionofcivilsocietyor,rather,tosomeofitsinstitutionaldimensions.Clearly,aprincipledversionofradicalreformismcouldbebasedon
suchanattitude.Gramsci'sunwillingnessorinabilitytodevelopsuchaconceptionisapparentinthepresenceofamoredevelopedfunctionalistrevolutionaryoptionin
histhought.Indeed,onemightsaythatthemoreexplicitdevelopmentoftheradicalreform

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istoptionwouldhavepresupposedapoliticalchoiceGramscinevermade:athoroughgoingcritiqueoftheSovietUnion'sversionoftotalitarianism.Itwouldnotbe
possibletochooseastrategyofbuildingnewinstitutionsofassociationalandculturallifeasalternativebasesofhegemonyintheexistingsocietyandalsoasthecore
structuresofanewsociety,whileonthewholeacceptingtheruthlesseradicationofthosenewinstitutionsalongwiththeoldunderarevolutionarystatism.
Tosumupsofar,whileGramsciavoidseconomicandpoliticalreductionismbydifferentiatingtheassociationalandculturaldimensionsofcivilsocietyfromthe
economyandthestate,thefunctionalisttrendinhisthoughtcombinedwithhisstrategicpoliticalgoalsandallegiancesleadhimtoconstruetheinstitutionsofcivil
societyinaonedimensionalway.Althoughautonomous,theassociationalforms(typesofpoliticalpartiesandunions),culturalinstitutions,andvaluesofcivilsociety
arepreciselythosemostadequatetoreproducingbourgeoishegemonyandmanufacturingconsentonthepartofallsocialstrata.Theyare,inshort,notdualisticbut
thoroughlybourgeois.Thisversionofcivilsocietymustthereforebedestroyedandreplacedbyalternativeformsofassociation(workers'clubs,thenewproletarian
partyform,orthe"modernprince"),intellectualandculturallife(theideaoftheorganicintellectual),andvaluesthatwouldbehelpcreateaproletarian
counterhegemonythatmighteventuallyreplacetheexistingbourgeoisforms.Yeteventhestrategyofbuildingacounterhegemonyisjustthat,astrategy.Gramscinever
seestheinstitutionsandculturalformsofcounterhegemonyasendsaswellasmeans,becauseheisunwillingtoconcedethat,withinbourgeoiscivilsociety,some
immanentpossibilitiesextendbeyondtheestablishedframeworkofdomination.Thus,initself,thefocusonculturalmeans(theorganizationofconsent)incivilsociety,
asagainstthecoercivemeansofthestate,doesnotimplythataradicalreformistprojecthasreplacedtherevolutionaryone.Wearestilldealingwithatheorythat
seeksthetotalreplacementofoneformofsocietybyanother.
95
Furthermore,Gramsci'sdoctrineofcivilsocietyisneveradvancedintermsthatwouldimplyanuncompromisinghostilitytowardstatism.Thisattitude,too,is
consistentwiththefunctional

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iststraininhisthought.Whileattimesheconceivesofhegemonyasaproductofcivilsociety,justascoercionisaproductofthestate,soinotherformulationsboth
hegemony/consentanddomination/coercionarefunctionsofthestate,theformerpairoperatingontheterrainofcivil,thelatteronthatofpoliticalsociety.Itisthis
secondformulationthatisconsistentwiththefunctionalistreductionofcivilsociety.
96
Accordingtoitslogic,onemustregardhegemonynotasautonomously
producedwithincivilsocietybutasoneoftheformsinwhichstatepowerfunctionseffectively.Theformsoftheestablishmentofcounterhegemonywithintheold
societycanthenbeseenprimarilyasmarkingthewaytoanewstatepowerthatwouldhavetoestablishonanentirelynewbasisthetermsofitsownoperation,
includinganewbasisin"civilization"forconsent.Gramsci'sremarksonthe"civilizing"missionofthestatesupportthisinterpretation.
Gramscistressesthenotionofthestateascivilizingagentintwocontextsinparticular:thehistoricalfailureofItalianunification,leadingtotheRisorgimentoofthe
nineteenthcentury,andtheproblemsofSovietdevelopmentinthetwentiethcentury.Forourpresentpurposes,weareinterestedinhisanalysisoftheSovietcontext,
whichhealsousedforcomparisonswithfascistItaly.LikeotherMarxists,GramscibuiltonMarx'sanalysisofBonapartism("Caesarism")toanalyzethestructural
similaritiesofmoderndictatorships,allofwhichuseamoreorlessautonomousformofstatepowertoorganizeanotherwiseunstablesystemofdomination.Unlike
Trotsky,however,GramscididnotargueforaspecificdifferenceinthecaseoftheallegedlyprogressiveversionofBonapartismthatwouldcomefromtheworking
class,somehowdominantandyetnotruling,onbehalfofwhichstatepowerwouldact.Instead,heexplicatesthedifferenceintermsofbuildinganewcultureor
preservingtheold.Butwhatisthemeaningofthisnewculture?Gramsciofferstwointerpretations,onlyoneofwhichisconsistentwiththethrustofhisowntheory.
First,hearguesthat,foraprogressiveformofstatism,"thepointofreferenceofthenewworldingestation"is"theworldofproductionwork,"i.e.,theorganizationof
"individualandcollectivelife...withaviewtothemaximumyieldoftheproductiveapparatus."
97
Thisargument,inlinewithbothhistoricalmaterialistpremisesand
rathershort

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sightedapologeticsforSovietsociety,isconsistentwiththeacceptanceoftheobliterationoftheexistingversionofcivilsocietyinthenameofa"progressive"agenda.
Indeed,Gramscispeaksinthiscontextoftherepressiveactivityofthestate,itsrationalizationandTaylorizationofsociety,anditsrelianceonpunitivesanctions.
98

Theargument,however,isinconsistentwiththeantieconomisticturninGramsci'ssocialtheory:Ifthebasedoesnotdeterminethesuperstructure,howcanthe
characterofanewcultureandanewsocietybedeterminedsimplybythetransformationoftheeconomicstructure?AndwhileGramscimayhavebelievedthatin
somecontextsthesocialsphereshouldbereducedbytheactionsofthestatetoamerecomplementofeconomictransformation,itisentirelyunclearhowthiswasto
bethesourceofanewculture,especiallyoneleadingtoafreesociety.
Thislastpointbecomesespeciallystrikinginlightofthesecondinterpretation,whichpresupposesGramsci'sownoriginalpositionwithinMarxism.Herethepositive
roleofthestatethatcanjustifyeven"statolatry"issaidtobe"themovementtocreateanewcivilization,anewtypeofmanandevenanewcitizen...thewillto
constructwithinthehuskofpoliticalsocietyacomplexandwellarticulatedcivilsociety,inwhichtheindividualcangovernhimselfwithouthisselfgovernmentcoming
intoconflictwithpoliticalsocietybutratherbecomingitsnormalcontinuation,itsorganiccomplement."
99
Thiscriterionofwhatconstitutestheprogressiveversionof
statismisverydifferentfromthefirst,namely,thecreationofacomplex,wellarticulatedcivilsocietycapableofselfgovernmentasthehallmarkofanewculture.
Giventhetotalitarianobliterationofcivilsociety,however,thethesisishighlyparadoxical.ItmaybethatGramscihadinmindthehistoricalexperienceofmanyearly
modernstatesthatabolishedtheinstitutionsoftraditionalEuropeancorporatesocietyonlytoallowandevenpromotetheemergenceofamodernstructureofcivil
society.Buttheanalogydoesnotquitework.Abolishingtheoldsocietyoforderswasthejointworkofthestateanddemocraticeffortsfrombelowthatalso
maintainedtheirdistancefromstatepower.Thus,itisalmostimpossibletolocatehistoricallyinmostWesternEuropeancountries(exceptperhapsintheReignof
Terror)thatvanishingmomentinwhichtheoldassociationshavedisappeared

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whilethenewoneshavenotyetemerged.Onthecontrary,whentotalitariangovernmentsabolishedcivilsociety,dissolvingalreadymodernratherthantraditional
formsofcultureandassociation,theyspecificallydisallowedtheformationofnewtypesofassociationsindependentfromthemselves,includingeven,andperhaps
especially,theindependentsocialorganizationsandmovementsthathadhelpedoverthrowtheoldregime.Howconvincingwasit,then,toexpectthataformof
statismthatwasmoreuncompromisinglyhostiletocivillifethananyofitspredecessorswouldcreatefromabovea''complex,andwellarticulatedcivilsociety"that
wouldbeabletogovernitselfmoreorlessindependently?Andwhatmightbetheformsofthisnewtypeofcivilsocietythatwouldbecreatedfromabove,asdifferent
fromthemodernoneasthislatterwasfromitstraditionalpredecessor?ThissecondquestionisimportantbecausetheanalogyGramsciseekstoconstructwithpast
statismsfailsifwearetoassumemerelythata"totalitarianism"thatdissolvesamodelofcivilsocietyisprogressiveifitrecreatesfromabovemoreorlessthesame
model,orevenoneofitsvariants.
Gramscidoesarguethatastatolatry"abandonedtoitself"or"conceivedofasperpetual"mustbesubjectedtocriticism.Howstrongthiscriticismshouldbe,andwhat
itspoliticalconsequencesmightbe,hedoesnotsay.Andyetonegetsthestrongimpressionthatheisawareofwhatmusthavebeenadisturbingimplicationofhis
ownthought,namely,thatalefttotalitarianismwouldnotbenormativelydifferentfromoneoftherightifitmadenocontributiontothereconstructionofcivilsociety.
Andofcourseonlyafool(ofwhomthereweremanyinthe1930s,thoughGramsciwasnotone)couldhavethoughtthatStalin'sRussiasatisfiedthenormativecriteria
hereassignedtoprogressivedictatorships.
Inthiscontext,itispossiblethatBobbioisrightinarguingthatGramsciwasatleastonthevergeofrecognizingthatabolishingcivilsocietyisnotthebestwayto
reconstructit,evenifoneseekstocreateanewtypeofcivilsociety.Ifthereactuallywasaradicalreformiststrandinhisthought,itwouldhavebeenbasedonthe
insightthattheinstitutionsthroughwhicharadicalmovementcanbuilditshegemonyarepartandparcelofanymeaningfullyconceivedmodernformofsocialself
governmentand,assuch,havevalueinandofthemselves.Itwouldhavebeenbased,inother

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words,onarecognitionofthedualisticcharacterofatleastsomeofthecoreinstitutionsofmoderncivilsociety.Inshort,Gramsciwouldhavehadtoacknowledge
thatthenormsandorganizationalprinciplesofmoderncivilsocietyfromtheideaofrightstotheprinciplesofautonomousassociationandfree,horizontal
communication(publicity)arenotsimplybourgeoisorfunctionaltothereproductionofcapitalistoranyotherhegemony.Rather,theyconstitutetheconditionthat
makespossibletheselforganization,influence,andvoiceofallgroups,includingtheworkingclass.Accordingly,thetaskofradicalreformwouldbetoexpandsuch
structuresinadirectionthatreducesthechancesoftheirbeingfunctionalizedtothepurposesofeconomicorpoliticalpower.Butsuchastancewouldhaveledtoan
outrightrejectionoftotalitarianrevolution,astepGramsci,unlikemanyofhisheirs,didnotmake.
AsidefromtheundoubtedlydecisivepoliticalreasonswhyGramscididnotmakethismove,whatwehavecalledhisthirdantinomyalsostoodinthewayofhis
reevaluatingtheproblemofcivilsocietyfromanormativepointofview.Thisantinomyisbetweenaconceptionofafreesocietyintermsofapluralistic,democratic
civilsocietyandoneintermsofaunifiedstatesociety.Thefirstofthesemodels,consistentwiththeconflicttheoreticalstraininhisthinking,andespeciallywiththe
conceptionofthedualstructureofexistingcivilsociety,potentiallytempersutopiawithanimageryofpartialinstitutionalcontinuity.Here,utopiaistherealizationof
existingbutblockednormativepossibilities.Thesecondmodel,consistentwithfunctionalism(theonedimensionalcritiqueofbourgeoiscivilsocietyandthecallfor
totalrevolutionaryrupture),suffersfromanexcessofutopianismandpotentiallinkstoauthoritarianism.OnemightsaythatthestraininGramsci'sthoughtinvolvingthe
relentless"unmasking"oftheroleoftheinstitutionsandpoliticalcultureofbourgeoiscivilsocietyinreproducingcapitalistrelationsofdominationhelpedtopreparethe
waytoanauthoritarianpositionvisviscivilsocietyingeneral.
Inourview,itisthissecondstrainthatisdominantinGramsci'sthought.Here,onecannotblamethetimidityofGramsci'scritiqueoftheSovietUnion,because,in
spiteofhisoverallsympathyandreluctancetodrivehiscriticismtoofar,hemayhavehadrealdoubtswhetheragenuinelyfreesocietywouldbecreatedthere.

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Therefore,incontrastwiththetotalitarianprojectinwhichcivilsocietyisabsorbedbythestate,GramscireturnstotheMarxianprogramofabolishingthestate,which
hecalls,withsomevariationontheoriginalformula,"thereabsorptionofpoliticalsocietyintocivilsociety."
100
Marx,inhismostexplicitcritiqueofbrgerliche
Gesellschaft(in"ZurJudenfrage"),wroteonlyofanabsorptionin"society."
101
Thedifferenceappearstobeallthemoresignificantbecause,asGramsciimagines
''thecoerciveelementsofthestatewitheringawaybydegrees,"hepostulatesthecorrespondingemergenceof"evermoreconspicuouselementsofregulatedsociety
(orethicalstateorcivilsociety)."
102
Thus,hisidentificationofthenewformofsocialorganizationthathemostoftencalls"regulatedsociety"withatleastaversionof
civilsocietyisquitedeliberate.
Regulatedsociety,asocietywithoutastate,seemstobedefinedbytwopremises:(1)apremiseofequalityand(2)apremiseofthereplacementoflawbymorality.
Inotherwords,thenewsocietyistobecharacterizedbyaspontaneousacceptanceoflawbyfreeandequalindividualswithoutanycoercionorsanctions
whatsoever.ThisnotioncomesperilouslyclosetotheselfdeludingMarxianutopiaofasocietywithoutinstitutions.
103
Butthetransitiontoregulatedsocietythat
Gramscihasinmindseemsdifferent.Hereferstoaphaseinwhichthestatewillindeedbeanightwatchman,inthesenseofsafeguardingthe"continuallyproliferating
elementsofregulatedsociety"andintheprocessprogressivelyreducing"itsownauthoritarianandforcibleinterventions."
104
Thisprocessissupposedtobeidentical
totheconstruction'withinthehuskofpoliticalsociety"ofacomplex,wellarticulated,selfgoverningcivilsociety.Thus,itishardlyanexaggerationtoarguethat
Gramsci'sreformulationoftheideaoftheroadtosocialismconsistsoftheconstructionofanewtypeofselfgoverningcivilsocietythatwouldgraduallytaketheplace
ofallstatecontroloversociallife,leadingtoawitheringawayofthestateaswellaspoliticalsociety.Nevertheless,andamazinglyenough,hedoesnotbelievethatthe
newtypeofcivilsocietyinformationanditsformsofselfgovernmentwouldenterintoanyconflictwiththestatewhosepowersitistoerodeandreplace.Instead,
civilsocietywouldbecomethe"normalcontinuation"and"organiccomplement"ofwhathecalls"politicalsociety,"namely,thestate.
105


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Therearetwoimagesherethatdonotmix.Ontheonehand,wehaveanotionsomethingliketheemergenceofdualpower:Twoformsofsocialorganizationexist
sidebysideonebasedondemocraticselfgovernmentandsocialsolidarityistoreplaceanotherbasedonadministrativesanctionsandcoercion.Ontheotherhand,
Gramscileavesuswithanotionofastatepowergraduallyconvertingitsformofdominationintoanequallyeffectiveformofsocialcontrolthroughtheinstitutionsof
civilsociety.Thus,theantinomybetweencivilsocietyasaconsolidationornormalizationofdominationandcivilsocietyasagenuinelyalternativeprincipleto
dominationreturnsonceagain.Thistime,thetwonotionsappearasonebecausetheutopianideaofthetotalabsorptionofthestatebycivilsocietywouldlogically
eliminatethedistinctionbetweenastatepoweractingthroughtheinstitutionsofcivilsocietyandaformofselfgovernmentbasedontheseinstitutions.Untilsociety
reachesutopia,however,theambiguitywouldremain,andtheeliminationofconflictfromthemodelcertainlyseemstoimplythatGramsci'ssupposedtransitiontoa
freesocietyisultimatelyonlyastatistauthoritarianismwithahumanface.
Theutopiaofa(modern)civilsocietyabsorbingpoliticalsocietyandthestate,thesupposedtelosthatwouldresolvethemostimportantofGramsci'santinomies,is
incoherentevenonitsown.Firstofall,itremainsunclearwhichabsorbstheotherintherelationshipbetweencivilandpoliticalsociety.Here,thestressinGramsci's
sparsedescriptionsseemstobeon"politicalsociety"asunderstoodbyTocqueville,forexample,aspoliticalorganizationsratherthanthestate(asinGramsci'suseof
theterm).Regulatedsocietyisselfgoverning,evenifits"laws"areenforcedasinternalizedmoralrulesthatdonotneedtoappealtoexternalsanctions.Thishighly
unrealisticpostulatehasauthoritarianimplications,atleastinthemodernworld,thatitsadvocatesrarelyconfront.Evenifwesupposethataperiodofstatisttransition
haseliminatedolderformsofheterogeneityandplurality,Gramsci'sregulatedsocietywouldhavenosocialspaceforanoppositionconsistingofnewminoritiesand
pluralitiesthatmaybewillingtoobeythelawsbutcannotidentifywiththemandmaywishtoorganizethemselvesinordertoreversethem.
106
Withthesphereof
prepoliticalassociationeliminatedorfusedwiththatofpoliticalassociation,suchan

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organizationcouldnottakeplaceinprinciple.Indeed,themodelofmoralratherthanlegalenforcementeliminatesthespaceinwhichsuchanoppositioncouldemerge
atall:autonomousconscience,whichisalwaystosomeextentinconflictwiththelaws.Thepostulateofamorallybasedacceptanceoflawinitselftendsto
presupposesocialhomogeneityandtoexcludepluralisticorganization.
107
Bydefinition,"pluralism"meanssomeconflictoverpolicyandisthereforeincompatiblewith
internalizedacceptanceofthedecisionsofmajorities.Thus,itisnotclearhow,andonwhatnormativeandempiricalbases,individualsandgroupscouldhaverights
againstGramsci'smonolithicregulatedsociety.
TheissuecouldbeaddressedfromthepointofviewofthemodernityofGramsci'sideaofregulatedsociety.Canacivilsocietybeamodernsocietyifstatepoweris
abolishedorabsorbed?Doesnotthedualityofcivilsocietyandstate(ofwhichGramsciisamajoranalyst),nottomentionthedifferentiationbetweencivilsocietyand
theeconomy,constitutethemodernityofbothterms?Itwouldseemthatabolishingthestate,whichisimpossibleinfactbutcertainlyimaginable,wouldleadnottoan
autonomous,plural,civilsocietyinotherwaysresemblingitsmodernforerunnerbuttoarestorationoftraditionalpoliticalcivilsocietywithoutmodernadministration
butalsowithoutamodernstructureofrightsandlibertiescarvingoutautonomousspacesfromtheworldofpolitics.
108
Givenanalreadyestablished,sturdy,andcomplexstructureofcivilsociety,albeitofthebourgeoismodel,Gramsci'sregulatedsocietycanbeestablishedonlythrough
arevolutionarytotalitarianrupture.Mostoftheestablishedinstitutions,includingthoseoftheworkingclass,wouldotherwisemilitateagainstit:Theexistingpluralityof
formsoflife,culture,andassociation,presupposingsocialconflict,needsastructureoflawsandrightslinkedtosanctions.Italsorequiresthemediatingandinterest
aggregatingoutputsofamodernstate.Noradicalreformiststrategywouldinitselfreducethiscomplexity,andindeedtheorganizationandmobilizationofnewsocial
actorswouldaddtotheheterogeneityofinterestsandincreasetheconflictpotentialofsociety.UnfortunatelyforGramsci'sthesis,arevolutionarystatistdestructionof
theexistingversionofcivilsocietywouldhaveevenlessofachanceto

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usherintheregulatedsociety.ThechoiceGramsciactuallyfacedwasnotbetweenradicalreformismandrevolutionarydemocracypreparedbyatotalitarianabolition
ofcivilsociety.
109
Rather,itwasbetweencivilsocietytoutcourtandanauthoritariansystemthatwouldcertainlyattempttoperpetuateitself.Gramscisupplied
importantconceptstothosewhowouldmilitantlychallengelaterversionsofsuchasystem,butthiswassomethingheneitherintendednorevenanticipated.Andthose
whoweretoundertakethechallengecouldpostulatethevalueofanindependentcivilsocietyonlywhentheycompletelydivestedthemselvesoftheradicaldemocratic
utopiaoftheregulatedsocietywhosedeepestrootsinvolved,asMarxknewbutGramsciapparentlyforgot,ahatredformoderncivilsociety.
ExcursusonGramsci'sSuccessors:
Althusser,Anderson,andBobbio
Gramsci'santinomicintellectualpositionallowstwodistinctandopposedroadsforcontinuation.Whiledifferentcombinationsamonghisalternativesarepossible,there
isamorethanelectiveaffinityamonganapologeticattitudetowardtheSovietUnion,afunctionalistreductionismwithregardtotheexistingversionofcivilsociety,and
autopianproject(oranormativecountermodel)ofaunifiedstatesociety.Withanemphasisonthefunctionalistreductionistcomponent,thiscombinationmarksthe
pathofLouisAlthusserandhisfollowers,whoinsistonmaintainingintacttheMarxianprojectofrevolution.Similarly,theinternalrelationisequallystrongamong
critiqueoftheSovietUnion,aconflicttheoreticanddualisticconceptionoftheexistingcivilsociety,andapluralistdemocraticnormativemodelofcivilsociety.This
combinationispursuedbyNorbertoBobbio,whohasrecentlyfocusedoncivilsocietyastheproperframeworkforcontemporaryradicalreformistprojectsof
democratization.
AlthusserentirelydisregardstheversionofGramsci'stheorythatinvolvesanoppositionbetweenstateandcivilsocietyandresolutelyfocusesonthesecondaryversion
inwhichcivilandpoliticalsociety,hegemony,anddominationareallfunctionalaspectsofthestate.
110
Politicalsocietyherebecomesthe"repressivestateapparatus"

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definedintermsofasupposedlyunitarystructureofgovernment,administration,army,police,courts,andprisons."Civilsociety"(hisquotationmarks)inturn
becomesadifferentiatedframework,withthe"ideologicalstateapparatuses"consistingofreligious,educational,family,legal,tradeunion,communications,and
culturalcomponents.Althusserhasnotoriousdifficultiesinshowingthatallthesedomainsbelongtothestate.
111
Hedismisses,inpartrightly,theobjectionthattheir
statusisprivate,asdistinctfromthepublic"repressiveapparatus''ofthestate,assomuchbourgeoislegalismmaskingtheactualfunctionsofinstitutions.Butthis
strategyonlyjustifiesadifferentiationfromtheprivate,economicsphere,notaninclusioninthestructureofthestate.Toarguethattherulingclassholdsstatepower,
theideologyunifyingthevariousinstitutionsinquestion,bywhichthey"massivelyandpredominantlyfunction,"istheideologyoftherulingclass,and"ideological
apparatuses"arethereforestateinstitutionsisbothlogicallyfallaciousandempiricallyquestionable.Itislogicallyfallaciousbecause,evenifthestatewerethe
instrumentoftherulingclass,thetwotermswouldstillnotbeidentical,whichiswhatAlthusser's"syllogism"presupposes.Anditisempiricallyfallaciousbecause,as
weknowfromthehistoryofsocialdemocracyforexample,manynonbourgeoisstrataandgroupscanoccupystatepowerincapitalistsocieties,andbecausethe
institutionstowhichAlthusserrefersarecharacterizedbygreatideologicaldiversity,internally(Catholicvs.Protestantchurches,Christianvs.syndicalistunions,etc.)
andamongoneanother.Despitetheseseeminglyobviousproblems,thisargumenthashadextendedinfluence.
MoreimportantforusisAlthusser'sowninabilitytosticktoaconsistentversionofthisfunctionalistposition.HerightlyrepeatstheGramscianpositionaccordingto
whichnoformofpowercanbestableforlongwithout"hegemonyoverandintheStateIdeologicalApparatuses."
112
Butthisthesisisnotinterpretedaccordingtohis
ownversionoffunctionalismwhenhearguesthatthefunctionoftheapparatusesandtheideologytheysupposedlyproduceistoreproducetheexistingrelationsof
production.
113
Thislatterargumentseparatescivilsocietyfromthestateandfunctionallylinksitsinstitutions,alongwiththoseofthestate,tothereproductionofthe
capitalisteconomy.Oncefreedfromthe

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absurdburdenofhavingtomakecivilsocietyadimensionofthestate,Althussercanpronouncetheideologicalstateapparatuses,i.e.,theinstitutionsofcivilsociety,
as"multiple,distinct,'relativelyautonomous'andcapableofprovidinganobjectivefieldtocontradictions,whichexpress,informsthatmaybelimitedorextreme,the
effectsofclashesbetweenthecapitalistclassstruggleandtheproletarianclassstruggle."
114
Notonlydoesthisargumentimplicitlyshiftbetweenthetwo
functionalisms(statistandcapitalist)availableinGramsciitisalsoonthevergeofrediscoveringtheother,conflicttheoreticandpluralistdemocratic,position
traceableinGramsci'swork.
115
However,sinceheissomuchmoredogmaticandtraditionalinhisrevolutionaryandstatesocialistcommitmentsthanGramsci,
Althusserisevenlessabletotravelthisroadthanhispredecessor.Eveninahighlymodifiedform,thefunctionalistroadchosenbyAlthussercannotleadtoagenuine
reevaluationofthenormativedoublenatureofcivilsociety.
ThebrilliantinterpretationofGramscibyPerryAnderson,whowasonceafollowerofAlthusser,isacaseinpoint?
116
AndersondevastatesAlthusser's
reconstructionofGramscibothtextuallyandpolitically.Politically,hecallsthereconstructiondisastrousbecauseitcannotdistinguishbetweenfascistauthoritarianand
liberaldemocraticversionsofcapitalistsociety:Onlytheformerabsorbsocialinstitutionsofculturalreproductionwithinthestate.
117
Butitisalsotextuallywrongto
theextentthatitfocusesonasecondaryconceptualstrategyinGramsci'swork,disregardingtheprimaryusagethatdifferentiatesstateandcivilsociety.
AndersonarguesthatGramscidevelopedthissecondaryusage,inwhichcivilsocietyisabsorbedinthestate,becauseofdifficultieswithhisprimaryone.Itisnotcivil
societyalonethatwieldsculturallegitimacythestatedoesaswell,inparticularthroughitseducationalandlegalinstitutions(mentionedbyGramsci)andits
parliamentarystructures(omittedbyGramscibutstronglystressedbyAnderson).Gramsci'sanswerwastomakecoercionandhegemonyfunctionsofbothcivil
societyandthestate.Thedifficultiesofthisconception,whichthreatensthedefinitionofthemodernstateasthemonopolistoflegitimateviolence,supposedlyled
Gramscitoincludecivilsocietyinthestateoreventoidentifythetwosphereswithoneanother.
118


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Anderson'sownsolution,whichinasensecombinesthoseofGramsciandAlthusser,istomaintaintheseparationofcivilsocietyandstatebuttoinsistthat,whilethe
institutionsofcivilsocietyproduceonlyculturalhegemonyandconsent,thestructuresofthestatebecauseoftheallimportantroleofparliamentaryinstitutions
produceconsentaswellascoercion.ThisideaassimilatestheAlthusseriannotionofideologicalstateapparatusesbutmaintainstheGramscianstressonthe
productionofideologyoutsidethestateasasecondaryone.Bythisconceptualmove,Andersonineffectovercomesthebadoptionbetweenanoverlyschematic
differentiationbetweenstateandcivilsocietyinthemainversionofGramsci'sargumentsandthecompleteabsenceofdifferentiationinthesecondaryversion.Inthe
process,heinadvertentlycomesclosetotheHegeliannotionofparliamentasaninstitutionofmediationbetweencivilsocietyandstate,astheplacewhere
simultaneouslycivilsocietypenetratesthestateandaunifiedpoliticalwillisformed.Hecomesclosetosuchaviewbut,asweshallsee,notcloseenough.
Thenewargument,infact,doesnotovercomethelimitationsofMarxianfunctionalism.Andersonisquiteclear:Civilsocietyasweknowitbelongsonlytothe
functionalreproductionofcapitalistsociety"the'private'institutionsofcivilsociety"havenoplacein"anysocialformationinwhichtheworkingclassexercises
collectivepower."
119
Withthisassumptioninmind,heisentirelyconsistentinfearingandrejectingthewholeGramscianstrategyoftryingtobuildacounterhegemony
withintheexistingversionofcivilsociety,certainlymoreconsistentthanthosewhohopetousesuchastrategyasaroadtotherevolutionaryestablishmentofaunified
statesociety.Andersonsharesthelatterdreamandthereforerejectsaradicalreformistroadthatimplicitlyassumesthepreservationofkeydimensionsofexistingcivil
society.Becausesuchastrategyispowerlessagainsttheultimateguaranteeoftheexistingsystem,thepossessionofthemeansofviolenceandrepression,itcanserve
onlytointegratetheworkingclassintotheestablishedsociety.
120
Thereferencetoviolenceandrepressionalreadyindicatesashifttothelevelofthe"stateapparatus."Akeyreasonwhythebuildingofcounterhegemonyincivil
societymustfailisthatthemain

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instanceoftheideologicalreproductionoftheexistingsystemisexercisedbyparliament,withinthesphereofthestate.Thisinstance,however,isreinforcedbyitslinks
topotentialviolenceandcannotbesimplybypassedordisplacedbyalternativeinstitutions.Aslongasparliamentaryinstitutionsarenotoverthrown,theirprimacyin
theproductionofconsentcannotbesuccessfullycontested.Such,accordingtoAnderson,istherealanswertoGramsci'spuzzleconcerningthestabilityofliberal
democracies.
ThisanswercannotescapetheantinomybetweenGramsci'stwoviewsofcivilsociety,onemonisticfunctionalistandtheotherdualistandconflicttheoretic.The
problemliesinparliament'speculiarityasamediatinginstitutionintheHegeliansenseinthefactthatitappearsastheinstitutionthroughwhichthestateis
"penetrated"bycivilsociety.BecauseAndersondoesnotfullyrecognizethis,heisambushedbytheconsequencesofhisownargument.Why,heasks,are
parliamentssosuccessfulingeneratingconsent?Whyaretheysorarelyradicallychallengedunderliberaldemocracies?Tohiscredit,Andersonissuspiciousof
doctrinesofculturalmanipulation,ofthegenerationofpassivityintheworkplace,andevenoftheabilityofwelfarestatebenefitstobuyconsent.
121
Parliamentsdo
notrelyonconsentproducedbycultural,social,andeconomicinstitutionsbutgeneratetheirown.Theydosobypresentingindividualswhoareunequalandunfreein
civilsocietywithanimageryofequalitybeforethestateand,bywayoftheirrepresentatives,activeparticipationintheformationofpoliticalwill.Thisimageryinturn
producestheideologicalcode(equality,freedom,etc.)onwhichthesecondaryactivitiesofthegenerationofconsentalldepend.
122
TheideaofparliamentasthecenterofideologicalintegrationbringsAndersonclosetotheAlthusseriandoctrineof"ideologicalstateapparatuses,"
123
whichhefinally
managestomakecoherentbypointingtoaprocessactuallyoriginatinginthestatethatproducestheideologicalunityofthedifferent"apparatuses."
124
ButAnderson
isevenlessabletoremainconsistentlywithinthefunctionalistmodethanAlthusser.Ontheonehand,thegeneralideologicalcodeemanatingfromparliamentissaid
merelytomaskprevailingformsofinequalityandunfreedom.Ontheotherhand,"Thecodeisallthemorepowerfulbecausethejuridicalrightsofcitizenship

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arenotameremirage:Onthecontrary,thecivicfreedomsandsuffragesofbourgeoisdemocracyareatangiblereality,whosecompletionwashistoricallyinpartthe
workofthelabormovementitself,andwhoselosswouldbeamomentousdefeatfortheworkingclass."
125
Andersongoesontodescribetheautonomyof
parliament,whichmakesallsuchbodiesdouble,expressingboththefunctionalneedsoftheculturalreproductionofcapitalandthestillpotenthistoricalachievements
thatexpresstheidealsoftherevolutionarybourgeoisie.
Andersonmayadmiretheseideals,butheimpliesthathedoesnotsharethem.HecertainlyrejectsthequasiGramscianstrategyofusingthemandthespacesthey
provideforbuildinganalternativehegemony.Itisunclear,however,whathewouldputintheirplace,howhewouldabolishthemwithoutpromotingyetanother
"momentousdefeatfortheworkingclass"whosemembersareadmittedlystillattachedtoequalityandlibertyinthesenseofcontemporaryparliamentarism.Anderson
proposesthatthisattachmentcanbebrokenonlyinthepostrevolutionaryexperienceofproletariandemocracy,"inpartiesorcouncils[sic]"where"thereallimitsof
bourgeoisdemocracy"canbelearnedandhistoricallysurpassed.
126
Unfortunately,hetellsuslittleaboutthisalternativedemocracymoreimportantly,histhesis
impliesthatitsprinciplescannotevenbeconvincinglypresentedtothosewhonowexperiencedemocracyintermsoftheestablishedprocedures.Thelinkbetweenthe
twodemocracieswouldthushavetobeinprincipleanantidemocraticone,aratherstrangerecommendationtothosewhopresentlyvaluethebenefitsofliberal
democracies.Oneisaskedtoacceptarevolutionarystrategyonthebasisofafaiththatsomehowitwillleadtoaqualitativelydifferent,yetuntriedandwithinthe
presentsocietyentirelyuntriable,formofdemocracy.
ThatthereisnosuchalternativeformofdemocracyisthebestknownthesisofNorbertoBobbio.AndyetBobbioisaleftsocialisttheoristofdemocratization.
ThoughheisnomerefollowerofGramsci,hisjustlyfamousinterpretationofthePrisonNotebooksisthekeytohisowndistinctivetheoreticalpositiononthe
questionofdemocracy.AccordingtoBobbio,Gramscifoughtatwofrontwaragainstthosewhosoughttoassimilatecivilsociety(andthestate)totheeconomy
(economicdeterminists)andthosewho

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soughttosubordinateittothestateandthecultofforce.Hewantedtotranscendnotonlytheconditionsofbourgeoissocietybutalso"thefalsewayoftranscending
theseconditions."
127
Inthisway,somewhatahistoricallyofcourse,BobbioseekstodistinguishGramscifrombothsocialdemocraticandLeninistpolitics.To
Bobbio,aswehavealreadyargued,Gramsciwasastrategistof"reform,"inthestrongsenseofwantingtotransformnotonlypoliticsandeconomicsbutalso
"customsandculture."Indeed,thewholestresshereisonthebuildingofanalternativeculturalhegemonythatmustprecedetheconquestofpower,involvingnotonly
thepoliticalpartybutalso,andespecially,theactivityofallinstitutionsofcivilsocietyinvolvedintheproductionanddiffusionofculture.
128
Thus,thecenterofthe
radicalstrategyinthisinterpretationisentirelyrelocatedfromthestatetocivilsociety,whereaprotracted"warofposition"fortheconquestofculturalhegemony
wouldbefought.
InhisfamousarticleonGramsci,Bobbioseemedtonoticenoinconsistencybetweenthisradical,civilsocietycenteredstrategyandthegoalofaregulatedsocietyin
whichcivilsocietyabsorbsthestate,
129
noreventhat,onthispoint,Lenin'sviewsofthedistantfuture(thoughobviouslynotSovietreality)coincidedwiththeessence
(thoughnottheterminology)ofGramsci'sposition.Nevertheless,theGramscianvisionofamonolithic,regulatedsocietyinwhichcivilsocietywouldabsorbthestateis
nottobefoundthetheoryofdemocracyanddemocratizationthatBobbiodevelopedinthe1970sandespeciallythe1980s.
130
Onthecontrary,hisworksofthis
periodrejectedinthestrongesttermstheideaofamonolithicdirectdemocracy.Insteadoftheradicalsubstantialistapproach,Bobbioinsiststhatthenormative
proceduralprinciplesofrepresentativedemocracyconstitutethenecessary,thoughadmittedlynotthesufficient,criteriaforanystatetobeconsidereddemocratic.The
realproblemforradicaldemocraticreform,then,istoidentifythereasonswhyliberaldemocracieshavenotsucceededinkeepingtheirpromises,andtoarticulatea
programfortheirfurtherdemocratization.
Accordingly,Bobbiostateswhathetakestobebothanormativeandarealistic(feasible)definitionofdemocracy.Everydemocraticgovernmenthasthreebasic
prerequisites:participation(orcollec

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tiveandgeneralinvolvement,evenifamediatedone,inthetakingofalldecisionsapplyingtothewholecommunity)controlfrombelow(onthebasisoftheprinciple
thatallpowernotsocontrolledtendstobeabused)andfreedomofdissent.
131
Bobbiois,ofcourse,undernoillusionregardingtherealizationofthetheseprinciples
inexistingliberaldemocracies.Hearguesthatthesepromiseshavenotbeenkepteveninstateswheredemocraticinstitutionsarethemostfullyandformally
developed.Here,too,asineverymodernsociety,thereareatleastfourparadoxesofdemocracythatmakeitdifficulttorealizeitsprinciplesadequately:"Ina
nutshell,thesefourenemiesofdemocracywhereIamtakingdemocracytomeantheoptimummethodformakingcollectivedecisionsarethelargescaleof
modernsociallife,theincreasingbureaucratizationofthestateapparatus,thegrowingtechnicalityofthedecisionsitisnecessarytomake,andthetrendofcivilsociety
towardbecomingamasssociety."
132
Insum,wemodernsseemtobedemandingmoreandmoredemocracyunderconditionsthatareincreasinglyunpropitious.Moreover,theseparadoxesseemtobe
exacerbatedinrepresentativeparliamentarysystems.Thephenomenaofpoliticalapathyandparticipationdistortedandmanipulatedbyeliteswithamonopolyon
ideologicalpowerhavemilitatedagainstthepromiseofparticipation.Controlfrombelowisemptiedofsignificanceasthecenterofpowershiftsawayfromthose
institutionsthatcitizenssucceedincontrolling:Thesignificantinstrumentsandcentersofrealpower,suchasthearmy,thebureaucracy,andbigbusiness,arenot
subjecttodemocraticcontrol.Finally,therightofdissentisseverelyrestrictedincapitalistsocietiesinwhichthedominanteconomicsystemneveroffersthepossibility
ofaradicalalternative.
What,then,isthesenseofcallingcontemporaryWesternsocieties"democratic"?Byidentifyingthe(minimum)definingprinciplesofdemocracywiththeclassical
(broken)promisesofdemocracy,Bobbio'sworksinthe1970stendedtomakethisquestionunanswerable.Inthe1980s,heconfrontedtheissuewithaprocedural
turninhisthought,differentiatingminimumdefinitionfromnormafivepromise.Henowdefineddemocracyintermsofaproceduralminimumthatincludes(1)
participationofthelargestpossiblenumberofthoseconcerned,(2)majorityrulein

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decisionmaking,(3)theexistenceofrealalternatives(personsandpolicies)tochoosefrom,and(4)theexistenceofguaranteesoffreechoiceintheformofbasic
rightsofopinion,expression,speech,assembly,andassociation.
133
Moderndemocracyisthusliberaldemocracybydefinition,evenifBobbiobelievesthatthereisalsoabuiltinconflictbetweendemocracyandthosedimensionsof
economicandpoliticalactivitiescallingforastronglylimitedgovernment.
134
Equallyimportant,moderndemocracyisalsoaformofeliteoroligarchic,pluralistic,
particularistic,anddeficientlypublicmassdemocracywhosedemocraticcharacterislimitedtothespaceofpoliticsalone.Thesecharacterizationsamount,inBobbio's
view,toaseriesofbrokenpromiseswithrespecttotheclassicalmodelofdemocracy,eveninitsearlymodern,liberalrestatements,allofwhichinvolveda
relativizationofthedistinctionofrulerandruledalongwithvaryingemphasesonindividualism,universalism,publicity,andaneducatedcitizenry.
135
Despitea
heterogeneoussetofcausesdiminishingthedemocraticcharacterofmodernpolitiesthesurvivalofsecretiveorinvisiblepoliticalpractices,thecapitalistcharacterof
moderneconomies,theelectiveaffinitybetweendemocracyandbureaucracy,theoverloadofdemandproducedbydemocraticpartypolitics,andtheincreasingrole
oftechnicalexpertiseinmodernlifeeventheseviolationsoftheclassicalpromiseofdemocracydonoteliminatetheminimallydemocraticcharacteroftheexisting
liberaldemocracies,whichisprocedurallydefinedbymajorityrule,electoralcompetition,andcivilliberties.
136
Thispoint,however,couldbereversed:The
proceduralminimumapparentlycannotdiminishtheelite,particularistic,nonpublic,anddepoliticizedformofdemocracyinmodernsocieties.
Bobbioiscertainlynotsatisfiedwiththisconclusion.Hestressesthesocializingaspectoftheproceduralminimumofdemocracy,whichpromotesvaluesoftoleration
andnonviolenceinconflictresolutionand,lessconvincingly,thoseofsolidarityandopennesstoradicalculturallearningexperiences.
137
Moreimportantly,hestrongly
believesthatthefurtherdemocratizationofexistingdemocraciesispossible.Thisissueisaddressedonthreelevels:thepossibleplaceofdirectdemocracytheroleof
alternativeformsofrepresentationandthepossibilityofexpandingthespaceofdemocracyfromthestatetocivilsociety.

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Alreadyinthe1970s,Bobbioinsistedthatthereisnofullfledged,realizablealternativetorepresentativedemocracythatwouldsatisfytheclassicalpromiseof
democracybetterthantheexistingmodeldoes.
138
InamannerquitereminiscentofRobertoMichels,Bobbioshowsconvincinglythatneitheroftheindividual
institutionsof"directdemocracy"referenda,localcommitteesorassemblies,thebindingmandatenoreventheircombinationoffersafeasiblereplacementforthe
representativesystem.Referendaaresimplyinfeasibleforalltheissuesthatmustbedebatedandresolvedcollectivelyincomplexmodernsocieties.Theproblemsthat
alocalcommitteeorassemblyiscompetenttodiscussarehardlyidenticaltothoseconfrontinganationalpolity.Bindingmandatesalreadyexistwherestrongparty
systemsareineffect(partydisciplinebeingthefunctionalequivalentforthemandatimperatif),andwheretheyarenotineffect,thequestionremainsastothenature
ofanacceptableauthorityabletorevokeamandate.Finally,analternativemodelof"socialist"democracybasedonthedualstrategyofstructuralreformandthe
wideningofparticipationwouldrunupagainsttwoadditionaldifficulties.First,astructuralreformthatradicallyaffectstheeconomyishardtoimaginewithoutinvoking
violentmeans,whichhaveneverledtoanincreaseofdemocracy.Second,thewideningofdemocraticparticipationinthesphereofeconomicpowercomesup
againstwhatappearstobeapermanentfeatureorcountertrendcommontosocialistaswellascapitaliststates,namely,theremovalofeconomicpowerfromthe
provinceofdemocraticcontrolfrombelow.Whileitisdebatablewhethertheconditionsfavoringautocraticpowerinthisspherearehistoricallydeterminedor
objective,Bobbiomaintained(atleastinthe1970s)thattherearegoodgroundsforsuspectingthattheprogressivewideningofthedemocraticbasewilleventuallyrun
intoaninsuperablebarrierwhenittriestopassthefactorygates.
139
Butshouldrepresentativeanddirectdemocracybeseenasexclusivealternatives?Inthe1980s,Bobbiobegantoseethemaspotentiallycomplementary.First,there
wasapossibilityofmixedorintermediaryformssuchasrepresentationwithbindingmandates.Second,onecouldalsoincludedirectdemocraticformssuchas
referenda,recall,andlocalassembliesintorepresentativedemo

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craticconstitutions.
140
Bobbioremainsskepticaltowardtheintermediaryformshementions,andherejectsanyfurtherextensionofthealreadyabusedimperative
mandate.Moreover,heconsiderstheroleofcomplementarydirectdemocraticdevicesimportantbutnecessarilylimited.Heseesthereferendum,forexample,as
appropriateonlywhenarelativelyfewissuesofuncompromisableprincipleareatstake.Thus,hisownmodelofdemocratizationreliesprimarilyonextendingnew
representativeratherthandirectforms.
Withinthesphereofstateinstitutions,ideasoffunctionaldemocracyhaveoftenbeenproposedasextendingthelogicofdemocracytoalevelthathasbecomemore
importantinmodernsociety(accordingtoEmileDurkheim,themostfamousexponent)thantheterritorialone.Thebestknownproposalforsuchrepresentation
articulatedbytheguildsocialistsandAustroMarxists,amongothersinvolvesanadditionalparliamentarychamberrepresentingprofessionalassociationsoutsideof
thepartysystem.ToBobbio,suchaschemeimpliesapoorandevendangerousalternativetoterritorialrepresentation.Suchrepresentationofinterestgroupswould
simplydeliverparliamenttolobbyingbyspecialinterestsandtothedealstheywouldmake.Totheextentthisisalreadya"degenerative"tendencyoftheexistingforms
ofparliamentarism,itshouldnotbemadeworsebybeingraisedtoaprincipleandaninstitution.WhileBobbiodoesnotbelievethatanythinglikeageneralinterest
emergesincontemporaryparliaments,heneverthelessclaimsthatthepoliticalpartiesthatdominatethesestructuresrepresentasuperiorformofmediationbetween
theindividualandstatethandointerestgroups.Tothenecessarilyrigidpatternoftherepresentationofgroupinterestshecounterposesgeneralvisionsavailablein
politicalmovementsleadingtothepotentiallycreativeandflexiblehandlingofissues.Politicalpartiesthusrepresentthedifferentlyinterpreted,multifacetedinterestsof
citizens,asagainstthenarrowandinflexibleinterestsofgroupmembers.
141
Tochooseapartymeanstochooseageneralframeworkofinterpretationbasedon
politicalopinions.Ontheotherhandwedonotchooseourinterestgroupourrelationtoitisordinarilynotpoliticalbutisdefinedbysharedsocialandeconomic
interests.

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Onlyinthispolemicalcontextdowegetsuchaglorifieddescriptionofthelogicofrepresentationthroughthepartysystem.Yettheidealizedpicturedistortswhat
couldhavebecomeamoredifferentiatedanalysisandproposal.Bobbiocouldhavestressedthepossibilityofaformsupplementingratherthanreplacing
representativedemocracyasitisnowofficiallypracticed.Goodargumentsandmodelsareavailableforsuchproposals.Ifneocorporatistbargainingalready
characterizescontemporarypoliticalprocesses,asherepeatedlyadmits,theremaybesomesignificantvirtueinbringingsuchnegotiationsintothelightofthepublic
sphere,therebydiminishingtheircorporatistcharacter,towhichBobbio,inlightofthefascistexperience,isunderstandablyallergic.
142
Moreover,asecond
parliamentarychambercouldtakeonasecondaryroleinrelationtothefirstitcouldbeoverruledonthebasisofaqualifiedmajorityintheterritorialchamber,andits
functionscouldbelimitedtocertaintypesofissues.Allofthisisimportantbecause,asweshallsee,Bobbio'salternativestrategyofdemocratizingcivilsocietymaybe
futileifthechannelsenablingdemocraticassociations,organizations,andmovementstoinfluencethepoliticalsystemarenotincreasedwithrespecttotheordinary
practiceofpartypoliticalelitedemocracy.
Withinageneralprogramofdemocratization,Bobbio'semphasisisontheexpansionofformsofrepresentativedemocracybeyondthesphereofpolitics.Hehopesin
facttoredeemtwo''promises"thatwerenotinherentineithertheclassicalortheliberalmodelofdemocracy:expandingthespaceofdemocraticdecisionmakingand
exploitingthepotentialofpluralism.Inthiscontext,hementionsavarietyofrolesthatcanbedemocratized(inparticular,familial,occupational,educational,andclient
roles)aswelltwomajorinstitutionsthatarenotatpresentorganizeddemocratically:theschooland(inconsistently)theworkplace.Hisjustificationforchoosingthese
istheoneusedbyDurkheimforhistheoryoffunctionalrepresentation,namely,thatitisherethat"mostmembersofmodernsocietyspendthemajorityoftheir
lives."
143
Atissueisnottheinventionorrecreationofnewanddirectformsofdemocracybutthe"infiltration"ofnewspaces,thespacesofcivilsociety,by"quite
traditionalformsofdemocracy,suchasrepresentativedemocracy."

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Interestinglyenough,Bobbio'searlierdoubtsconcerningthedemocratizationofeconomiclifearenotdispelledtheprospectsherearestillpronounceduncertain,as
theyareforthesphereofadministration.Nevertheless,heinsiststhatwhiletheprocessofdemocratizationofcivilsocietyhasonlyjuststarted,considerableprogress
hasalreadybeenmadeinareassuchasschooling,wherehestressestheparticipationofparentsinschoolcouncils,apparentlyarelativelynewexperienceinItaly.On
thebasisofsuchexamples,Bobbiomaintainsthatthenewindexofdemocratizationinthefuturewillbeprovidednot"bythenumberofpeoplewhohavetherightto
vote,butbythenumberofcontextsoutsidepoliticswheretherighttovoteisexercised."
144
ThisconclusionseemsprematureonthebasisoftheempiricalsupportBobbioprovides,buthehasamoretheoreticallineofreasoningtobackitup.Hearguesthat
pluralism,althoughnotdemocraticinorigin,providesbothareasonandanopportunityfordemocratizingcivilsociety.Bobbioinsightfullydemonstratestheoriginsof
modernpluralismanddemocracyintwodifferentpolemicalsituations.Originallyopposednotsomuchtoautocracyastomonocraticformsofpower,pluralismor
polyarchyisinconflictwithmonolithicmodelsofdemocracy,whetherancientormodern.Inotherwords,giventhedominantmodelsofdemocracyintheearly
modernperiod,pluralismwasantidemocratic.AndyetBobbioisright:Pluralism,basedontheheterogeneityofconflictinginterestconstellations,cannotbeeliminated
incomplexsocieties.Asfarasheisconcerned,thisfactrepresentsaviolationofthepromiseofdemocracybecausenondemocraticallyorganizedcentersofpower
bringparticularintereststobearonprocessesofdecisionmakingandalsoremovetheseimportantcentersfromdemocraticcontrols.Yetantipluralist,individualist
formsofresistanceonthepartofdemocracywouldofcoursebefutileundergenuinelymodernconditions.Democracycancounterattackonlybybringingextrastate
andevennonpoliticalcentersofpowerunderitsownlogic.Inthecontextofpluralisticsociety,thepromiseofdemocracycanberedeemedonlythroughtheextension
ofprocessesofdemocratizationthroughthewholefabricofhumanassociation.Andthisrequiresnotafundamentalistprogramofdirectdemocracybutthe
introductionofrepresentativedemocracyintherelevantpolyarchiccentersofsociety.

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Sofartheargumentisconvincing.ButBobbioalsoclaimsthatthegreaterdistributionofpowercharacteristicofpluralismitself"opensthedoortothedemocratization
ofcivilsociety."
145
Oneishardpressedtofindanexplanationinhistextforhowapluralisticorganizationprovidestargetsfordemocratizationandevenfacilitates
suchprocess,althoughhedoesatonepointrefertodissentpromotedorshieldedbypluralisticorganizations.Theclaimis,moreover,implicitlycontradictedbythe
followingassertion:
Theprocessofdemocratizationhasnotevenbeguntoscratchthesurfaceofthetwogreatblocksofdescendingandhierarchicalpowerineverycomplexsociety,bigbusiness
andpublicadministration.Andaslongasthesetwobigblocksholdoutagainstpressuresfrombelow,thedemocratictransformationofsocietycannotbesaidtobecomplete.We
cannotevensaywhetherthistransformationispossible.
146
Itseems,then,thatsomeofthemostimportantcentersofpowergreatlyresisttheirowndemocratization.Itisunfortunatelythecasethatifwemeasure
democratizationbytheextenttowhichasinglesetofproceduralstandardsextendsintodifferentspheresofsociety,theresultswillinevitablybemixed,and
nondemocraticspacesorcentersofpowerarelikelytoremain"sonumerousandsolarge,andtheirimportancesogreat"
147
astoplacethewholeprojectin
significantdoubt.
WithoutwishingtoreplaceBobbio'ssomewhatpessimisticconclusionconcerningdemocratizationbyamoreoptimisticscenario,webelievethatafewcriticalremarks
mayhelpelucidatethereasonswhyhisowncivilsocietycenteredprogramhasreachedanimpasse.First,BobbiodoesnotconsistentlyoperatewiththeGramscian
notionofacivilsocietydifferentiatedfromtheeconomy.
148
Asaresult,hecannotclearlydistinguishsphereswhoseinternallogicfacilitatesradicaldemocratization
fromsphereswhosereproductionisconsistentonlywithsubsidiaryformsofdemocraticparticipation.Hisoverlyproceduraldefinitionofdemocracydoesnotserve
himwellinthiscontext:Itmakeshimdemandtoolittleofelitesinsomespheres(e.g.,politicalparties)andtoomuchofelitesinotherspheres(e.g.,capitalist
managements).
Second,Bobbiodoesnotposethequestionoftheinternalrelationsofdifferentdemocratizedspheres.Asaresult,hisprogno

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sis,accordingtowhichspheresofsocietycanbedemocratizedinanorderthatmoreorlessreversestheirgeneralsocialimportance,seemstoreduceundulythe
stakesofdemocratization.Whatisneededisademonstrationofhowandunderwhatconditionsnewlydemocratizedspherescaninfluencethelessdemocraticspaces
ofsociety.Inthiscontext,hisgeneralpessimismconcerningtheintroductionofnewstructuresintoexistingversionsofpoliticaldemocracydoesnotservehimwell.
Finally,Bobbiodoesnotdistinguishbetweenpluralismasacontextofinstitutionsthatcanandshouldbedemocratizedandthepluralityofcollectiveactorsthatareto
carryouttheworkofdemocratization.Hisremarksonsocialmovementsandcivildisobediencedonotindicatemuchconfidencein"extrainstitutional"actorsasagents
ofdemocratization.
149
Wearethereforeleftwiththesuspicionthatheentrustssuchprocessestotheelitespresentlyensconcedintherelevantpluralisticinstitutions,
includingthepartiesofthepoliticalsystem.Suchapositionwouldbereasonenoughforpessimismtheworkofdemocratizationcannotordinarilybeentrustedtothe
beneficiariesoflessdemocraticorevennondemocraticarrangements.
WedonotsharePerryAnderson'scritiqueoftheleftsocialistappropriationofGramsci.Inourview,itmakeslittlesensetocriticizeBobbioonthegroundthathis
strategycannotleadtoaradicalrupturewiththeinstitutionsofparliamentarydemocracy,sincehespecificallyandrightlyrejectstheideaofrupture.Nordoeshemake
atransitiontosocialismthegoalwithrespecttowhichdemocraticpoliticscanbereducedtoameremeansingeneral,itseemsthattheverymeaningofsocialismis
transformedhereintothatoftheradicalizationofdemocracy.
150
Withallofthis,weareinagreement.
OurcriticismofBobbiohastodowiththeunfinishednatureofhisprogramofdemocratization,whichinpartislinkedtotheundevelopedandevenambiguousnature
ofhisconceptionofcivilsociety.ButeventhiscriticismshouldnotdisguiseourfundamentalagreementwithtwoofthemostimportantfeaturesofBobbio'sconception:
hisdisplacementoftheterrainofdemocratizationfromthestatetocivilsociety,andhisinsistenceonanonfundamentalistprograminwhichformalandrepresentative

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democracyprovidesthegeneralmodelthatshouldbefollowedinthevariousspheresofsociety.Theseachievements,basedonaspecificinterpretationofGramsci,
linkBobbiotothemostimportantstrategiesofemancipationofthe1970sand1980s.Andyetitremainsdoubtfulthathisconceptioncouldprovidesuchinitiatives
withanadequateframeworkoforientationandselfunderstanding.Atissuearenotonlyhisambiguitieswithrespecttotheconceptofcivilsociety,hissomewhattoo
generousconcessionstotheelitetheoryofdemocracy,hisonesidedconceptionofpluralism,andhisdeemphasisofsocialmovementsinfavorofpoliticalparties.
Theseimperfectionscouldbecorrectedwithinthetermsofhistheory.Onadeeperlevel(andthisisadifficultyheshareswiththeformsofdiscoursewithinsocial
movements),itisnotautomaticallyobviousthattheconceptofcivilsocietytakenoverfromHegelandothernineteenthcenturyauthorscanwithonlyafew
correctionssustainaprogramofdemocratizationandyetavoidtheideologicalutilizationwithwhichParsons'stheoryculminates.Bobbioneverconsidersthe
possibilitythatthewholeconceptualstrategymaybeintimatelylinkedtonowobsoletenineteenthcenturyconditionsbeforethe"fusion"ofstateandsocietythateven
initsoriginalutilizationitmayimplynotonlyantistatismbutdepoliticizationaswellthatitmightrepresentonlyasetofinstitutionalmasksfordeeperandmorerefined
authoritarianstrategiesandfinally,thatthemodelofsocialdifferentiationitpresupposesisafalseandunsophisticatedonethatisinadequatetotherealitiesofcomplex
societies.
Inourview,thekindoftheoryBobbioseekstodevelopcannotbeconstructeduntilthesecriticismsareconsideredindetail.Webelievefurtherthattheseveral
paradigmsofthecritiqueofcivilsocietyassociatedwithCarlSchmitt,HannahArendt,ReinhartKoselleck,JrgenHabermas,MichelFoucault,andNiklasLuhmann
willyieldimportantcontributionstoourattemptattheoryconstruction.Itistothesecritiquesthatwenowturn.

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II
THEDISCONTENTSOFCIVILSOCIETY

Page177
4
TheNormativeCritique:
HannahArendt
Oneofthemostchallenging,andcertainlythemostpassionate,critiquesofmoderncivilsocietyhasbeenpresentedbyHannahArendtinawholeseriesofbooksand
essays.
1
Arendt'smain,thoughbarelymentioned,antagonistisHegel.Herattackisconcentratedspecificallyontheconceptof"society"asanintermediaterealm
betweenprivateandpublic,betweenfamilyandpoliticallife."Society"isarealmofmediationswhereprivateinterests,activities,andinstitutionsassumepublicroles,
whilepublicinstitutionstakeonprivate"housekeeping''functions.Thus,toArendt,institutionssuchasHegel'scorporationsandpolicedonotstabilizeandregulatethe
differentiationofpublicandprivatebutratherdissolvethesharplinebetweenthemandthreatentheintegrityandautonomyofboth.UnlikeHegel,Arendtdoesnot
seekasynthesisofmodernsocietyandancientrepublicanism.Instead,sheresolutelydefendsthemodelofclassicalpoliticalsociety,politikekoinonia,alongwithits
sharpseparationfromtheoikosorprivatesphere,againstmodernity,particularlyagainstthemodernstate(bureaucracy)andmodern(mass)society.Hercritiqueisa
normativeonebasedonwhatshetakestobethevaluesofclassicalpubliclife(politicalequality,publicdiscourse,andhonor)andprivatelife(uniqueness,difference,
individuality).UnlikethatoftheyoungMarxin1843,whomsheinmanyrespectsresembles,Arendt'sisnotanimmanentcriticism.Theactualpoliticalreemergence
andreinstitutionalizationofthesevaluesrequiresanalmosttotalrupturewithallexistinginstitutions.Ahistoryofdeclinefromtheemergenceof"society"tomass
society,seenasmoreorless

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inexorable,deprivesmodernityofitsoneadmittedachievement:thedevelopmentandenrichmentoftheprivatesphereasasphereofintimacy.Thus,likeWalter
Benjamin,Arendtconsciouslypracticesaformofredemptivecriticismthat,forthesakeofapossiblefuture,attemptstosavesomevaluedaspectsofthepastfromthe
perceiveddisintegrationoftradition,includingthetraditionofearlymodernity.
2
WeexamineArendt'scritiqueindetailforseveralreasons.First,shewillhelpuscounterbalancetheParsonianconceptionbyprovidingrichinsightsintothedarkside
oftheinstitutionalizationofmoderncivilsociety.Second,theinternalcontradictionsofheranalysiswillhelpusshowthatnotevenArendtwasabletobaseamodern
theoryoffreedomontheabolitionofcivilsocietyshe,too,isforcedtoassume,howeverunwillingly,thenecessityofitspreservation.Third,acomparisonwiththe
earlyworkofReinhartKoselleckandJrgenHabermaswillallowustoshowthatinthemodernworldonecanmakesenseofArendt'snormativelybasedproject,
whichrevolvesaroundtheconceptofthepublicsphere,onlyifitisrelocatedaroundtheintermediarysphereofthesocialthatshesoughttobanish.
TheconceptofthesocialinArendt'sworkcorrespondstotheHegeliantoposofbrgerlicheGesellschaftandis,infact,counterposedtoboththepoliticalsocietyof
theancientsandthecivilsocietyofthemodernliberals.Whilethesetwoconceptualizationsemphasizedthepublicsphereinthecaseoftheancientsandtheprivatein
thecaseofliberalism,"thesocialrealm,"acreationofmodernityoccludedbythesetwopoliticalphilosophies,involvesamixtureandinterpenetrationofthetworealms
andtheirconstitutiveprinciples.
3
Tounderstandthemixture,wemustfirstanalyzeitscomponents.
Arendt'stheoryofthepublicsphere,althoughsystematizedaroundatheoryofaction,isderivedfromherunderstandingofthemodelofancientrepublics.She
conceivesofthepolisas"theorganizationofthepeopleasitarisesoutofspeakingandactingtogether."
4
Actioninturnisunderstoodastheselfdisclosureandeven
selfrenewaloftheactorthroughthemediumofspeech,possibleonlyinpresenceofotherswhoseeandhearandhencearecapableofestablishingtherealityof
subjectiveexpression.
5
Action

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isthereforealwaysinteractionthatbothconfirmsthepluralityofuniqueexperienceandpersonalityandestablishesacommonworld,"relatingandseparating"human
actorsatthesametime.Thiscommonworldisthepublicsphere.
OnestrikingdifficultyofArendt'sconceptionisthatitdescribesbothananthropologicallyconstitutiveconditionofhumanlifeandahistoricallyspecificandunique
constellation:theancientcityrepublic(anditsalleged,butadmittedlyexceptional,modernrevivals).InthisshefollowstheprejudicesoftheGreeks,andshetriesto
escapetheresultingdifficultythroughherconceptionofpower.
Action,orratherinteraction,isconstitutiveofthepublicsphere,
6
butitissupposedlyonlypowerthatcankeepitinexistence.
7
Powerinturnisdefinedasactingin
concert,onthebasesofmakingandkeepingpromises,mutuallybindingoneanother,covenanting.
8
WhileArendt'smodelofactionstressesthestrivingoftheactor
forthefameandeven"immortality"thatcanbeachievedthroughdramaturgicselfpresentationbasedontherhetoricalskill"offindingtherightwordsattheright
moment,"
9
herconceptofpowerpointstoactionorientedtonormativeprinciplesthatderivetheirforcefromthedepthstructureofaformofcommunicationbasedon
mutualrecognitionandsolidarity.
10
Thus,theconceptofactioncanbeunderstoodasageneralanthropologicalconstituentofthe''humancondition,"buttheconcept
ofpower,andalongwithitafullyinstitutionalizedpublicsphere,seemstorequirearepublicanmodelforitsfullactualization.AndArendtdoesinfactlinkpowermore
closelytopoliticalspeechthantoactioninitsprimordial,"rhetorical"sense.
11
ThepublicsphereinArendt'sviewpresupposesapluralityofindividualsunequalbynaturewhoare,however,"constructed"aspoliticallyequal.Accordingtoher,the
meaningofthepolisasisonomia(literally,equalityinrelationtolaw)isthatof"norule,"inthesenseofanabsenceofdifferentiationintorulersandruledwithinthe
citizenbody.
12
Thus,thepublicsphereestablishesamodelofinteractioncharacterizedbynoncoercivediscourseamongcitizenswhoinitiallyholdandfreelyexchange
agenuinepluralityofopinions.
13
Thismodelturnsouttoberatherrestrictive.Basedonherdifferentiationbetweenactionandwork,praxisandpoiesis,

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ArendtattimesgoesalongwithwhatshetakestobetheGreekexclusionoflegislation,decisionbyvoting,andeventhefoundingofcitiesfromtheproperlypublic,
politicalactivities.
14
WhenshemadeherjourneyfromGreecetoRome,however,inOnRevolution,shemadetheactoffoundationthemakingofconstitutionsor
theexerciseoflepouvoirconstituantthepublicpoliticalactivityparexcellence.Yetshekeptanimportantconsistencybetweenthetwopositions,namely,theview
thatpubliclifemustbeseenexclusivelyasanendinitself.Thus,genuinerepublicanconstitutionmakinginthelaterviewoughttohavenootherpurposethanto
institutionalizethepublicsphereitself.
15
Arendtthereforestronglyrejected,ascontrarytotheveryprincipleofpublicity,theideathatactorsbringintotheircommon
deliberationstheinterests,needs,andconcernsoftheirprivatelivesandhouseholds.
Arendtdescribestheallimportantrelationshipofpublicandprivateintermsofdifferentiation,complementarity,andconflict.Shestartsbydifferentiatingprinciples
describedvariouslyintermsofactionvs.laborandwork,constructedrealityvs.naturalreality,uniquenessvs.realdifference,freedomvs.necessity,norulevs.
domination,orequalityvs.inequality.
16
ForArendt,anactualandthoroughgoinginstitutionaldifferentiationisrequiredfortheoperationoftheprinciplesofboth
privateandpublicfortworeasons.First,thecomplementaryroleoftheprivatevisvisthepubliccanbeperformedonlyincontextoftheirseparation.Second,in
eachother'sterrainthetwoprincipleshaveastrongtendencytovitiateandevenabolishoneanother.
Abstractly,thefreedomofpublicliferequirestheconquestofnecessity,thetaskoftheprivateinitseconomiccapacity,asoikos.
17
Thus,theorganizationofthe
householdwassuchastoprovideitsheadwithsufficienttimefortheexerciseofpublicfreedom.ButArendt'sstressisontheconditionsrequiredfortheemergenceof
thecitizenasanindependentsubject,possessingsubstantialandindependentopinions.Theinstitutionalformoftheprivateasproperty(incontrasttomobilewealth)
guaranteesthisindependencebysettingup"external"boundariesamongcitizensandhouseholdsits"interior,"byofferingahidingplacefromthelightofpublicity,is
thepreconditionfornurturingtheuniqueaspectsofpersonalitywithoutwhichlifebecomesentirely"shallow."
18


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Inspiteoftheimportanceofadifferentiatedprivaterealmforthepublic,thelatteralsoinvolvesfearandsuspicionoftheformer.Thisisbasedonthepossible
distractionofthecitizenbyamodelofprivatehappiness,butevenmoreonthetemptationtoimposeonthepolisthedespoticformsofrule,inequality,and
differentiationcharacteristicoftheoikos.
19
WhileinthiscontextArendtspeaksofthe"permanentthreat"oftheprivatetothepublic,elsewhereshemaintainsthatin
theancientworldthegreaterdangerwas"thetendencyofpublicpowertoexpandandtotrespassuponprivateinterests."Thispossibility,"inherentinrepublican
government,"couldbecheckedonlybyinstitutionalizingprivatepropertyandeventuallybythemodernalternative,borninrenewedrepublicanexperimentation,of
framinglawsthatpubliclyguaranteethe"rights"ofprivacy,thatis,thecreationofconstitutionalrights.
20
WhileArendtalwaysmaintainsherstaunchsupportforsuchrights,sheneverthelessarguesthattheydonotsufficientlyprotectthedifferentiationofpublicandprivate
undermodernconditions.Inparticular,neitherthespecificallymodernformsoftheinvasionofthepublicbytheprivatenortheresultingassaultsonprivacyand
intimacybyanewandcorruptformof"public"lifecanbecounteractedbypublicrightsofprivatepersons.Arendtconnectsbothtendenciestoasinglephenomenon:
theriseofthesocial.
Evenifshethusadmitstendencieswithinthepublicandtheprivatetoinvadeoneanother'sdomains,Arendtconsistentlyclaimsthattheancientrepublicsmanagedto
maintainthedifferentiationthatbelongedtotheirownconstitutiveconditions.Theactualinterpenetrationandevenfusionofthetwoisaproductofmodernity,ofthe
riseofthesocialrealmthatconstitutesthetargetofArendt'scritiqueofcivilsociety.Theinterpenetration,inlinewithlatenttendenciesofboththepublicandthe
privatespheres,goesbothways.Thestate(i.e.,themodernterritorialcompulsoryassociation)takesoverfunctionsofmaterialreproduction,or"housekeeping,"while
collectivelife,intheshapeofthenation,takesonthestructureandformsofbehaviorofasuperhumanfamily.Arendt'sformulaforthepoliticalformoftheriseofthe
social,thenationstate,expressesthistwosidedinterpenetration.
21
Theresultofmutualinterpenetrationofpublicandprivateisthedisappearanceofanystableboundariesbetween"tworealms[that]

Page182
...constantlyflowintoeachother."
22
Inthenewtopos,however,anentirelynoveltypeofhybridstructurecomesintobeingthatwillbecomethedynamiccenterof
aprocessleadingtotheeventualdisappearanceofbothpublicandprivate.
TheoriginsofthissocialrealmareanalyzedinquitedifferenttermsinArendt'svariousworks.Atleastthreepointsoforiginaredistinguishableamongthese:theearly
modernpoliticalornationaleconomythedepoliticizedcourtsocietyandtheemergenceofsalonsocietyandthemoderndemocraticrevolution.Ineachcase,therole
oftheearlymodernstate,createdbyabsolutism,iscentral.Thefirstexplanation,whichcomesclosesttotheMarxiantradition,
23
stressestheselforganizationofthe
absolutemonarchy"asatremendousbusinessconcern"thatfailed,accordingtooneversionoftheargument,tofindanadequateclassbasis.
24
Inthisversion,itwas
thestatethatelevatedmattersofmerehousekeepingintothepublicrealm,intheprocessdeformingthatrealmwithconcernsthatwereincompatiblewithitsbasic
principles.
25
Itshouldbenotedthatinthiscontext"thesocial"becomessynonymouswith"politicaleconomy."Itssupposedlyalmostunrestrainableexpansionis
associatedwiththemodernphenomenonofunlimitedeconomicgrowth.HerethesteptoaneconomycenteredneoMarxistargumentisarathersmallone,and
Arendtactuallytakesthisstepwhenshedescribeslimitlesseconomicgrowthastheexpansionoftheprivaterealmatthecostofthepublic.
26
Thesecondtrainofargumentis,inpart,Tocquevillian.ThethesisisthatabsolutismdestroyeditsownclassbasisbydepoliticizingtheStndestaatintheformofa
societyoforderswhosemodelandpreeminentinstitutionwascourtlysociety.
27
Thisargumentstressesconformism,secretmanipulation,andintrigueastheresultsof
"depoliticization"ratherthan"economization."ThemostimportantconsequencewasthattheFrenchnobilitywasreducedtoinsignificance.Inotherwords,this
developmentofthesocialoccurredattheexpenseofpoliticalsociety.
Thesetwoargumentsmayindeedbecompatible,buttheyshareacommonflaw:Bothseemtoimplythat,beforetheprocessofabsolutistdepoliticizationand/or
economization,differentiatedpublicandprivaterealmsexisted,eachoperatingaccordingtoitsownproperlogic.Becauseshereliesonanormativemodelderived

Page183
fromtheancientcityrepublics,however,Arendtexplicitlycontradictsthisimplicitclaim.Rightlyorwrongly,shepositsthelossoftheGreekunderstandingofpoliticsin
themedievalperiodandtheabsenceofapublicrealminthesecularsphereofthefeudalepoch.Sinceshedepictsmedievalcorporatelifeashavingpatternedall
humanactivitiesonthatofthehousehold,itishardlyfeasiblethatshecouldconsidertheStndestaatbasedonitasamodelofpubliclife,inhersenseofthisconcept.
28
Arendt'sthirdlineofargumentation,developedinOnRevolution,proposesamodelthatavoidsthisdifficulty,butintheprocessshethrowsintodoubtthehistorical
relevanceoftheothertwotheses.HereArendtsolvestheproblemofwhatprecedesdepoliticizationbycreditingthe"republican"momentofthemodernrevolutions
withrecreatingtheclassicalmodelofthepublic.Itthenmakessensetoarguethatitwasthefailuretoinstitutionalizethismomentand/ortheemergenceofthe"social"
questionledtothesubsequentdedifferentiationofpublicandprivateandtheirdecline.InthecaseoftheFrenchRevolution,however,theargumentconcerningtherise
ofthesocialisanentirelynewone.AccordingtoArendt,therevolutioninitsradicalphaseopenedthepoliticalrealmtothepoor,tothemultitudedrivenbymaterial
need,intheprocessmakingmatterspublicthatbytheirverynaturebelongedtotheprivaterealmofhousekeepingandcouldbesolvednotbypublicpoliticalbutonly
byadministrativemeans.
29
Thus,onceagain,despitetherepublicanethosoftherevolutionaries,governmentturnedintoadministration.Ofcourse,theturningof
governmentintoadministrationwasanticipatedbythemonarchicabsolutistfoundersofthemodernstate.Recallingherearlierargumentasacounterpoint,Arendtnow
statesthatifintheoldregimeeconomicandfinancialproblemscouldbesaidtohave"intruded"intothepublicsphere,"thepeople"violentlyburstuponit.
30
Andif
"highsociety''imposeditsmoresandmoralstandardsonpolitics,reducingittointrigueandperfidy,thesocietyofthepoor,drivenalsobyitsearlierexclusionfrom
society,transformedpubliclifeintoitsverynegation:brutalityandviolence.
31
Evidently,then,andsomewhatinconsistently,Arendtseesthemercantilisteconomizationofpolitics,theabsolutistdepoliticization

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ofthearistocracy,andtherevolutionarysocializationofpubliclifeassuccessiveandincreasinglydestructiveformsoftheriseofthesocialrealm,whichwillbe
followedbythesuccessiveformsofmasssocietyandtotalitarianism,involvingthecompleteeradicationofbothpublicandprivate.HeranalysisoftheAmerican
Revolution,however,indicatesthattheoveralltrendimpliedbythethesisoftheriseofthesocialdoesnotrequirethestagesjustdepicted.Americanhistoryknows
onlyfailedattemptsatmercantilisteconomizationandevenmoresoatabsolutistdepoliticization.Inparticular,Arendtarguesthatthesocialquestiondidnotburstupon
thepublicpoliticalstageinAmericaandthathere,unlikeallotherrevolutions,theinstitutionalizationofadifferentiatedprivatesphereprotectedbyconstitutionalrights
wasfullysuccessful.
32
AndyetexceptionalismintheserespectsobviouslydidnotpreventtheUnitedStatesfromdevelopingitsownbrandofmasssociety,indeed
formanytheparadigmaticmodel.
Likeotheranalysts,ArendthaddifficultyperceivingtherealityofthemodernstatebehindtheinstitutionsofAmericanfederalismandpluralism.Yetthisrealitydoes
makeanappearancewhenArendtanalyzestheAmericanfailuretofoundlastinginstitutionsofrepublicanfreedom.Thereasonsforthisincludedafailureto
institutionalizesmallscalestructuresofdirectpoliticalparticipationandanincreasingidentificationoffreedomaswellastheaimsofgovernmentwiththenegative
freedomsofprivatelifeprotectedbyconstitutionalrights.Butthesepointsarenotonthesamelevelastheargumentsdealingwiththeriseofthesocialsphereindeed,
theyimplyonlythestrengtheningoftheprivateattheexpenseofthepublic.
NeverthelessArendtmaintainsthattheretreattothevaluesofprivateasagainstpublichappiness,andthereductionoffreedomtocivillibertiesalone,alongwiththe
riseofutilitariancriteriainpoliticsandthedominationofpubliclifebyauniform,homogeneouspublicopinion,correspondalsoinAmerica"withgreatprecisiontothe
invasionofthepublicrealmbysociety."
33
Asforthisinvasion,wegetonlytworelatedreasons,whichdonotadduptoanexplanationontheleveloftherestof
Arendt'sthesis.Tobeginwith,shespeaksof"rapidandconstanteconomicgrowth"equivalenttothe"constantlyincreasingexpansionoftheprivaterealm"

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attheexpenseofthepublic.
34
ThisisasimplifiedversionofaclassicalMarxianthesisthatdoesnotinitselfexplaintheemergenceofthenewstructuraltopos,the
socialrealm.Forthisrealm,Arendt,unlikeTocqueville,
35
isabletodiscoveronlyEuropeanorigins.Accordingtoanentirelyunconvincingtraininherargument,the
immigrantpoorofEurope,confrontingAmericanrichesbasedoneconomicexpansionandtechnologicalinnovation,broughtoverthesocialquestionfromitsoriginally
Europeanhome.WeareledtobelievethatitwasforthisreasonaboveallthattheAmericandreamofthe"foundationoffreedom"wasconvertedintothatofthe
fulfillmentofallmaterialdesires.
36
Thus,immigrationinAmericasupposedlyplayedsomethingliketheroleoftheradicalphaseoftheFrenchrevolutionthatis,it
convertedinadequatelyinstitutedrepublicanstructuresandpracticesintotheruleofapublicopinionwhoseultimateinterestwasinsatisfyingneedspropertothe
privatespheretheneedsofconsumption.
Irrespectiveoftheproblemoforigins,Arendtdepictsthe"hybrid"sphereofthesocialasanextremelydynamiconewithdevastatingconsequencesforbothpublicand
private.Eventothosewho,likeourselves,judgeheranalysistobehighlyonesided,thedepictionyieldsanimpressiveanalysisoftheundersideofthe
institutionalizationofmoderncivilsocietymatchedonlybyMarxbeforeherandFoucaultafterher.
37
ThekeytermsinArendt'sanalysisofthedeformationofthepublicrealmarebureaucracy,welfarestate,publicopinion,andpoliticalcorruption.Wenotethatthefirst
threecorrespondwithsomeprecisiontothecategoriesofHegel'sanalysisofcivilsocietyandstatethatmediatebetweenprivateandpublic:civilservice,"police,"and
publicopinion.Thecategoryofcorruptioninturnleadstoacritiqueofinterestrepresentationinthepartysystemthatisimplicitlyamodernvariantofthefourth
Hegelianmediation,thecorporation.
AccordingtoArendt,bureaucracyisthe"social"formofgovernmentparexcellencebecausethesocialquestionwhichistosayquestionsofcollectivewelfare,can
haveonlyadministrativesolutions.
38
Arendtdoesnot,infact,denytheneedforcivilserviceoradministrationundermodernformsofgovernment.Shearguesonlythat
whenquestionsofwelfarebecomethepredominantor

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evenexclusivequestionsinthelifeofthestate(asintheSozialstaatorwelfarestate),theresultisbureaucracy,inherterminologytheruleoftheadministration,which
canbecomethemosttyrannicalformofall.
39
Bureaucracyisanespeciallyarbitraryformofgovernmentbecauseitinvolvesrulebydecree,withtheholdersof
discretionarypowerbecominganonymousandinvisiblebehindthefacadeofother,apparentlymorepoliticalformsofdeliberationanddecisionmaking.Iftyrannyis
"governmentthatisnotheldtogiveaccountofitself,"thenbureaucracy,asrule"byNobody,"goessofarastohidetheagentswhomightbeheldaccountable.
40

Such,accordingtoArendt,isthecaseinmodernwelfarestates,wheretheideaofdemocracyisconvertedfromthatofpublicparticipationtotheachievement,
throughthemostefficientadministrativemeanspossible,ofthegoalsofpublicwelfare.
41
Theproceduresofpublicparticipationarenot,however,merelydeformedfromabovetheyarealsohollowedoutfromwithin.Thesocialformofpoliticsisthe
corruptionofpolitics:Ittakesthreeformslinkedtostatus,wealth,andneed,respectively.Membersofthedepoliticizedaristocraticordersoftheoldregimecontinued
toacttogetherincourtsocietytoimprovetheirstatus,buttheycouldnotdosointheproperlypoliticalsenseofrelyingonopenspeech.Thus,publicdeliberationand
persuasionwerereplacedbythe"pull,pressureandthetricksofcliques,"theresultbeingmoresandmoralstandardsthatopenthedoortointrigueandperfidy.
42
The
peddlingofinfluencereplacedthegenerationofpower.Thesamepatternoccurredinsalonsociety.Indeed,theeighteenthcenturyRousseauianattackon"society,"
reproducedbyArendt,wasanattackonthehypocrisyofthecourtanditsanalogues,thearistocraticsalons,andthehypocritical,unnaturalpowerofwomen.
43
But
Arendtdoesnotrestrictthenotionofthecorruptionofpoliticstothisobviousexample.Forher,itisaspartofagenuinepubliclifethatpropertyownersemergefrom
aprotectedprivaterealmtopursuepublicaffairs.When,however,propertyisreplacedby"wealth,"andthepursuitofpoliticalgoalsbythedefenseandgenerationof
everexpandingwealth,thecorruptformsofactingtogethergeneratedbyaristocraticsocietybecomethebestmeansalsoforthe"bourgeois"topursueprivategoals
thatcannotbytheirverynaturebevalidatedpublicly.Finally,thepopularresponseto

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thecorruptionofstatusandwealth,thebrutalityofpeopledrivenbyneed,itselfcorruptspoliticsandiscorruptibleby"politicians."Here,too,thepropermediumof
politicalconflictandcompetitionisreplacedbyaprinciplewhollyatvariancewithit:insteadofthesecretinteractionofcliquesandmafias,theviolenceofthoseunable
tousepoliticalspeech.
44
Whattiestheseexamplesofpoliticalcorruptiontogether,inthecontextofthedepoliticizingbureaucraticrulebyNobody,isthequasipoliticalinteractionofpeoplein
theirprivatecapacitywholacktheinstitutionsofapublicspherethatcouldestablishtheircapacitiesascitizens.ItisnonethelesspartofArendt'sthesisthatthe
eighteenthcenturyrevolutionssoughttoestablishpreciselysuchinstitutions.Theirfailurewasnotsimplyaresultoftheinterventionofbureaucracyandprivatewealth
intothepublicsphere,problemsthateventheancientshadtoface,asArendtwellknew.Thecoreofherthesisaboutthespecificallymoderndeclineofrepublican
politicsthereforedependsontheeffectofthesocialontheverystructureofthepublic:thetransformationofpublicspiritintopublicopinion.
Onceagain,Arendtassignsapioneeringroleto"highsociety,"totheabsolutistcourtanditsextensioninthearistocraticsalon.
45
Indeed,itisthisculturaldevelopment,
unliketheproblemsofbureaucracyandpoverty,thatisuniquetomodernityandthusapivotalpointintheanalysis.Itishere,inaspaceneitherprivatenorpolitical,
dominatedbystatusconsciousnessandemptyuniformconventions,thatpubliclifefirstacquired,accordingtoArendt,theformsofinteractioncharacteristicofa
unified,conformist,corrupted,collectiveopinion.Allthosewhosoughttoenter"highsociety"or"society"wereforcedtosubmittothislogic,producingconformity
andassimilation.
46
Courtlyandsalonsociety,characterizedbythebasestpursuitofprivateinterests,intrigue,unnaturalpretentiousness,concernforstatusandstyle,
andcorruption(inthesenseofutterlackofconcernfortherespublica)becamethemodelofbehaviorthatwasemulatedbytherestofsociety.
47
Butwhatisthedynamicofthedramaticextensionofthislogicbeyond"society"inthenarrowsense,thebeginningsofwhichcanbeascribedtotheabsolutist
suppressionofpoliticallymeaningfulspeechandofthepluralityofpoliticalopinionwithinthearistoc

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racy?ToArendt,therevolutionarytransferofthenotionofsovereigntyfromkingtopeopleandtheconcomitantriseofthepoliticsofinterestarethebestsymbolic
representationsoftherelevanttrends.
48
The"compassionate"responsebytheradicalrevolutionariesinFrancetothemultitudedrivenbyneedledthemtosubstitute
willforconsent,unityforplurality,andasingleopinionfortheconflictofopinions,becauseanyaccommodationofconsent,plurality,andconflictseemedto
compromisethemosturgentanddesperatemeasuresrequiredtosolvethe"socialquestion."Themythologicalsovereigntyofthepeople,inthesenseofacollective
willwhoseonlyobjectwasaunifiedgeneralinterest,thusbecamethefoundationofapublicopinionthatcouldonlybethreatenedbyindependentpubliclife,including
thenew,decentralized,andinevitablypluralinstitutionsofthepopularstratathemselves.
49
Andwhilethedictatorialembodimentofthissupposedlygeneralwilldidnot
arisefromanactuallyunifiedoruniformpublicopinion,itwasinapositiontocreatesuchanopinion.
50
WhilethefactofnationalismallowsArendttoextendhercritiqueofsovereigntybeyonddictatorialpopulistregimes,theargumentagaindoesnotworkwellenough
fortheUnitedStates,wherenineteenthcenturycriticssuchasTocquevilleuncoveredapublicopinionofunrivaleduniformityandassimilatingpower.Arendtdoes
recallapartofTocqueville'sargumentcontrastingdemocracyandrepublics.Ademocraticsocietyinvolvesthekindofsociallevelingthatcouldopenupthewaytoa
newkindofplurality,oneofopinion,onlyincontextofcreatinggenuinerepublicaninstitutionsbasedonfreecommunicationevenatthemicropoliticallevel.Thiseffort
havinginlargepartfailed,democracyinAmericacametorevealsomeofthedespoticcharacteristicsfearedbythefounders,withthepublicspirit,basedona
multiplicityofopinions,replacedbyaunifiedandhomogeneouspublicopinion.Arendtinsiststhatthistrendwascheckedpoliticallythroughthesurvivalofsome
republicaninstitutionsonthenationalandstatelevels.Nevertheless,theriseofapoliticsofinterest,commontobothEuropeandAmerica,tendedtocompletethe
destructiveprocess.
Interestasagainst(genuine)opinionispoliticallyrelevantonlywhenbelongingtoagroup,indeedalargegroup.Therepresentationofinterestmoreorlessbindsthe
representativesandinterferes

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withthegenuineexchangeandformationofopinion.Themodernpartysysteminparticular,byfocusingoninterestrepresentation,endsupreplacingparliamentary
discussionbythecompetingcollectiveopinionsofdisciplinedpartyblocks.Thehierarchicandoligarchicstructureofthepartythusbecomesthemodelof
contemporarypolitics.Thewelfarestatemaybedemocraticinrepresentingtheinterestsofthemany,butitisoligarchicinthesenseofdrasticallycurtailing
participationonallbutthehighestlevelsofthestate.
51
TheHegelianattempttomediateprivateandpublicspheresthroughintermediarysocialpoliticalbodiesthus
windsupreducingthespaceforpublicfreedomwithinthestructureofthestate.
Thesituationismadealltheworse,inArendt'sassessment,becausethedeclineofthepublicdoesnotbenefittheprivatethesocialtendstodestroytheprivatesphere
aswell.Inthiscontext,Arendtdistinguishesbetweenprivateproperty,whichconstitutestheoutershelloftheprotectionofprivacy,andwealth.Thelatterisameans
ofdeformingthepublicrealmbutisincapableofprotectingtheprivate.
52
Becauseofitsfluidityandabsenceofstablelocation,wealthissupposedlyunableto
guaranteeasphereinwhichtheindividualisfreefromanyexternalgazeorpenetration.Moreconvincingly,Arendtarguesthat,theobjectofwealthbeingitsown
accumulationandconsumption,itspursuitcommitsindividualstouniformtrends,reflectedbyabehavioralscience,ofnotonlyeconomicproductionanddistribution
butdailylifeaswell.Notonlydoeslaboringactivitybecomemindlessanduniform,butthelifeofthehomeisinvadedbyaprocessofhomogenizationand
commodificationthatdestroysthepossibilityofanyauthenticprivatelife.Inourunlimiteddrivetoconsumption,wefinallyconsumethematerialframeworkofthe
private.
53
Masssociety,thesocietyofjobholdersandconsumers,presupposestheabsorptionoftheimmensevarietyoffamilylifeintoauniform,homogenizedsocial
realmthatbecomesafamilywritlarge.
54
Theprivatesphereresiststhisabsorptionbyaspecificallymoderncreation:intimacy.Onthelevelofasmallcircleofinterpersonalrelations,intimacyinvolvesa
tremendousdeepeningoftheprivatesphere,inthesenseofanintensificationandenrichmentof"subjectiveemotionsandprivatefeelings."
55
Thisformofprivacyis

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structuredintermsofanoppositionnottothepublicbuttothesocial.Despiteitsimmensecontributiontothecultureofmodernity,though,theintimatespheredoes
notrepresentareliablesubstitutefortheprotectiontoprivacyofferedbyproperty.Theintimatespherecannotdefenditselfagainstthemodernpatternof"unnatural
growth"ofthesocial,becausetheintensificationofsubjectivitycannotyieldastableandintersubjectiveorinstitutionalized"world."
56
WithouttracinganyfurthertheArendtianthesisconcerningthedeclineofpublicandprivate,leadingatleastidealtypicallytoafullfledged"masssociety"andto
totalitarianism,weshouldnotethestructureofherviewofmodernsociety.Inthistheory,thecomplexofthesocial,constitutedbymodernbureaucracyandpolitical
economy,confrontstworealmsonwhichthereproductionofauthentichumanlifedepend:thepublicandtheprivate.Theserealmsdoappearinmodernsociety,even
ifinasituationthatthreatenstheirveryexistence.Anyreconstructionofthehumancondition,then,wouldobviouslydependonaneworrenewedinstitutionalizationof
bothpublicandprivate.Arendt'stheoryofthemodernrevolution,understoodbroadly,exploresthechancesofsuchadoublereinstitutionalization.Intheprocess,she
notonlyrevivesthespiritofancientrepublicanismbutisforcedtodosoinwaysthatrequiretakingyetanotherlookatthemoderntoposofadifferentiatedcivil
society.
Inanothercontext,Arendtlinkstheideaofadifferentiationofstateandsociety,alreadyassociatedwith"theriseofthesocial,"totheriseofa"modern"formof
republicanism.Sheexplicitlynotesthattheearlymodern(especiallyLockean)versionofsocialcontracttheoryreferstotwocontractsandtotheoriginoftwo
differentiatedentities:"society"and"legitimategovernment."Weshouldnotbemisled,howeverArendtexplicitlydefendsonlytheprincipleofthefirstcontract,resting
onreciprocity,mutuality,andequalityandrootedinpromisingandmakingcovenants.Moreover,sheinterpretsthefirstcontractintermsofaconstitutionofbodies
politiclocally,regionally,and,ultimately,onafederallevel,leadingtoamultiplicationofpower.Shedoesnot,inotherwords,seethattheprincipleofhorizontal
covenantingestablishesanintermediatespherebetweenthestrictlyprivateandthepolitical

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public,whoseveryprinciplewouldbevoluntaryassociation.
57
Significantly,sheisskepticalregardingthesecondcontract,whoseprinciplesheunderstandsas
submissionandsurrenderofpowerandthecreationofarelationbetweenrulerandruled,onlysupposedly"legitimated"bymereconsent.Indeed,unlikethetradition
ofnaturalrightstowhichsherefers,sheseemstoconsiderthetwocontractsasmutuallyexclusive.
58
Butdoesthemereexistenceofthesecondcontractreallyvitiate
thefirst?Andisthefirstcontractsufficientuntoitselfinfoundingabodypolitic?ThemodelofdifferentiationArendtentertainshereisinfactthatbetweenpolitical
societyandstate,andifonetakesheranalysisasawhole,itisnotentirelyclearwhetherdifferentiationthusunderstoodsustainsorunderminesamodernpolitical
society.Thedilemmasofmodernrepublicanismthatsheisforcedtonotedoindeedleadherbacktoamodelofdifferentiation,ratherthanawayfromit.
Arendt'srevivalofancientrepublicanism,oftheidealofcivilsocietyaspolitikekoinonia,inthecontextsofmodernrevolutionsfromParistoBudapest,isdeservedly
wellknown.Juxtaposingdirectparticipationtorepresentation,andfederalismtounifiedsovereignty,shepresentsuswithamodelofpyramidallyorganized"small
republics,""councils,"or"wards"capableofinstitutionalizingaframeworkofpublicfreedomandestablishingaformofgovernmentatalllevelslinkedtotheparadigm
ofthecommunicativegenerationofpoweraveritable"greatrepublic."
59
Sheisconsciousofthisidea'slinktotheancientmodelofpolitikekoinoniareferringto
colonialAmerica,shespeaksoftheselfconstitutionof"civilbodiespolitic''thatwere"politicalsocieties"opentofederalismbuthostiletothedepoliticizationthat
wouldaccompanyacentralizedstatewithunifiedsovereignty.
60
AsagainstthecontemporaryconstitutedbodiesoftheEuropeanoldregime("dietsandparliaments,
ordersandestates"),theAmericanpoliticalsocietieswerenottiedtoprivilege,birth,oroccupationandoptedfromtheoutsetforstatusinpublicratherthanprivate
law.
61
Thus,ratherthanresemblingthepoliticalsocietiesoftheageofabsolutismoreventheStndestaat,thesmallAmericanrepublicsconsciouslyreturnedtothe
ancientmodelofanincorporatedcitizensociety,agenuinerespublica.Itisemphaticallythisconceptionthatremains

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normativeinArendt'spoliticalproject.Andyet,theveryegalitarianuniversalismthatdifferentiatesthesetwoconceptionsofpoliticalsocietyderivedfromsomething
new,namely,theconstitutiveprinciplesofcivilsociety,asTocquevilleknewwell.
Whileinsistingonthecontinuoushistoryofhermodelofpoliticalsocietyfromtheageofrevolutionstoourownday,Arendtisforcedtoconcedetherepeatedfailure
ofpermanentinstitutionalization.UnlikeTocqueville,though,shedoesnotseemtobeawareofthecontradictionsofwhatsheknowstobeanaristocraticmodelofthe
politicalselfselectionofelitesina"democraticage."
62
Butshedoesnotethreeareasassourcesofthisrepeatedfailure:(1)internallimitsofthehistoricalattemptsto
buildcouncilgovernments(2)thedifficultyofstabilizinganinstitutedorconstitutedpowerinamodelbasedontheactofinstitutingorconstitutingand(3)theclash
betweenrepublicanismandliberalism,betweenmodelsofpublicandprivatehappiness.
Thefirstproblemarearevolvesaroundtheencounterbetweenthecouncilmodelandthemoderneconomyandthemodernstate.Arendtrepeatedlylamentsthatall
councilexperimentsaftertheAmericanrevolutionbecamemiredinthesocialquestion(e.g.,theParisiansocieties)orinimpossibleattemptstodemocratizetheworld
ofwork(e.g.,workerscouncilsfromSt.PetersburgtoBudapest).Arendt'sdismissalofanysortofindustrialdemocracyflowsfromthedogmaticsofherconception,
fromtheautomaticinstitutionaltranslationofherseparationbetweenactionandwork.Hercautionaboutderivingutopianmodelsofworkers'controlfromamonolithic
conceptofdemocracyiswellfounded,ofcourse,althoughitiscertainlywrongtoposethequestionofindustrialdemocracyasanallornothingproposition.
Moreover,hernotionthatrevolutionarycouncilsshouldhavefocusedexclusivelyonthequestionsofestablishingandpreservingthenewpoliticalregimeisquite
unrealistic,evenifoneacceptsherthesisoftheprimacyofthepoliticalratherthanthesocialmomentinmodernrevolutions.Inthiscontext,herhardheadedness
concerningtheconstraintsimpliedbythemodernstateissurprising,ifwelcome.Sheadmitstheneedforamodernadministrationinamodernsocietyandrightly
criticizestheinabilityofthecouncilexperimentstocometotermswiththe"enormousextenttowhich

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thegovernmentmachineryinmodernsocietiesmustindeedperformthefunctionsofadministration."
63
Thus,sheisforcedtoreturntopreciselythemodelof
differentiationthatsherejectedinherdiscussionofthetwocontracts.Unfortunately,however,sheturnsonceagaintoanoverlyrigidversionofthismodel,confusing
differentiationinprinciplewiththatoftheconcernsofactualinstitutions.Asaresult,theirontightdivisionoffunctionsshesuggestsbetweenthepoliticalactionof
councilsandtheadministrativeworkofacivilservicerepresentsnosolutionwhatsoevertothetaskindicated.
Herattempttodealwiththesecondproblemisalsoonlypartiallysuccessful.Arendtisfullyconsciousofthedifficultyorevenselfcontradictioninherentinaproject
aimingattheembodimentoftherevolutionaryspiritinenduringinstitutions.
64
Withouthesitationsherenouncesthepoliticsofanykindofpermanentrevolutionbased
onthecontinuousfunctioningofapouvoirconstituantthatinevitablyproducesitsowntyrannicalopposite.
65
Buthow,then,cantherevolutionaryspiritbeembodied
atall?Theaimofrevolution,accordingtoArendt,mustbethecreationoffoundationsforanewpoliticalorder,anewconstitution.Shemaintainsthatsucha
constitution,asagainstanyliberaloreven"constitutionalist"interpretation,mustestablishpowerratherthanlimitit.Thejuxtapositionismisleading,however,because
theestablishmentofanunlimitedpower,inevitablyreturningustoamodelofpermanentrevolution,couldnotyieldanyinstitutionalizationofstablepoliticalfoundations.
AndindeedArendtattributesthisdimensionofinstitutionalizationtotheruleoflawratherthantheexerciseofpower.
66
Butwhatisthesourceofalawthatcouldlend
stabilitytoaconstitutionifourpositivelawsarefoundedintheconstitutionitself?Howarewetoescapetheviciouscircleinherentinconstitutionallawmakingitself?
Whatisthesourceofthelegitimacyofaconstituentassembly,andifitislegitimate,whatcanjustifyitsselfdissolution?Arendtdoesnotbelievethatanyversionofa
returntotheeighteenthcenturytheoryofanabsolutenaturallaw,priortoandaboveconstitutions,cansupplytheanswertothesequestionstoday.
67
Asaresult,she
hasagreatdealofdifficultyindistinguishingbetweenthesourceoflawandthatofpower,preciselythedilemmathat,inheranalysis,leadstotheradicalinstabilityof

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constitutions.Heronlyanswer,inthespiritofRomanratherthanGreekantiquity,isthattheconstitutionasanactoffoundationcanreplacetheabsolutesourceoflaw
ifitdevelops,asitdidintheUnitedStates,intoatraditionofanewtype.Insuchacontext,theviciouscircleofconstitutionallawwillapplyonlytothefoundational
moment.Subsequently,theconstitutionaltraditionitself,authoritativelyinterpretedbyabodywithoutpower,willsupplythesanctionforalawcapableofstabilizingthe
frameworkoftheexerciseofpower.Butisthemakingofconstitutionalauthorityamatteroftraditioncompatiblewiththepursuitofpublicfreedomasourhighestend?
Canafreedomwhosevehicleispubliccommunicationanddiscoursestopatthelimitsconstitutedbyasupposedlysacredfoundation?Thedeeptensionbetweencivil
religionandpublicfreedomisbuiltintothismodelfromtheoutset,atensiononlyexacerbatedwhentheconceptofpublicfreedomisreplaced,asintheactual
historicaltrend,bythatoftheprivate.
ThethirdreasonforthedifficultyofestablishinginstitutionsofpublicfreedominArendt'sanalysisisrepresentedbytheclashofancientrepublicanandmodernliberal
principles,bythesubversiveimplicationsofthegoalofprivatehappinessforpublicfreedom.Inthiscontext,Arendtfindsthatshecannotgiveaselfcontained
republicananswertothechallengeoftheliberalmodelofcivilsocietybasedontheseparationofavaluedsocietyandastatewithoutnorms.Thiscomesabout
primarilybecausesheholdsthepublicandprivatespherestobe,intheirdifferentiation,constitutiveforoneanother.Shedoesmaintainwithapprovalthatthe"actual
contentofthe[U.S.]constitutionwasbynomeansthesafeguardofcivillibertiesbuttheestablishmentofanentirelynewsystemofpower."
68
Butshealsomakes
repeatedlyclearthat,withoutthesafeguardofcivilliberties,atleastinthemodernworld,publicpoliticallifecannotbemaintained.Sheisleftintheendwiththe
precariouspositionthat,whiletheestablishmentofcivillibertiesrepresentsaveryreal,thoughunfortunatelyalltooexceptional,gaininrevolutions,toogreatafocuson
rightsandtheprivatehappinesstheycansecuretendstodevaluepublichappinessandfreedom.
Arendtiswellawareoftheoriginsofcivilrightsinthemodernsense.Ononeside,themodernsovereignstaterepresentedanentirelynewtypeofthreattoindividual
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themoreorlesscontemporaryerosionofthetraditional,religious,andcorporateformsofprotectionmadeindividualsincreasinglydefenseless.Theparadoxof
"humanrights"fromArendt'spointofviewisthatwhileprotectionisneededinthefaceofthemodernstate,onlywithintheframeworkofastateissuchprotection
plausibleatall.Outsidethebodypolitic,themostfundamentalright,namely,therighttohaverightsbasedontheabilitytoassertanddefendrightspublicly,cannotbe
secure.Thus,modernrightsshouldbeunderstoodascitizenrightsguaranteedbyconstitutions.
69
Thisearlystrainofherargumentseemstomakecivilrightsfunctions
ofapublicspheretobeestablishedinthefaceofthemodernstate.
Arendtsooncametounderstandthatrights,eveniftheycouldbestabilizedonlyasrightsofcitizens,mustbedefendedeveninfaceofacitizenbody,ifneedbe.Given
thetendency,alwayspresent,ofpublicpowertoabsorbprivateinterests,andgiventhemodernerosionofaformofpropertycapableofcarvingoutaprivatespace
ofprotectionforcitizens,civilrightsareneededtostabilizetheprivatesphere.ItisatthispointthatArendtmostclearlyconcedesthefundamentalliberalclaimthatin
amodernsociety,freedomisnotpossibleunlesscivilsocietyandstatearedifferentiatedbymechanismsofcivilrights.
ArendtthenimmediatelymovesfromtheliberalthesistooneinspiredbyMarx.Whilecivilrightscanindeedprotecttheprivatespherefrompenetrationbythemodern
state,theycannotdosointhefaceofthemoderneconomy.
70
Arendtdoesnotinthiscontextconsiderthepossibilitythatanexpandedandreorganizedcatalogueof
rightscouldactuallyhaveananalogousrelationshiptobothstateandeconomy.Whateverhopeshehasconcerningtherestrictionandcontrolofeconomicforcesand
growththereforedependsontheexistenceofapublicrealmredifferentiatedfromthesocialone,independentof"politicaleconomy."Yethere,too,civilrightsmust
playaroletotheextentthatadifferentiatedprivatesphereremainsthesinequanonoftheemergenceofpersonalitiescapableofparticipatinginthepublicsphere
itself.WhateversuccesstheAmericanrevolutionhadinestablishingrepublicaninstitutionsisrelatedtothepreservationofcivilrights,whilethefailureofallothergreat
revolutionsinthisrespectislinkedtotheirsystematicviolationsofrights.
71


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Thus,inArendt'sconception,thedifferentiationofcivillibertyprotectedbyrightsandpublicfreedomsecuredbytheexerciseofpoliticalpowerhelpstoestablish
each.Butatthesametime,theerosionofthelinebetweenthemtendstodestroyboth.Thisrestatementofherconceptionofpublicandprivateintermsofdemocracy
andrightsisnot,however,theendofArendt'sconsiderationoftheproblemofcivilliberties.Shealsomaintainsthat,fromthemomentofitsestablishment,themodel
offreedombasedonrightsremainsathreattothemodelbasedonpower.
AccordingtoArendt'sinterpretation,theU.S.BillofRightssoughtonlytocontrolandlimitrepublicanpowerinsteadoftryingtoreplaceitsaimsbynonpoliticalones,
aswasthecasewiththeFrenchDeclarationoftheRightsofManandCitizen.
72
Andyetevenhere,areversalwastooccurinwhichpublicfreedomcametobe
subordinatedtocivilliberties,thecitizentotheprivateindividual.Atstakearetwodifferentmodelsofhappinessleadingtotwodifferentunderstandingsof
"constitutionalism."InArendt'soveralldiagnosis,theshiftfromthevaluesofpublichappiness,freedom,andcivicspirittoprivatehappinessandthecorresponding
negativemodeloffreedomtendtobeascribedfundamentallytotheriseofsociety.Butsinceheranalysisoftheriseofsociety,especiallyintheAmericancontext,is
neverreallyadequate,sheisalsoattimestemptedtoreversethecausalnexus.Shemaintains,inotherwords,thataliberalcomponentstressingprivatehappiness(the
cultivationandenjoymentofone'sprivateconcerns)asthehighestendoflifetendedfromthebeginningtoundermine,inthephilosophicalselfunderstandingifnotthe
practiceoftheAmericanrevolution,therepublicancomponentlinkedtotheideathatpublichappinessbasedonpoliticalparticipationisthehighestgood.
73
Thus,the
modelArendtdefendsnotonlyfullydifferentiatespublicandprivatebutalsoassertsthemotivationalprimacyofthetheformer.Withprivatehappinessachieving
primacy,freedomwasredefined:Insteadofmeaningthepositivefreedomtoact,itcametomeannegativefreedomfromtheactionofothers.Evenmoredecisively,
theaimofaconstitution"constitutionalism"shiftedfromtheestablishmentofanewformofgenuinelypublicpowertotheprotectionofindividualsfromtheexercise
ofpower.Politicalfreedomcametobeunderstoodnotasafunctionofan

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increaseofpower,butasoneofalimitationofpower.Thisliberalidealofconstitutionalismcametomeanadistrustregardingallformsofpowerandanincreasing
indifferencetowardtheforminwhichpowerwasexercised,solongascivilliberties(themselvesnotpowers)asthebulwarksofprivatehappinesswereprotected.
74

Thisversionofconstitutionalism,however,provedtobequitecompatiblewithabureaucraticformofgovernmentexpressingthelogicofthe"riseofthesocial."Inthe
end,arightscenteredpoliticscouldnotdefendeventheprivatesphereitselfagainstthedestructivetrendsofthemodernstateandsociety.
Arendt'sunderstandingofrightsitselfsuffersfromalackofdifferentiationreflectingherunwillingnesstotakeseriouslytheideaofmediationbetweenprivateand
public.Theambiguousstatusoftherightsofassemblyandassociationinherworkprovesthispoint.Ontheonehand,theserightsareclassedwithnegativeliberties,
thatis,freedomfromunjustifiedrestraint.EvenintheAmericanBillofRights,therightofassemblywas,accordingtoher,only"therighttoassembleinorderto
petition."Whattheindividualgainsfromsucharightis"liberation"ratherthan"freedom"atmost,theabilitytopetitioncollectivelymayleadtosomerestraining
influenceover,butneverparticipationin,agovernment.
75
Ontheotherhand,therightsofassembly,association,andspeecharealsoreferredtoasthemostimportant
trulypoliticalfreedoms,ascontrastedwithapoliticalfreedomssuchasthatofenterprise.
76
Whileshearguesthatthisstatuswasreachedthroughadevelopment
beyondthelimitsoftheBillofRights,forexample,
77
shedoesnotclarifywhetherandhowthissupposeddevelopmentproducedanewstatusforwhatremained
juridicallyaconstitutionalliberty.Inanycase,eventhediscussionadmittingthestatusoftherightofassemblyasapoliticalfreedomculminateswithadeclarationthat
"politicalfreedom,generallyspeaking,meanstheright'tobeaparticipatoringovernment'oritmeansnothing.''
78
Thisdeclarationsetsupstandardsthatcanrarelybe
satisfiedbywhattherightofassemblyactuallyguaranteesinevenitsmostdevelopedversions.
TheissuegoesdeepinArendt'sconceptionofrightsandreflectsherambivalenceconcerningtheultimatefoundationofrights.Indeed,shehastwoconceptions
concerningthecoreofasystemof

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rights.Onelinks"therighttohaverights"toaccesstoapublicsphereinwhichrightscanbeassertedanddefended.
79
Theotherisolatestherighttocarveouta
privatespherelinkedtoprivatepropertyasthebasicmodelofallrights.Accordingly,therightofassemblyisinterpretedineachoftheseways,asadimensionof
politicalparticipationandalsoaspartoftheprivatetobeprotectedfromthepublic.Thefirstconceptionwouldmaketherightsofassemblyandspeechthemost
fundamentalrights.Thesecondconception,however,tendstoassimilatethese"rightsofcommunication"tothemodelofpropertyright,deprivingthemofanyspecial
importanceinthecatalogueofrights.Thisambiguitydoesinfactrevealsomethingaboutthepeculiarlydoublenatureoftherightsofcommunication.But,
characteristicallyenough,whatdoesnotariseatallinArendt'sconceptionisthattherightofassemblyisbothcivilandpolitical,bothprivateandpublic.Inother
words,Arendthasnoroomfortheconceptofarightofjuridicallyprivatepersonswhocantherebyattainpubliclawstatusandevenexerciseanimportantpublic
role,thusmediatingbetweenprivateandpublicspheres.
TheabsenceoftheverypossibilityofmediationbetweenpublicandprivateinArendt'sworkisallthemoreseriouswhentheexerciseoftherightsofassemblyand
associationturnsexplicitlypolitical,inparticularinthecaseofsocialmovements.Indeed,socialmovementscouldhaveplayedaconstitutiveroleinArendt'stheoryin
thecontextofaproblemshecouldnotadequatelydealwith.Sincemovementshaveempiricallydemonstrablelifecycles,shecouldhavecastthemasembodimentsof
revolutionaryspiritthatdonotimplyapermanentrevolution.Indeed,shecouldhaveinterpretedthemasextrainstitutionalinstancesofthegenerationofpowerthatin
thelongrunpresupposeandpromoteratherthaninterferewithinstitutionalization.
80
Arendtis,ofcourse,awareoftheroleofmovementsintheemergenceofcouncil
Yrepublicanexperimentsaboveall,sheexaminestheworkers'movement,which"haswrittenoneofthemostgloriousandprobablymostpromisingchaptersof
recenthistory."
81
Workingoutsidetheeconomicallyorientedlaborunionsandthesociallyoriented"political"parties,themovementoftheindustrialworkingclass
repeatedlyreinventedthegenuinelypoliticalprojectofconstructingnew,

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republicaninstitutions.AccordingtoArendt,thiswaspossiblewhenevertheclassoflabor,notyetadmittedtosociety("classsociety"),suddenlyappearedonthe
publicpoliticalstage.
82
Herargumentisentirelyfictitious,though,sincethemovementsfrom1848to1956towhichshereferscannotberepresentedashavingno
socialandeconomicinterestsanddemands,andevenlessasnotplayingamajorpartintheeconomicreproductionofsociety.AndindeedArendtherselfisforcedto
admitthisimplicitlywhenshearguesthatinterestinworkers'controlofindustry,everpresentinthemovementsunderconsideration,wasamajorreasonforthe
downfallofcouncilexperiments.
83
Arendt'slinkingofthemovementformwithrepublicanexperimentsis,inherownview,relevanttoaphaseofmodernhistoryalreadypast.Withtheemergenceof
"masssociety,"aformof"society"capableofabsorbingallclassesincludingthatoflabor,nomovementcanhopetoclaimastatusthatisexclusivelypolitical,rather
thansocialoreconomic.Nowthelabormovementbecomesapressuregrouplikeanyother.
84
Sinceinterestarticulationandinterestrepresentation(parties)are,at
best,the"politics"ofcivilsociety,theysubstituteforrealpoliticalparticipation,replacingpoliticalsocietyanddiscursiveopinionformationwithbargaininganddeals.
Becauseinterestgroupsandpartypoliticsdestroytheparliamentarypublicspace,theyareinfactinferiortotheadministrativeprocessingofinterestclaims.
85
Howdoesthissquarewiththepersistenceofthemovementforminourtime?Coulditbethatthedespisedterrainofthesocialcouldafterallbecomethesceneof
repoliticizationinthecontextofmovementsthatconstituteanewpublicsphereandtherebymediatebetweentheprivateandthepublic?Arendtcertainlyarguesthat
themovementformitselfdoesnotdisappearalongwiththeclassicalworkers'movement.Indeed,sheassumesthattheirterrainisthesocialrealmbetweenwhatisleft
oftheprivateandthepublic.Adoptingaradicalizedversionofthepluralistcritiqueofmasssocietythatusestotalitarianmovementsasitsparadigm,however,Arendt
isconvincedthatsocialmovementsaccelerateandcompletethesocialrealm'sdestructionofthepublicandtheprivate.Thatis,socialmovementsproperfeedoffand
helptocreateandperpetuatetheatomizationanddepoliticizationcharac

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teristicofmasssociety.Underconditionsofthemodernpartysystemandthedeepdistrustengenderedbyit,Arendtseesfertilesoilfortheemergenceof
extraparliamentaryandextrapartymovements.Themoreglaringthefailuresofthepartysystem,theeasieritisformovementstoariseandtoappealtowide
constituencies.Butintheabsenceofgenuinepublicinstitutions,movementseitherorganizemassesorturnthosetheyorganizeintomasses.Socialmovementsaremass
movements,andmassmovementscarryontheworkofthesocialprinciplebyinvadingandlevelingallhithertoprivatedomainsoflife,includingfamily,education,and
culture.
86
Thus,socialmovementsareprotototalitarian,andthetotalitariancompletionoftheriseofsocietyisnotpossiblewithoutthem.
Giventheirstartingpointinsocietyandtheirmobilizationofsocialneedsandmotivations,movementscannotreinventformsofpubliclife.Thisthesis,wemustnote,
coincideswiththeconceptionofsocialmovementsdominantintheearlypostWorldWarIIparadigmsthatstudiedsocialmovementsunderthenamesofcollective
behaviorandmasssociety.
87
Arendt'sradicaldemocraticpoliticalphilosophydistinguishedherworkfromtheseparadigms.Butbypartiallybuyingintothem,
probablyundertheimpactofherownexperiencewithtotalitarianmovements,shedeprivedherpoliticalphilosophyofanypossiblepolitics.
88
Ifmovementstoday,
becauseoftheinevitablysocialterrainoftheiremergenceandexistence,cannotreinventorextendthepublicsphere,andifrightsorientedcollectiveactionisathreat
totheloveofpublicfreedom,thenitisnotatallclearthatinourepochtheexperimentsoftheworkingclassmovementincreatingpoliticalinstitutionscanhaveany
continuationwhatsoever.IfArendtisrightaboutsocialmovementsassuch,herdreamoftherevivalofrepublicanismshouldbepronouncedfinallydead.

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5
TheHistoricistCritique:
CarlSchmitt,ReinhartKoselleck,andJrgenHabermas
TheOriginsoftheLiberalPublicSphere:
CarlSchmittandReinhartKoselleck
HannahArendtfailedtodemonstratethathernormativeidealofthepublicsphereiscompatiblewithmodernity.Wehavearguedthatthisfailurewasstronglylinkedto
heruncompromisingcritiqueofthesocialsphereofmediation,whichshehadidentifiedasthespecificallymoderndimensionofinstitutionallife.Thus,itisofgreat
importancethatthereisanalternativetraditionofinterpretationfocusingontheproblemofthepublicsphere.TheapproachofJrgenHabermasandhisfollowers
counterposesasociallyrootedformofthepublicspheretotheancientmodelidentifiedwiththestate.
1
Remarkably,thissecondtraditiongoesbacktoCarlSchmitt,
whosoughttodefendaconceptionof"thepolitical"basedonamodelofwaragainstwhathetooktobeanapoliticalconceptionbasedonpublicdiscussion,amodel
thatwastodefinethedeepestimpulsesofbothArendtandHabermas.
2
AccordingtoSchmitt,oneofthebestwaystounderstandmodernliberalismisbyfocusingonits"political"expression,namely,parliamentarism.Theprincipleofthe
latterisopenpublicdiscussionordeliberation.
3
Beyondmerenegotiationandbargaining,whatSchmitthasinmindisamodelofdiscussioninthesenseof
anexchangeofopinionthatisgovernedbythepurposeofpersuadingone'sopponentofthetruthorjusticeofsomething,orallowingoneselftobepersuadedofsomethingas
trueandjust....Todiscussionbelongsharedconvictionsaspremises,thewillingnesstobepersuaded,indepen

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dencefrompartyties,freedomfromselfishinterests....[T]heessenceofparliamentisthereforepublicdeliberationofargumentandcounterargument,publicdebateandpublic
discussion.
4
Thus,acommonpoliticalwillresultsfromtheprocessofthegenuineandopenconfrontationofdifferentopinions.Thisprocessissupposedtobepublicintwosenses:
byreferringtotheworkofanautonomouspublicbodyfreetodeliberatewithoutanyexternalcompulsionimposeduponitsmembers,andbybeinggenuinelyopento
theoutside.Inbothofthesesenses,modernparliamentarismisdefinitivelycontrastedwithitsforerunners,theestateassemblies,whichwerebasedontheimperative
mandateandclosedsessions.Undermodernparliamentarism,insteadofthedirectpressureofconstituenciesoranyformofboundormandatedrepresentation,public
opinionissupposedto"influence"theparliamentarypubliconlythroughargumentationandpersuasionthatpresupposesratherthansuspendstheindependenceofthe
representatives.
SchmittanticipatesandascribestoliberalparliamentarismboththeArendtiandefenseofopinionagainstinterestandtheHabermasianmodelofgenuineargumentation
asdistinctfromstrategicandrhetoricalusesofpoliticalspeech.Unlikebothofthem,however,hetreatsthediscussionmodelasdeeplyapolitical,linkingittothe
fundamentalliberalfaiththatunrestrictedcompetition,whichtakestheformofdiscussionintheintellectualrealm,producesharmony.
5
AccordingtoSchmitt,this
liberalmodeloftheparliamentarypublicsphereistakenoverfrommoralandintellectualdiscourseontheonesideandfromeconomicsontheother.Itturnsa
"politicallyunitedpeople"intoaculturallyinterestedpublicoranindustrialconcernoperatinginamarket,intheprocessdepoliticizinganddemilitarizingthepolitical
sphere,turningthestateintosociety.
6
Schmittiskeenlyawarethatthestateandpoliticsinhissensedonottherebydisappearinliberalsociety.Theprincipledoesnot,neednot,andcannotfullycorrespond
totheactualpractice.Asheputsitinsomewhatobscurelanguage,"thereisheterogeneityofpurposes...butthereisnoheterogeneityofprinciples."
7
Theprincipleof
openpublicdiscussionisactuallyaprincipleoflegitimation,anormativeandevenmetanormativeprinciple.Assuch,its

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immediateimportanceisthatitisthebasisforthevalidityofothernorms.Schmittparticularlystressesthatthenormsoftheindependenceofrepresentatives,their
freedomofspeechandimmunity,andtheopennessofproceedingsallreceivetheirvalidityfromtheprincipleofpublicdiscussionastheonlylegitimatemethodfor
attainingacollectivewill.
8
Eventhetwentiethcenturyclaimthatparliamentisthe"best"methodfortheselectionofelitesdrawsitslegitimacyfromthediscussion
model(orwhatisleftfromitinaframeworkofincreasinglyrhetoricalinteraction),sincethevalidtestingofleadersisidentifiedwithperformanceindebateandwith
havingtheabilitytopersuadeotherssuccessfully.
9
Schmittiswellawarethattheprincipleofpublicitywascapableofoperatingonlyinaworlddifferentfromthatofitsownassumptions,involvingareductionofall
politicstodiscussion.Whilethedeepeststrivingofliberalism,intheoryatleast,wastoreducethestatetosocietyineithertheeconomicortheculturalsense,infact
liberalismpresupposedandcouldnotsurvivewithoutastate,orwithoutthedualisticcoexistenceofstateandsociety.Moreover,andthisistheimportantpoint,
Schmitt,unlikeArendt,realizesthattheprincipleofdiscussionbelongstothelevelofsocietyratherthanthatofthestate.QuiteinthespiritofHegel's
Rechtsphilosophie,parliamentisthusseenasthepenetrationofsocietyintothestate,reproducingineffectthesocietystatedualisminthestatesphereitself,thereby
"mediating"thesplitbetweenthepolesoftheduality.
Schmitt'smodernizedreconstructionoftheHegelianframeworkismuchcruderthanthatofthemasterwhoseconceptionofthe"estateassembly"hecites.
10
In
particular,hedoesnotdistinguishbetweenthesystemofneedsandtheotherlevelsofcivilsociety,nordoesherecognizeanymediationotherthanthatofparliament
betweensocietyandstate.Forhim,allthefundamentalpoliticalpolaritiesoftheepochofconstitutionalmonarchies(princevs.people,governmentvs.popular
representation,administrationvs.selfadministration),underwhichhe(inconsistently)subsumesclassicalliberalism,expressonefundamentaldualism:societyvs.the
state.
11
Thisdualismis,inturn,afunctionofthe"polemical"attitudeofsocialforces(economic,intellectual,andreligious)towardthebureaucraticallyunifiedmilitary
administrativestateinheritedfromtheepochofabsolutism.
12


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Butitwasalsoafunctionofthisstatetoremainindependentandstrongenoughtostandabovetheothersocialforces:tobeastrongenoughthreattomotivatethe
relativizationofotherformsofsocial(economic,confessional,cultural)oppositionandconflictandalsotheresultingselfconstitutionofamoreorlessunified"society."
Atthesametime,thisstatehadtobeselfsufficientenoughtoundertakeandsurvive(andperhapsalsobestrengthenedby)apolicyofnoninterventionandself
neutralizationvisvisthesocietalspheres,allowingthesespheres(economy,culture)tounfoldtheirautonomouslogics.
Thestabilityandtheequilibriumoftheresultingdualityisachievedbythemediationofparliament."Popularrepresentation,parliament,thelawmakingbodyis
conceivedasthestage(Schauplatz)wheresocietyappearsinthefaceofthestate."
13
Onthisstage,stateandsocietyare"integratedinto"oneanother.Intermsof
form,theresultisdualistic,comprisinga"legislativestate"andan"executivestate,"withtheformer,theGesetzgebungsstaat,graduallyachievingprimacyasthe
nineteenthcenturyproceeds.Thisdevelopmentcorrespondstotheideologyofparliamentarismalreadydiscussed,accordingtowhichonlydecisionsachievedthrough
"discussionandtheconflictofopinions''arelegitimate.TheideaonlyapparentlycontradictsSchmitt'snotionthattheprincipleofdiscussionissocialandindeed
apolitical.Themetaphorofastageseemstoindicatethatwhatactuallyoccurshereisamereplayorshow,necessaryforintegratingsocialforcesandlegitimatingthe
realdecisionsthataretakenelsewhereandinanothermanner.
Thepolemicalattitudeofsocietyagainstthestateimpliesthatsuchastateofaffairscannotbeaccepted.Thisisespeciallythecasewhentheideaoftheself
organizationofsocietyisdemocratized.Fordemocraticforcesthatidentifywiththeirparliamentaryrepresentation,theresidualnonparliamentarydecisionmaking
poweroftheexecutive,whichbypassesthepluralityofsocialopinionsinsteadofintegratingthem,mustseemillegitimate.Thegoalofacompletedlegislativestate
cannotbeachieved,though.Whatisatissuehereisnotthatapureparliamentarystatecannotbefoundinreality,anymorethancanotherpurestatetypes.Rather,the
parliamentarystate,unlikeotherforms,representstheidealofthestateastheselforganizationofsociety,astheorganizationofthe

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stateaccordingtothesocietalprincipleofdiscussion.AccordingtoSchmitt,asthisidealnearsrealizationundertheimpactofdemocratization,paradoxicallythe
parliamentaryprincipleofintegrationlosesitsfoundations,andthestateitself,deprivedofanotherprincipleofunity,isthreatenedwithdisintegration.
InSchmitt'sconception,theabilityofthoseoutsideparliamenttoidentifywiththeirrepresentativesrestsonapolemicalattitudetothestatethatguaranteesthe
unificationofasocietyotherwisepotentiallydividedbyconflictsofbothopinionandinterest.Butthisisnotthewholestory.Theformsoftheselfconstitutionandself
protectionofparliamentvisvistheexecutiveactuallyturnouttobeidenticaltothemechanismsdifferentiatingsocietyandstate.Clearly,parliamentarydiscussion
wouldbemeaninglesswithoutthefreedomsofopinionandspeechaswellastheimmunityofrepresentativesthesearepresuppositionsoftheconstitutionofagenuine
publicbody.ButSchmittalsoindicatesthataparliamentarypublicsphereimpliesthefreedomofpubliclifeoutsideofparliament.
14
InterpretingGuizot,heassertsthat
theopennessofparliamentaryprocedureswouldbemeaninglesswithoutgeneralfreedomsofopinion,speech,andthepress.Withoutthesefreedoms,allformsof
socialcontroloverparliament,whicharerequiredfortheparliamentaryrepresentationofsocietyinthefaceofthestate,woulddisappear.SinceSchmitt'smodel
presupposesandrequirestheabilityofprivateindividualstoacquireandcommunicatetheiropinionsfreely,itseemsthatsomeotherfreedoms,suchasthoseof
assemblyandassociationintheirextraparliamentaryforms,alsorepresent"lifeanddeathquestionsforliberalism."
15
ButSchmittpaysnoattentiontothesocial
consequencesoftheselatterfreedoms,whichprovidedforHegelthepossibilityofmediationsotherthanparliamentarybetweenindividualandstate.Finally(and
consistently),Schmittmakesnomentionofanyfundamentalrightsthatcannotbederivedfromtheprincipleofparliamentarypublicity,whatevertheirimportancemay
befortheliberalepoch(e.g.,property).Thisconsistency,however,onlypermitshimthepreposterousformulationthat,withthedeclineofparliamentarism,"thewhole
systemoffreedomofspeech,assembly,andthepress,ofpublicmeetings,parliamentaryimmunities,andprivilegeslosesitsrationale,"whichisbasedonthe

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beliefthat"Justlawsandrightpoliticscanbeachievedthroughnewspaperarticles,speechesatdemonstrations,andparliamentarydebates."
16
Schmitt'sanalysisleadstothisconclusion,irrespectiveofhispoliticalpredilections,becausehisperceptiverecognitionofthesocialfoundationsofthemodelof
discussioniscoupledwithaconceptionassertingmorethantheclaimthattheexistenceofparliamentsinthemodernsensepresupposesthedifferentiationofsociety
andstate.Healsoaffirmstheconverse,namely,thattheunityanddifferentiationofsocietyisstructurallydependent(atleastinthelongterm)ontheexistenceofa
parliamentaryrepresentationinthefaceofthestate,towhichhe,unlikeHegel,reducesthewholeproblemofmediation.Yethenotesinpassingthattherearenot
manypeople"whowanttorenouncetheoldliberalfreedoms,particularlyfreedomofspeechandpress,"evenwhentheirpoliticalefficacyhasbecomedoubtful.
17
In
Schmitt'sentirelypoliticalanalysisandcritiqueofliberalism,however,itisquiteunclearwhy,withtheirpoliticalefficacygone,anyoneshouldclingtothesenorms.
Thereare,tobesure,hintsinhisanalysisthatthesocietystateoppositionandeventheconstitutionofapublicspherearenotidenticaltotheissueofparliamentarism,
indeed,thattheyactuallypredatedithistorically.Hewrites:
publicopinionattainedthisabsolutecharacterfirstintheeighteenthcentury,duringtheEnlightenment.ThelightofthepublicisthelightoftheEnlightenment,aliberationfrom
superstition,fanaticism,andambitiousintrigue.Ineverysystemofenlighteneddespotism,publicopinionplaystheroleofanabsolutecorrective.
18
Thisthesis,relativelyunimportantinSchmitt'sownwork,waspowerfullyexpandedbyahistorianhestronglyinfluenced,ReinhartKoselleck,inhisKritikundKrise
(1959).
19
AccordingtoKoselleck,theabsolutiststateontheEuropeancontinent,formedasaresponsetoreligiouscivilwar,createdthefoundationsforapolitical
dualismbyfreeingitselffromallnormsinlinewiththedoctrineofraisond'tat.
20
Theresultingseparationofpoliticsandmorals,aswellastheincreasingdisinterestof
thestate(anticipatedbyHobbes)incontrollingprivate,individualconscience,createda

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possiblefootholdfortheconstitutionofanewformation,"society,"firstapartfromandlateragainstthestate.Theoldregime,ofcourse,nevercreatedacompletely
monistic,statizedsociety:Theolderestates,nowdepoliticized,preservedtheircorporateexistence.Therewere,moreover,neworganizationalformsofanemerging,
bourgeoisclasscomposedofthebeneficiariesofthefirsttrulynationaleconomicpolicyinEuropeanhistory.Outofthesetwostrata,combiningwithelementsof
intellectualandjudicialelites,camethesocialbasesoftheenlightenment,onepossessingmoney,socialrecognition,andintellectualinfluence,butnotpoliticalpower.
Nevertheless,the"society"oftheenlightenmentwasorganized,withtheprivatesalon,thecaf,theclub,thelibrary,theMasoniclodge,andlaterthesecretsocietyas
itsmajorforms.AccordingtoKoselleck,manyoftheseunpoliticalformsofassemblyandassociationwere,infact,protectedbyofficialsoftheabsolutiststate.
21
In
spiteofsuchprotection,theywouldtakeanantistateturnastheeighteenthcenturyprogressed.
Thesupportofenlightenedstateofficialsisrelativelyeasytoexplain,sincethenewformation"society,"astypifiedbytheMasonicideology,wasegalitarianinitsethos
andopposedtotheprivilegedsocietyofaristocraticandecclesiasticalorders,itselfthemainenemyof"enlightenedabsolutism."Moreover,societywasnotsupposed
tobeathreattothestatebecauseitsselfunderstandingwasmoralratherthanpolitical.Preciselyonthegroundoftheabsolutistunderstandingofpoliticsasraison
d'tat,moralvirtuewasdefinedasfreedomfrompolitics.ThisexpansionoftheHobbesianfreedomofprivate,individualconsciencewas,however,nolonger
compatiblewiththeinternallogicofabsolutistdepoliticization.FollowingSchmitt,Koselleckimpliesthattheunityoftheheterogeneouselementsof"society"couldbe
maintainedonlyinoppositiontothestate.Indeed,ashisanalysisoftheMasonicmovementshows,suchanoppositionwasmadepossiblebythefactthatweaponsof
theestablishedpowerswereutilized,atleastinitially,fortheselforganizationofsociety:Thesecrecyoftheabsolutistregimeandthehierarchicalorganizationofthe
socialorderswerethegluebehindtheideologyoffraternityandsolidarity.
Ofcourse,theenlightenmentbecamebothmorepublicandmoreegalitarianasitbecameabroadmovement.Accordingto

Page208
Koselleck,suchatransformation,leadingtoapolarizationbetweensocietyandstate,wasalreadyimplicitintherigidjuxtapositionofmoralityandpolitics.Thevery
constitutionofa"society"basedonmoralsrepresentedajudgmentoverandarejectionofabsolutistsovereignty,withoutanyvisibleattackonstateinstitutions.The
rejectionofpoliticswasatthesametimetheestablishmentofamoralvantagepointforcriticizingandjudgingpolitics.Themoralpressureemanatingfrom"society,"
creatingawholesystemofvaluesalternativetotheestablishedones,couldnotavoidbeingasourceofinfluenceoveractionandthereforebecominganindirectform
ofpoliticalpower.Moralitywasdirectlyunpolitical,butexactlyforthisreasonitcouldputanamoralstateintoquestionandthusbecome,afterall,political,ifindirectly
so.
22
Theradicalizationoftheprogramofsocietyagainstthestatepostponedtheappearanceofanentirelyunpoliticalprogram.InKoselleck'spresentation,thisprogram
wentthroughthestagesoftakingadistancefrompolitics,critique,judgment,andexecution.Sincetheabsolutiststatecouldnotbeeliminated,selflimitationhadtobe
practiced.Initiallythisselflimitationcontainedacomponentthatwas,becauseoftheoverwhelmingdisparityofpower,merelystrategic.Butitalsohadanormatively
validatedantipoliticalcomponentbasedonprinciples.Thelatter,however,wasselfnegatingtotheextentthatevenanantipoliticalmoralityhaddifficultyreconciling
itselfwithimmoralityintheworldofpolitics.Intheradicalenlightenment,then,themoralsphereconstituteditself,insecret,asanother,alternative,politicalone.The
aimofthispoliticalsocietywasnolongercoexistencewiththestatebutratheritsdissolutionandreplacement.Themethodsofeducation,schooling,propaganda,and
enlightenmentwerenolongeradequateforthenewpurpose,andthisimpliedthatevenstrategicselflimitationhadtobeseenasmerelytemporary.
Inthisway,Koselleckconvincinglyrevivestheideaofanintrinsicconnectionbetweenenlightenmentandthecrisisoftheoldregime,andbetweenthiscrisisandthe
comingrevolution.ItisinthiscontextthatheseekstolocatetheSchmittiantoposoftheemergenceoftheliberalpublicsphere,hererepresentingthepoliticalturnof
societyinoppositiontothestate.PierreBayle'sideaofarepublicofletters,accordingtoKoselleckthemodelforRousseauian

Page209
radicaldemocracy,indicateswhatisatstake.Ontheoneside,this"republic"isstilltobebasedonthecontrastbetweenapowerlessmorallawandanamoralpower.
Ontheother,thiscontrastisinterpretedastheconfrontationofthergnedelacritiquewiththeruleofthestate,indicatingthatcritique,theweaponparexcellenceof
thepublicsphere,hasturnedpolitical.
Thistransformationcarriedrisks.Takingthepointofviewofthestate,Koselleckarguesthattheideaofcritique,turninginwardtosocietyitself,mustfailasameansof
socialintegrationandmustultimatelyleadtoareappearanceintheprivatesphereofthecivilwarsuppressedbyabsolutism.Herethedeeplyapoliticalpotentialofthe
liberalideaofthepublicsphere,asinSchmitt'sdoctrine,showsitself.Atthesametime,aslongasthestateas"enemy"exists,thecritical,polemicalcontestationofits
legitimacyprovidesthecohesionofthe"friend"componentofthepolarity,thealternativepoliticalsociety.Thiscontestationiscarriedoutinthemediumofpublic
criticism.Inthepublicrealm,critiquebecomesthemeansofamplifyingpublicopinion,exposingeverything,destroyingalltaboos,anddeprivingitspoliticalenemies,
organizedaroundthestate,oflegitimacyandmeansofcohesion.
23
Effectivelybuilttocounterthecriticismofweapons,theabsolutiststatefailsagainsttheweaponof
criticism,which,becauseofitssupposedlyunpoliticalnature,disempowersaproperlymilitantpoliticalresponse.
Becauseitisconcernedwiththeriseofthedichotomyofstateandsociety,Koselleck'sanalysisstressesthepoliticaldimensionoftheliberalpublicsphereratherthan
thepotentiallyapoliticalimplicationsthat,inSchmitt'sconception,characterizethetriumphofsocietyoverthebureaucraticmilitarystate.Nevertheless,theseapolitical
potentialitiesappearinKoselleck'spictureinthetendencyoftheagentstohidethepoliticaldimensionoftheiractionsnotonlyfromthestatebutalsofromthemselves.
Paradoxically,itisthisrefusalofpoliticsbypoliticalagentsthatleadsnotonlytothedissolutionoftheabsolutiststatebutalsotoaninabilitytoestablishanewmodel
ofthepolitical.Evenbeforethecollapseoftheoldregime,byinsistingonrecognizingonlyitsownmoralmotivation,critiquefallspreytohypocrisy.
Koselleck'sconceptionofthehypocrisyofenlightenmentantipoliticsadoptsthepointofviewofthestateitself.Thecritique

Page210
ofpowerandtheattempttolimititareunhesitatinglyqualifiedashypocritical,althoughtheauthordoesnotmakeuphismindwhetherheseekstoindictthewillto
powerofcriticalreasonoritsimplicitdrivetowardcivilwar.ThisambiguitycanalsobefoundinSchmitt.WhileKoselleckgoesbeyondSchmittindiscoveringthe
enlightenmentrootsofliberalparliamentarism,inhisownSchmittiananalysisallwegetisananticipationoftheriseanddeclineofthepoliticalpublicsphereinthelogic
thatleadstorevolution.Indeed,itisdifficulttoconnectthisprehistoryinFrance,wherethecollapseoftheoldregimedidnotinitiallyleadtoastableparliamentary
outcome,tothehistoryofparliamentarismasanalyzedbySchmitt.Theconnectioncanbemadeonlywhenonerecognizesthattheenlightenmentdualism,withthe
publicsphereasitscentralmediation,wasnotmerelyastrategyforthedisempoweringofthestatebypoliticallyweakcompetitorswitharelentlesspowerdrive,but
couldalsobeinstitutionalizedasanewpoliticalalternative.
24
KoselleckcomesclosetosuchathesisonlywhenheuncharacteristicallyusesMarxianargumentstobolsteranessentiallySchmittianposition.Forexample,heargues
thatthebourgeoisieconstituteditselfasanewelitepreciselythroughthedualisticfigureofthought.Yetevenheretheargumentisthatthedualisticconception,as
preparationforthetakingofpower,servedonlytoeliminatealldualisms.UnfortunatelyforKoselleck,neitherthenormativeachievementoftheliberalpublicsphere
norevenitspossibleandeventualinstitutionalizationcanbethematizedinsuchanargument.Bothare,however,insisteduponbyJrgenHabermas,inananalysisin
manywaysindebtedto,yetquitedistinctfrom,Koselleck's.
FromaLiterarytoaPoliticalPublicSphere:
JrgenHabermas
TheSchmittianthesisconcerningthefoundationofparliamentarisminthedifferentiationofsocietyandthestatecanbeseenasanarrowversionoftheHegelian
conception.Inparticular,theproblemofmediationisreducedtoasinglecomponent,thepoliticalpublicsphere,whichisinturnpresentedinanormativelyaggressive
fashionentirelydisinterestedinpublicdiscussionasanendinitself.Habermas'sconception,ontheotherhand,

Page211
attemptstogobeyondthisreductionintworespects:first,byrecapturingarichersetofmediationsbetweencivilsocietyandstate,andsecond,byreemphasizingand
revalorizingthenormativeclaimsofthepublicsphere.Habermas'sanalysisalsotakesuptheHegelianprojectofbringingtogetherthenormativeachievementsofboth
theancientsandthemoderns(anddoessomoresuccessfullythatHannahArendt's).
Habermas'soriginaltheoryofthepublicsphere,workedoutintheintellectualmilieuoftheolderFrankfurtschool,representsaspeciesofVerfallsgeschichte,a
historyofdecline.ThissimilaritytoArendt'sconceptiontendstodisguisetheentirelydifferentrelationofthetwoschemestohistory.Aswehaveseen,Arendt'spublic
sphere,modeledonanidealizedconceptionofGreekorAthenianpolitics,isparadoxicallysaidtodeclinewiththeriseofmodernsociety,state,andeconomy,even
thoughsheadmitsthattheoriginalmodelhadlongsincedisappeared.Moreover,Arendtisnotatallinhibitedbyhertheoryofdeclinefrompostulatingtherepeated,
butalwaystemporary,reemergenceofexperimentsinpublicfreedomduringmodernrevolutions.Itisasiffreedomandunfreedommovedintwoseparateandonly
occasionallyconnectedtemporalitiesfreedom,inotherwords,isalways(butalsoonly)possiblewheneverthedialecticofhistorystandsstill.
25
Habermas,onthecontrary,insertstheemergenceanddeclineofanewtypeofpublicsphereintothehistoryofmodernsociety.WhileArendtassociatedonlythe
declineofthepublicwiththeriseofmodernstateandeconomy,inHabermas'sconceptiontherise,contradictoryinstitutionalization,andsubsequentdeclineofthis
sphereareallrelatedtothisevent.Thenewpublicsphereisaccordinglyseenasbourgeois,becauseinitindependentownersofproperty,dividedintheircompetitive,
egoisticeconomicactivitiesthathavegrownvastlybeyondthelimitsofthehousehold,arecapableofgenerating,atleastinprinciple,acollectivewillthroughthe
mediumofrational,unconstrainedcommunication.Butitisalsoliberal,inthatthesetsofrightsdeemednecessarytosecuretheautonomyofthissphere(freedomsof
speech,press,assembly,andcommunication),togetherwiththosedimensionsofindividualautonomythatitpresupposes("privacyrights"),simultaneouslyconstitute
thepublicandprivatedomainsofcivilsocietyandserve

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aslimitstothereachofstatepower.Indeed,thenewpublicsphereisalsodemocraticinprinciple:Theemergenceofanewformofunified,depersonalized,
bureaucraticpublicauthority,themodernstate,istobechecked,supervised,andevencontrollednotonlybytheruleoflawbutalsobyasecondpoliticalpublic
sphere(emergingwithinsocietyandpenetratingthestateintheformofparliaments)thatchallengesraisond'tataswellasarcanaimperii.Thetendencyofthe
modernstatetolevelanddismantleallcorporateandestateorganizationsofaformerlydividedsovereigntyiscounteredbytheemergenceofadifferent,normatively
groundedreasonoperatinginthefullviewofallconcerned,withinnewsocietalinstitutionsthatcometopenetratethedomainofpoliticsitself.
26
Habermas'sdepictionoftheemergenceoftheinstitutionsofanewtypeofpubliclife,polemicallyjuxtaposedtoboththeabsolutiststateandtheprivilegedsocietyof
orders,drawsheavilyonKoselleck'spictureoftheorganizationoftheenlightenment.However,threedimensionsofHabermas'sconceptiondifferfromhis
predecessor's:
First,Habermasbelievesthatthepeculiarlogicofthenewpubliciscontinuouswith,andconstitutesaprojectionof,theformofinteractionofthenewintimatesphere
ofthebourgeoisfamily,aspherethatArendtconsideredtobethemostcharacteristicproductofmodernity.
Second,hedistinguishesnotonlybetweentheliteraryandpoliticalpublicspheresadistinctionplayeddownbyKoselleck,whosuspectshypocrisyinevery
antipoliticalclaimbutalsobetweenthesmallgroupinteractionrepresentedbythesalon,thecaf,thetablesociety,andthelodgeandtheextensionand
generalizationofpublicdiscoursethroughthemediaofcommunication,aboveallthepress.
Finally,Habermasdistinguishesamongatleastthreenationalvariants(English,French,andGerman)oftheinstitutionalizationofthepoliticalpublicsphere,inthe
processshowingthedevelopmentofcommonnormsinthecontextofaheterogeneoussetofpoliticalprojectsdifficulttoreducetoasingleone,especiallytothewill
topoweroftheweak.
WeshallstartwiththesethreepointsandthenturntoamoresystematicanalysisofHabermas'sconception.

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1.Habermas'sdepictionoftheforcefieldbetweenindividualandstate,unlikethatofSchmitt,involvesatleastthreelevelsofmediation:family,literarypublic,and
politicalpublicspheres.TheselevelsarenotidenticaltothecorrespondingHegeliancategories,andthechoicechangesthetheoreticalroleof"mediation."The
categoryoffamilyhasgreatimportanceinthiscontext.InHegel'sscheme,thefamilyisthepreconditionofbourgeoisindividuality,andassuchitispriortoandoutside
civilsocietyforprimarilylogicalreasonsthataresociologicallynonsensicalunderconditionsofmodernity.
27
ForHabermas,theearlymodern,smallscale,bourgeois,
patriarchalfamilyisnotonly(asforHegel)theplaceoforiginofbrgerlicheGesellschaft.Norisitevenwhatitcouldbeinasociologicallyextendedorthodox
Hegelianconception,namely,oneofthelevelsofintegrationofegoisticindividualsintothecultureofthestate.InHabermas'sversion,theintimatesphereofthesmall
scalebourgeoisfamilyalsorepresentstheestablishmentofaprinciplecounterposedtothoseofboththemoderneconomyandthestate.Itisnotthatheneglectsthe
Hegelianideathatthefamilyrepresentsthebackgroundofsocializationthatistheconditionofpossibilityoftheexistenceofindividualsofcivilsocietyrather(and
moreintheArendtiansense),heconvertsthisbackgroundfromapointoforigintoaninstitutionthatcontinuestoparticipateinsociallifeandtowhichindividualscan
continuallyreturnastheirhome.Forthisreason,thefamilypreventsthedissolutionofindividualityonthevariouslevelsofcollectivity.Thus,asinArendt'stheory,it
representsaprivatespherewithoutwhichapublicspherebasedonautonomousindividualswouldnotbepossible.ButwhereasArendtseesthecomplementarityof
privateandpublicaspossibleonlybecauseoftheirradicallydifferentprinciples,conceivedalongthelinesoftheancientdualityofpolisandoikos,Habermasusesthe
Arendtiannotionoftheintimatetogenerateasingleprincipleforboth,onethatisnormativelyadequatetothemodernideal(thoughnotthereality)ofthefamily:
interactionfreeofdominationandofexternalsocialconstraint.Thisideal,leadingtoanewconceptionofhumanity,isfurtheranalyzed
28
intothecomponentsof
voluntariness,emotionalcommunity,andcultivation:"Itappearsthatthefamilyisestablishedandmaintainedvoluntarilybyfreeindividualswithout

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constraintthatitisbasedonthelastingemotionalcommunityofthepartnersthatitguaranteesthedevelopmentofallcapacitiesthatsignifyacultivatedpersonasends
inthemselves.''
29
Itisnothardtorecognizespecificversionsoftheideasofliberty,solidarity,mutualrecognition,andequalityinsuchaconceptionofhumanity.
InlinewiththeclassicalMarxiancritique,Habermasisquicktopointoutthecounterfactualcharacter,andevenmorethelegitimatingfunction,oftheidealhedepicts.
Hestressesitsclashwiththerealeconomicfunctionsofthenewfamilytype,aswellaswithitspatriarchalformsofsubordination,bothofwhichalsopenetratethe
intellectualelaborationofbourgeoisutopias.
30
Allthesame,followingafamousanalysisbyHorkheimerfrom1936,Habermasmaintainsthattheidealisnotmere
ideology.Thenewsolidaristicnormsthatplayaroleinlegitimatingthearrangementsofacompetitiveandnonsolidaryprivateeconomyarealwaysintensionwithwhat
isestablished,promisingathisworldlytranscendenceofallstatesofaffairsincompatiblewithfreedom,solidarity,andcultivation.Thus,thesenormsrepresentboth
ideologyandthefoundationsofthecritiqueofideology.
31
Moreover,thefamily,althoughincapableofeliminatingtheconstraintsoftheeconomicworldorevenof
freeingitselffromitsownpatriarchalheritage,neverthelessdefendstheintimatesubjectiveexperienceandintersubjectivetiesofitsmembers,quahumanbeings,inthe
faceofexternalpowers.Equallyimportant,itisthelivingsourceofexperiencesofpassionateselfexaminationandrationalsearchingformutualunderstandingthatare
capableoffindingotherformsofinstitutionalizationthanthefamilyitself.
32
Habermasarguesforanempiricalconnectionbetweentheprivateworldofthebourgeoisfamilyandtheprimordialformsoftheliterarypublicsphere.Whilethesalon
admittedlyoriginatesinaristocraticsociety,thebourgeoissalonlosesitsrepresentationalandritualisticfunctions:Itsformofcommunicationisnolongerdramaturgical
andrhetoricalitssocialstructurenolongerreflectsthehierarchyofasocietyoforders.
33
Architecturallyandsociallylinkedtotheprivatelivingquartersofthefamily,
thenewsalonextendsandenlargestheoriginalprincipleofintimacybyrevealingthesubjectivityofeachindividualinthepresenceoftheother,thus

Page215
linkingprivacytopublicity.Theidealofseekingunderstandingthroughopenendedreasoningandmutualpersuasion,withoutregardforprestigeandstatus,is
maintained.Somewhatmoredistantly,Habermasseestheinstitutionsofclub,caf,andlodgeasextensionsofthesameprinciple.Hedoesexplicitlynote,however,
theexclusionofwomenfromtheselatterinstitutionsofenlightenment,linkingthisexclusiontothediscussionofpoliticalandeconomicratherthanprimarilyliteraryand
artisticmatters.
34
Yettheconnectionofthefirstinstitutionsofanaudienceforworksofart,andespeciallyofliteraryandreadingcircles,tosalonsdominatedby
womenremainsclose,anditisthroughtheseagenciesthatthereasoningpublicmodeledontheintimatefamilyfirstbeginstoapproachuniversalsignificance.
35
This
connectiontothereceptionofartalsodevelopsadimensionoftheliterarypublicthatispresentinthenewintimatesphereonlyintheformofselfreflectionandself
examination:thecritiqueofallreceivedideasandmeanings.
2.WhileKosellecktendstofocusonthoseenlightenmentinstitutions,fromthelodgetothesecretsociety,thatparadoxicallyseektoestablishtheprincipleofpublicity
bynegatingit,andforwhichcritiqueeventuallybecameameansratherthananendinitself,Habermas'sownstressisoninstitutionswhoseroadtopolitics,slowerand
lesscomplete,impliesneitheracompromiseoffundamentalprinciplesnoramerelyhypocriticalrenunciationofpower.Thepublicsphereinhisconceptioncomesinto
beingnotthroughthepoliticizationofsmallscalefacetofaceintimateinteractionbutthroughtheestablishmentofacriticalaudienceforliteraryworksbymeansof
newspapers,journals,andpublicperformances.Onlythisroadallowstheconversionoftheprinciplesofintimacyintothoseofacriticalpublicity.Butevenonthis
longerroad,theliterarypublicgrowsintopolitics,intoapoliticalpublicspherewithastructuredifferentfromthoseofpoliticalorganizationsdedicatedtothepursuitof
power.Evenifbothroadswereinfactdivorcedfromthemorefeminineworldofthesalon,thepoliticalpublicspheremaintainedsomethingofitsspiritintheideaof
critiqueasanendinitself.
ItisHabermas'sthesisthattheemergenceofapoliticalpublicspherefromthecriticalliteraryonepreservestheprincipleof

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unconstrainedcommunicationoriginallyestablishedintheintimatesphereofthenewfamilytype.UnlikeKoselleck,whopointstoaprojectofacounterpower
hypocriticallyaimingatdestroyingandreplacingestablishedpower,heinsiststhatwhatisatstakeisthetransformationoftheprincipleaccordingtowhichpower,old
ornew,istooperate.
36
Critiqueinthismodelattemptsitsowninstitutionalizationratherthanaconversionintoanewformofpowerthatwouldpotentiallyfeelitself
endangeredbycriticalreason.EveninHabermas'sanalysis,themodernstate,initsoriginallyabsolutistform,representsthechallengemotivatingtheestablishmentofa
veritablecountersociety,asocietyagainstthestate.Butthissociety,evenwhenitturnspolitical,aimsneitherattheutopiandestructionofthestatenoratbecominga
newstate,norevenattheunificationoftheseaimsasintheReignofTerror,butratheratanewformofpoliticaldualisminwhichapoliticalpublicspherewould
controlthepublicauthorityofthemodernstate.
TheargumentgoesagainstthegrainnotonlyofKoselleck'sSchmittiananalysisbutalsooftheMarxianconceptionofthebourgeoisrevolution.Nevertheless,
Habermashopestosavesomethingofthelatterbyinsistingthatthebourgeoisie,whosepowerisbydefinitionprivate,cannotruleandyetcannotacceptaformof
statethatispotentiallyarbitraryanduncontrolled.Afurthercomplication:Thissameclass,unlikethearistocraticopponentsofabsolutism,needsandwantsaformof
unifiedsovereignpowercapableofguaranteeingthepoliticalandlegalpreconditionsofaprivatecapitalistmarketeconomywithinandevenbeyondanational
territorialsetting.Thehistoricalsolutionwastopreservethemodernstatecreatedbyabsolutism,buttoformalizeandrationalizeitsoperationintermsoftheruleof
law,toforceittoestablishformsofselfrestraintasdefinedbyfundamentalrights,andtobringitundersocialscrutinyandcontrolthroughtheestablishmentofthe
politicalpublicsphere,itselfrootedintherightsofcommunicationandfranchise.ItisthesenormativelimitationsthatHabermashasinmindwhenhereferstochanging
theprincipleoftheoperationofpower.
3.Itisnotclearthatthesuggestiveidealtypecansavethethesisofabourgeoisrevolution.InFrance,wherearevolutiondidoccur,

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onethatwashardlybourgeois,
37
thepatternoutlinedbyHabermaswasoriginallyestablishedonlytransitionally,duringtheconstitutionalmonarchy.Moreover,given
theoutcome,itisnotdifficulttoarguethattheformsofpubliclifeHabermasdescribesasextendingKoselleck'sanalysisintotherevolutionaryperiod(journals,
pamphlets,clubs,popularassemblies)representedtheprojectsofcountereliteshopingtoreplacetheexistingelite(and,soonenough,oneanother).Toshowthatan
alternativeprinciplecouldhavebeenestablished,HabermasisforcedtoshifthisemphasisfromKoselleck'sterrainofFrenchpolitics,culminatinginrevolutionand
terror(thecontextofchoiceofconservativeopponentsoftheliberalideaofpolitics),totheEnglishcontextoftheevolutionarytransformationofparliamentary
absolutism.This"model"isinturnusedasthestandardforevaluatingtheconstitutionalmonarchiesoftheearlyliberalepoch.Fromitspointofview,French
developmentsintheperiodofhighabsolutismappearincrediblyretarded.TheyseemtofollowaslowerbutfundamentallyEnglishpathduringmostoftheeighteenth
century,whenpole##icsagainsttheabsolutistregimefromthepointsofviewofthetraditionalestatesandthenewpublicformswerenotalwayseasily
distinguishable.
38
Therevolutionaryperiodenforcedthisdistinctiondramaticallyinaprocessoftremendouslyacceleratedcreationofpublicpoliticalforms(the
transformationoftheestatesassemblyintoamodernparliament,thecreationofjournals,clubs,associations,andassemblies,and,aboveall,theinstitutionofformal
constitutionalguaranteesforallofthese).TherevolutionarydictatorshipandNapoleondestroyedtheinstitutionsofthepoliticalpublicsphere,however,andFrance
paradoxically(andstillinconsistentlyandwithmanyreversals)reenteredthebasicmodelofliberaldevelopmentonlywiththeRestoration.Accordingly,inthis
depictionofFrenchdevelopmentsfromthepointofviewoftheliberalpublicsphere,theacceleratingrevolutionturnsouttobeaparenthesis.Fromthesame
perspective,developmentsintheGermaniesthroughvariousmodelsoftheauthoritarianRechtsstaatappearsimplyasslowerandperhapsneverentirelycompleted
versionsoftheEnglishmodel.
ThechoiceofEnglandtooutlineanactualhistoricalpaththatissomehowadequatefromthepointofviewofthenormativecon

Page218
structoftheliberalpublicspherehelpstodispelthedoubtraisedbySchmittthattheparliamentarystateasaformofselforganizationofsocietybreaksdownatthe
momentofitsrealization.Againstthisobjection,Habermasisabletoshowtheinstitutionalizationofdualismintermsofparliamentandapoliticalpublicsphere.The
samechoice,however,isstillpotentiallyexposedtoKoselleck'scritique,whichmightfocusintheEnglishcontextonthehypocriticallybourgeoisratherthanthe
hypocriticallystatistcharacteroftheliberalpublicsphere.Inotherwords,intheEnglishcasetheprojectforliberalpublicityseemstohavebeenacoverforthewillto
powerofthepropertiedclasses.Thechargeisnotasstrongasitmightatfirstseem,though,becausetheparliamentaryabsolutismthatemergedfromtheGlorious
Revolutionwasalreadyfullycompatiblewiththeeconomicinterestsandpoliticalrepresentationofthepropertiedclasses.Thestruggleforapoliticalpublicsphereand
fortherightsofspeech,press,assembly,association,andthefranchisethatwouldsustainitwasnotrestrictedtotheownersofbourgeoisproperty,nordiditstopwith
thefullpoliticalvictoryoftheirprogramintheNewPoorLaw.Whileitispossibletoarguethattheoutcomeofthesestruggleshelpedmakeparliamentaryrule
legitimateandthusstabilizedbourgeoisdomination,thislegitimacywasneverthelessafunctionofnewformsofprotection,selforganization,andpublicoversight
achievedbysocialstratawhosetraditionalformsoflifewereunderminedbythetransitionfromapaternalistic,moraleconomytotheselfregulatingsystemofliberal
markets.
39
EnglishabsolutismdoesnotendinHabermas'spicturewiththedemotionofthemonarchto"KinginParliament"butwiththenewrelationbetweenpublicsphereand
stateexpressedinthefullpublicityoftheproceedingsofParliament.
40
However,whenpublicity,originallyaweapon,becomesaprinciplelinkedtothenormative
experienceofeveryonecapableofreasoning,itcannotberestrictedeitherinstitutionally(tothepressandtheparties)orsocially(tothemiddleclasses).
41
The
growingpublicthematizationoffundamentalpoliticalquestionsleadstotheorganizationofpoliticalmeetings,clubs,associations,andcommittees
42
thatinturnprovide
formsfortheselforganizationofstratathatarenotformallyincludedinthepoliticalsystemuntiltheendofthe

Page219
century.Democratizationdoesnotinitself,asHabermaselsewhereunfortunatelysuggests,
43
leadtothedeclineofthecriticalcapacitiesofthepublic:Itis,infact,
aftertheFirstReformBill,whenthepartiesmustappealtoasociallymuchmoreheterogeneouselectoralpublicthanbefore,thattheyareforcedtopublicizetheir
electoralprogramsandtodiscussthemintermsofargumentsandprinciplesratherthanslogans,personalities,orevennarrowsectoralinterests.
44
Habermas'slinkingofhisstudyofthedevelopmentoftheliberalbourgeoispublicspheretoaspecifichistoricalpatternofdevelopmentshouldnotleadustoneglect
histheoreticalmodelofthissphere,howeveridealtypicalorevencompositeitmayappear.Thisisallthemoreimportantbecauseheinsiststhatitisthisabstract
model,ratherthananyparticularhistoricalversion,thatattainednormativeandevenutopianstatusformodernsociety.Broadlyspeaking(inthetraditionofHegel),
HabermasnotonlydifferentiatesbetweencivilsocietyandstatebutalsorelativizesthetraditionaldistinctionofprivateandpublicwithwhichtheliberalsandMarx
identifiedthenewpolarity.Hedoesthisbydividingeachsphere,publicandprivate,intotwo:
private: intimatesphere(family) privateeconomy
public: publicsphere publicauthority(state)
Weexpectonespecificroletocorrespondtoeachofthespheres,thoughHabermasmakesthepointclearonlyinthecaseoftheprivatesphere:
45
private: humanbeing("homme") bourgeois
public: [citizen] [subject]
Habermasrecognizesthattherelationshipofthisfourfoldcategorialframeworktotheconceptofcivilsociety,orbrgerlicheGesellschaft,isambiguous.
46
Inthe
narrowsense(thatofMarx),brgerlichesocietyreferstothesphereoftheprivate,bourgeoiseconomy.Whenusedinthissense,thepublicsphereistobe
understoodasamediationbetweensocietyandstate.However,inthebroadersense(thatofHegel),thetermcivilsocietymeansallthespheresofsociety
juxtaposedtothestate.
47
Inthatcase,itwillincludethe

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publicsphereaswellasthedomesticone,andthusitwillhavethreefundamentalroles(ofwhichHabermasstressesonlythefirsttwo):humanbeing,bourgeois,and
citizen.
IfHabermasdoesnotconsistentlyadoptthissecond,moreHegelian,usage,itisbecauseheseemstobesensitivetoafictionalidentificationcriticizedbytheyoung
Marx:thatbetween"l'homme"and"bourgeois."
48
He,too,considersthisidentificationtomaskthebourgeoischaracterofthenewpublicsphereandanideology
thatsubordinatesthesphereofthecitizentotheimperativesoftheprivateeconomy.Asaresult,andinordertoprovideananalyticalcontrasttoliberalideology,
Habermasrefusestomakethecategoryofthepublicspheresimplyaninternalselfdeterminationormediationofcivilsociety.
Hedoesnottherebymanagetofindanadequatelocus,eveninprinciple,fortheactivityofthecitizen.Hisdesiretodifferentiatespheresstopsshortexactlyatthis
category.Heis,however,onhiswaytodoingthiswhenhepointstoasecondfictioninliberalideology:theidentificationofliteraryandpoliticalpublicsasaunified
publicopinion.Unfortunatelyhetendstoregardthisidentificationonlyasthevehiclebywhichthefirstfiction,theidentitybetweenmanandbourgeois,claims
normativesuperiorityoverthecitizen.Thus,heseemsnottoseethenecessityinthiscaseforyetanotheranalyticaldifferentiationofwhatideologymisleadingly
identifies:manandcitizen.Thisomissionseemstoconcedetheliberalpointthatsubordinatesthenormativesourceofthestatusofthecitizeninthemodernworldto
thenormofthenewconceptionofhumanity,evenifnotinitsbourgeoisversion.
ThebasicmodelisattimesdifferentiatedasifHabermaswantedtoavoidbothfictionalidentifications:
49
private: intimate

privateeconomy
public: literary political state
Thisschemecorrespondstothehistoricaldevelopmentofthepoliticalpublicsphere,whichmayhaveemergedfromtheliterarypublicspherebutcanfullyreplaceor
subsumeitonlyatitsperil."Thehumanityoftheliterarypublic,"hesaysobliquelyenough,"servesasamediationfortheeffectivenessofthepoliticalpublic."
50
Onthe
otherside,however,theargumentpresupposesthata

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literaryculturalpublicspherecannotitselfcontrolordirectlyinfluencethemodernstate.Habermasstressesthedifferentiationofthetwopublicsintermsoftwo
audiencesthatdrawondifferentsourcesfortheirmembers,onemainlywomen,theotherexclusivelymen.
51
Allthiswouldseemtopointtoadifferentiationinthe
traditionofTocquevillebetweencivilandpoliticalsociety,correspondingtoHabermas'sowndifferentiationoftwopublics(literaryandpolitical)andtworoles(human
beingandcitizen).Itisjustthisdifferentiation,however,involvingsharperboundariesbetweenpoliticalandprepoliticalpublicspheres,thatHabermaswantstoavoid.
Totheextentthatthetwopublicshaveimportantcontinuitiesandevenformalsimilarities,Habermasisright.Butanothermotiveisatworkhereaswell,onethat
producesacertainoverreaction.InordertopreservethemodernityofhisconceptionasagainstArendt'sstylizationoftheancientnotionofcitizenship,Habermas
wantstobreakdefinitivelywiththeoldmeaningofsocietascivilisthatcontainedthelevelofpoliticalsociety.Insteadofchoosingastrategyofdifferentiation,
however,heabandonsthelatternotion.Inhisconception,allthatisleftofpoliticalsocietyisthepoliticalpublicsphereasaprojectionoftheliterarypublicintoareas
dealingwithquestionsofeconomicpolicy.
HabermasquitedeliberatelyconstructedhismodelofthepublicsphereinthestructuralpositionthatArendtconsideredtheverynegationofpubliclife,the
intermediaryormixedrealmbetweenprivatesphereandstate,whichshecalled"society."
52
ThoughheadmitsthattheideologicalinspirationoftheGreekmodel
continuesintoourowntime,Habermasconsistentlydisputesitsinstitutionalrelevance.UnlikeArendt,hehasnouseforaconceptofpoliticalsociety,admittedlystilla
componentoftheeighteenthcenturyconceptionofsocietcivileorZivilsoziett,thatwouldsomehowpreservewhatisessentialabouttheancientrepublicanideaof
citizenship.ThisideaHabermasunderstandsasmembershipinanincorporated,genuinelypoliticalbody,therespublica,thatcollectivelyactedtoguaranteejustice
andmilitarysecurity.The"political"taskofthebourgeoispublicsphereis,onthecontrary,theregulationofbrgerlicheGesellschaftinthesenseofsecuringthe
exchangeofcommoditiesinthemarket.
54
Thus,Habermasseemstomaketheassumptionofthetasksoftheoikosthefunctionaldefinitionofthenewbourgeoispublicsphere

Page222
thisiswhatArendtconsideredthebasisofthedeclineofpublicityassuch.Butitistheliberalaswellasthebourgeoisdimensionofthemodernpublicspherethatsets
itapartfromtheancientnotionofcitizenship.ContrarytotheGreekmodel,themodernpublicsphereisjuridicallyprivate.Legallyseparatedfromthestate,thissphere
anditsmembershaveapolemical,critical,argumentativerelationtothestateratherthanaparticipatoryone.Theycansupervise,influence,andperhapssomehow
"control"power,buttheycannotthemselvespossessapartofstatepower.
Inspiteofsomeseriousinconsistencies,Habermas'smodelofthepoliticalpublicspheredoesnotreferprimarily,asdoesSchmitt's,totheparliamentarydeliberative
bodyitself,whosemembersdoinfacthavepubliclawstatus.Theimportanceofparliamentarydeliberationsisestablishedonlywiththeirpublicity,andthisiswhat
makesthisformofruleuniquelypermeabletothegazeofapubliccomposedofprivateindividuals.Iftheparliamentarydeputiesarepartofthepoliticalpublicsphere,
thisisbecauseoftheircontinuitywiththesocietyofprivate,reasoningindividualswhocomposethatsphere.ThepointissomewhatlostwhenHabermasarguesthat
publicopinioncametoregarditselfastheonlylegitimatesourceoflaw.
55
Butheinterpretsthisclaimintermsofthecontrastbetweentheruleoflawandrulebymen,
withsocietysupposedlyachievingaconditionbeyondalldominationthroughatransformationoftheformoflaw(generality)andtheformoflawmaking(publicity).
Thus,Habermasarguesthatthepoliticalpublicsphere"putspouvoirassuchupfordebate."
56
Thisargumentseemstoconflictwiththedualisticconceptionaccordingtowhichthepublicsphereistocoexistwiththemodernstate,whoseprincipleofoperation,
butnotwhoseexistence,istobeplacedinquestion.Habermasis,ofcourse,wellawareoftheresistanceof"public"administrationandotherorgansofexecutive
powertotheprincipleofpublicity.
57
Buthefollowstheinternallogicoftheliberalconceptionofthepublicspheretosuchapointthattheonlyformofeffectivesocial
controlofthestatethatseemstobelogicallypossibleisitsabolition.RightlyrejectingtheancientnotionofcitizenshipproposedbyArendt,Habermaswasnotableto
point,atleastwithinthetraditionhereconstructed,toamodern,intermediarymodel.Inshort,theliberalmodeloftheliterarypublicsphere,withitsoverarchingnorms
ofhumanityandcritical

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reason,tends,once"politicized,"topointnottoparticipationwithin,buttotheabolitionof,statepower,indeed,ofpowertoutcourt,anditsreplacementbyaclosed
systemoflegalnorms.
Interestinglyenough,inviewofHabermas'sdeepanalysisofHegel,hedoesnotusethelatter'sconceptionofapluralityofassociationswithintheprivatespherethat
mightpreparetheparticipationofcitizens.InhiscritiqueofTocqueville,too,thereislittleinterestinorsensitivitytotheprepoliticaldimensionofsmallscaleself
organizationrequiredfortheeffectiveanddemocraticlimitationofdemocraticsovereignty.
58
Undoubtedly,theselevelsofanalysisstressingtheneedforintermediate
powersdidnotappeartocomplementhisownanalysisofmediationthroughthepublicsphere.Probablytheyseemedtopointtoirrelevantatavismsortoanticipate
thecorporafistdeformationofpublicityitself.Butitremainsthecasethathisidentificationoftheprepoliticaldimensionofthepublicspherewithaliterarypublic,
althoughessentialasalegitimatingbackground,involvingacertainreductionvisvisHegel'sclassicalmodel,rendersthepoliticalpublicspheremuchtooweakinthe
faceofstatepower.Habermasisawareofthisweaknessbutnotofallthecausesoroftheavailablealternatives.Thus,heisforcedtoregisterratherpassivelythatthe
"person"ofthepoliticalpublicsphereturnsoutafteralltobethe"homme"oftheliteraryextensionoftheintimatesphereheisabletoproposenoconceptofthe
politicaltocounteractthe"characteristicerosionoftheboundariesofthetwopublics"
59
thatwastheveryobjectofSchmitt'ssavagecriticismofliberalideals.
60
Habermasconsidersthedifficultytobeafunctionnotofthenormafiveprojectbutofthecontradictoryinstitutionalizationofthepublicsphere.Itisthusthespecific
formoftheinstitutionalizationofthenewnormof"humanity"thatprovestobepowerlesstoblockthetriumphofthebourgeoisandtheofficial.Fromthiscritical
juxtapositionofnormandinstitution,Habermascannot,however,derivethephilosophicalfoundationsforanalternativeinstitutionalization.Inrelationtothecapitalist
economyandthemodernstate,thevalueofhumanity,unlikethatofcitizenship,isboundtoremaininquestion.
Thecontradictoryinstitutionalizationofthepublicsphereisalreadyapparentatthelevelofitsoriginalmodel,theintimatesphere.Habermasdescribesitintermsofthe
ambivalenceofthe

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family,whichis''therepresentativeofsociety,andyetisinacertainwayemancipationfromsocietyandagainstsociety,heldtogetherbypatriarchaldominationonthe
onesideandhumanintimacyontheother."
61
Moreprecisely,thecompulsionfacedbythebourgeoisfamilyisafunctionofitsspecificroleintheprocessofthe
'valorization"ofcapitalandofthetransmissionoflegalpoliticalconstraintsthroughsocialization.Habermas,stillpresupposingthedoctrineofstateandlawas
superstructure,unfortunatelytreatsthesetwodimensionsasfunctionallyidentical.Inthisconception,patriarchalauthority,expressedinthesubordinationofwomen
andchildren,isatransmissionbeltforeconomicandpoliticalpowersthatthendeformthecomponentsofhumanity:Autonomy,emotionalcommunity,andcultivation
aresubordinatedtomoneythroughtheinstrumentalitiesofpower.
Itisanopenquestionwhethertheidealsoftheliberalbourgeoispublicspherearethemselvesdeformedbypatriarchalauthority,orwhetherthedeformationoccurs
whenthestateandthecapitalisteconomymanagetoimposetheirlogiconthepoliticalpublicsphere.Habermasseemstochoosethesecondoftheseoptions,though
attimeshealsosaysthattheideologyreflectstheambivalence.Thischoicemaybeasignificantmistake,however,sincethenotionsof"homme,"emergingfromthe
femaledominatedsalonsemphasizedbyHabermas,and"citoyen,"forgedinthemaledominatedsecretsocietiesemphasizedbyKoselleck,seemtorepresent
oppositesidesofthesamedeformationinthepoliticalrealm:thepowerlesshumanbeingandtheinhumancitizen.
Thecontradictoryinstitutionalizationofthepublicsphere,andinparticularofitspoliticaldimension,parallelstheambivalenceoftheintimatesphere.Habermas
exploresthecontradictionfromthepointofviewofthebourgeoisfunctionandthenfromthatoftheliberalstructureofthepoliticalpublic.Theformerislinkedtothe
restrictedornarrowconceptofcivilsocietyinheritedfromMarx,representingthemarketorientedinteractionofprivateeconomicsubjectsfreed(intwostagesof
developmentabsolutistandliberal)fromestatehierarchyandstatepaternalism.Inthismaterialistfunctionalisttrainofargument,thetaskofthepoliticalpublicsphere
istomediatebetweencivil,orratherbourgeois,societyand"thestatepowercorrespondingtoitsneeds."Firstand

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foremost,thetaskofthisstateistoworkout,administer,andprotectasystemofprivatelawestablishing,throughthelawsofproperty,contract,employment,and
inheritance,aprivatesphereinthestrictsense.
62
Paradoxically,then,thetaskofstateinterventionistofreecivilsocietyofthisintervention,todifferentiateandmaintainthedifferentiationofstateandcivilsociety.This
paradoxappearsonthelevelofthelawsestablishingthemediatinginstitutionsofthepublicsphere.ThelinkageofstateactionintheRechtsstaatorstategovernedby
lawtogeneralnormsandthepublicityofthemakingandapplicationoflawprovidenotonlyfortheselflimitationofsovereignpowerbutalsofortheillusionofits
disappearance.Thisillusion,inthepresentargument,istracedbacktotheinteractionofsmall,relativelyequalownersofpropertywhoimaginethattherulesofthe
sphereofcompetitionmakeimpossibletheascendancyofoneowneroveranother.Theseagentsdesirenopoliticalruleintheiraffairs,exercisedbyastateorevenby
themselves,yettheyrequirelegislativeprovisionsfortheiractivity.Thepoliticalpublicspherewastobethesolutionofthedifficulty,implyingtheproductionof
measuresrootedexclusivelyinreasonratherthanwill.
Asidefromtheconflictswitharbitrarypower,involvingtheexertionofwillratherthanrationalpersuasionandsurvivingintheresistanceoftheexecutiveandits
administrationtosupervisionbythepublicsphere,thedivisionbetweenwillandreasonintheconceptoflawcouldnotberemovedfromthepoliticalpublicsphere
itself.Ontheonehand,thisinstitutioncouldberegardedasthefoundationoftherationalityoflaw,sinceitlinkslegislaturestotheongoingcriticaldiscussionofa
reasoningpublic.Ontheotherhand,thelawsemergingfromsuchprocessesofcommunicationhadtomaintaintheircoerciveaspectinrelationtothosetowhomthey
wereapplied.
63
Theruleoflawthusturnsouttoinvolvenottheabolitionofruleassuchbuttheinstitutionofrulebythelegislature.Theliberalbourgeoisideaof
abolishingthestate,replacingitastheagencyofrulebyasystemofgaplessnormsvalidatedbythepublicspherealone,turnedouttobeincoherentandimpossibleto
realize.
Formallyspeaking,theliberalideaofthepublicsphererefersnottobourgeoissocietybuttoawiderconceptionofcivilsocietythat

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establishes,onthelevelofconstitutionalrights,notmerelyaneconomicsocietybutthepublicsphereitselffreedfromarbitrarystateintervention.Habermaspresentsa
classicalcatalogueoffundamentalrightstoindicatethecentralityofthedefenseofthepublicsphere(freedomsofspeech,opinion,press,assembly,association,etc.)
andtheintimatesphere(inviolabilityofpersonandresidence,etc.).Constitutionsalsoguaranteetherightsofindividualstoengageinpoliticalactivityinthepublic
sphere(rightsofpetitionandsuffrage,etc.)andeconomicactivityintheprivatesphere(equalitybeforethelaw,rightofproperty,etc.).
64
Finally,byestablishingthe
centralityofthepublicsphereinpoliticalprocesses,constitutionsgobeyondtheleveloftherightsofprivateindividualsinparticular,constitutionalguaranteesofthe
publicityofproceduresaremeanttoestablishthe"influence"ofthepublicoverparliamentarydiscussionsandthe"supervision"bythepublicofthecourts.
AccordingtoHabermas,themodelofcivilsocietyimpliedbythisclassicalversionofconstitutionalism"doesnotcorrespondatalltotherealityofcivilsociety."
65

Therearetworeasonsforthis.First,thenumberofprivateindividualswhopossesstheautonomysecuredbypropertyandthecultivationguaranteedbyeducationis
small.Indeed,asecondminority,thetraditionalclassesrootedinlandownership,thearmy,andtheadministration,stillholdssignificantpower.Second,bourgeois
liberalconstitutionsdonotprovideforthosewhodonotpossesstheresourcesforparticipatingintheliteraryandpoliticalpublicspheres,nordotheyguardagainst
thosewhocangenerateandutilizepowerinsecret.Again,thedimensionofdominationreappears:thatofthepublicsphereoverthoseexcludedfromthepracticeof
rightsandthatofthosecapableofexcludingthemselvesfromthedutiesrequiredoftherestofsociety.
Allthesame,itisnotHabermas'sintentiontointerprettheliberaldimensionofthepublicsphereasmerelyaninstrumentforexclusion."Thebourgeoispublicsphere
standsorfallswiththeprincipleofgeneralaccessibility.Apublicspherefromwhichdefinablepoliticalgroupsareeoipsoexcludedisnotonlyimperfectbutisnot
publicatall."
66
Habermasdoesnotmaintainthatthebourgeoispublicspherewasmeredeception.Thoughithasclass

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interestatitsfoundations,thereisalsosomeoverlapwithgeneralinterests.
67
Leavingasidethisdogmatic,traditionalformulation,thepointseemstobethatthe
boundariesofexclusioncouldnotbefixedbecauseofthenormofpublicityitself.Inotherwords,thisnorm,establishedthroughconstitutionalandlegalguaranteesand
practicedinprocessesofcriticaldiscourse,madetheboundariesofthepublicspherepermeabletothemesandpersonsrepresentingtheinterestsofthoseexcluded.
Thepublicspherewasanideology,butbecauseitcontainedautopianpromise,itwasmorethanmereideology.
68
Thispointisthenreformulatedintwoways.First,
theideaofpublicity,"inprincipleopposedtoalldomination,helpedtofoundapoliticalorderwhosesocialbasesdidnotmakedominationafterallsuperfluous."This
formulationjuxtaposesanidealinkedtoliberationtoinstitutionsestablishinganewformofdomination.Second,theideologyled,onthebasisofthedominationofone
classovertheother,neverthelesstothedevelopmentofinstitutions"Whichcontained,astheirobjectivemeaning,theidealoftheirownabolition."Thissecond
formulationimpliesthatsomethingoftheliberatingidealofpublicitywasindeedinstitutionalizedinthebourgeoispublicsphere.
Thenotionofthecontradictoryinstitutionalizationoftheliberalpublicspherepointstoadirectionconsistentwiththesecondreading.Buttheideathatthecontradiction
istoberesolved,inaccordancewithnormativerequirements,byabolishingthewholeinstitutionalcomplexsupportsthefirst.Infact,severalpointsremainunclearin
theanalysis.First,asweaskedbefore,arethenormativeexpressionsoftheprincipleofpublicityfreeofthecontradictionofitsinstitutionalization?Second,what
wouldbetheformofanoncontradictoryinstitutionalizationofeithertheoriginalidealoritsreconstructedversion?
ThedifficultiesHabermasencountersinansweringthesequestionshavetodowiththeinfluenceofbothMarxianandliberalutopiasonhisconstruction.Heattemptsto
holdthetwostrandstogetherthroughthenotionofimmanentcriticism.Accordingly,heclaimsthatMarxnotonlyunmaskedpublicopinionasfalseconsciousnessbut
didthisinthenameofastaunchlyheldidealofaliberalpublicsphere.
69
Habermas'sargumentcannotsucceed,however,totheextentthattheMarxiancritique
alwaysinvolves

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bothimmanentandtranscendentelements.IfMarxdoesindeedwanttomaintaininaradicalizedversiontheidealofpoliticsbasedondemocraticcommunicationand
decisionmaking,henonethelessrejectstheidealofdifferentiationbetweenpublicandprivate,betweenstateandcivilsociety,thatthispoliticspresupposes.
70
One
obviouslycannotdefendtheidealofaliberalpublicspherewithoutthemodelofdifferentiation,whichhasnormativeimplicationsofitsownexpressedincataloguesof
fundamentalrights.Marx,however,considersdifferentiationtobethesecretofdeformationtotheextentthatadifferentiatedcivilsociety,inthesenseoftheprivate
economy,avoidstherebythepossibilityofpubliccontrolandoversight,aprocessthatinevitablyturnsthemoderncitoyenintotheinstrumentofthebourgeoiswho
disguiseshimselfashomme.Thislineofanalysisaccordinglyleadstotheestablishmentofadedifferentiatedstatesocietybyarevolutionaryclassthathasnointerestin
differentiation.Thestrategypointstoanewnormativemodelofindividualityaswell:Insteadofthefictionalidentityofmanandbourgeois,Marx,accordingto
Habermas,positstherealidentityofmanandcitizen.
71
ThisgoalseemstobeacceptedbyHabermashimself.
72
ThetranscendentfeaturesoftheMarxiancritiquetothecontrary,however,Habermashimselfstaunchlydefendedtheliberalideaofthepublicsphere.Thus,whilehe
didnotrejecttheMarxianprojectofdedifferentiation,heputanother,oneofredifferentiation,byitsside.Thisheachievedthroughanimmanentcritiqueofhisown.
Fromthepointofviewofthemodelofdifferentiation,heimplicitlychargesthebourgeoispublicspherewithbeinginsufficientlydifferentiated.Inparticular,thefictional
identityofbourgeoisandmanexpressestheveryrealpenetrationoftheintimatespherebytheprocessesoftheprivateeconomy.Hence,thetrueaimofthepublicly
controlledstatesocietyeconomyistofreetheintimatespherefromeconomicconstraintandsocialintervention.
73
Thisargument,attributedtoEngels,inHabermas's
versionamountstoaprojecttoestablishanewformofprivateautonomy.
74
WhatHabermasdoesnottellusishowsuchprivateautonomycouldbeinstitutionalizedwithoutrights,thoughitiscertainlypossiblethathesimplypresupposessome
versionoftheclassicalcatalogue.Butifwearetoreturntosuchacatalogueofrights,how

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arewetoavoidreaffirmingthenormativemodelofcomprehensivedifferentiationthattheserightsguaranteethroughtheirveryform?Habermascouldhaveperhaps
counteredthisargumentbyreferringtotheneedforredefiningtheinheritedcataloguesofrights,andespeciallytheirinternalhierarchy.Hisnotion,ascribedtoMarx,
thatautonomyinthenewmodelwouldbebasedonthepublicsphereratherthanprivatepropertypointsinthisdirection.
75
Butherethedangersofanoverallmodel
basedonunificationratherthandifferentiationshowthemselveswhatwouldhavebeenanimportantinsightinthecontextofatheoryofrights,undevelopedhere,
becomesaperilousonewithintheactuallyaffirmedprojectofnonliberaldemocracy:
privateautonomyisaproductofanoriginalautonomy,whichisbroughtaboutbythecollectivityofsocialcitizensexercisingthefunctionsofthepublicsphereexpandedina
socialistmanner.Itisprivateindividualswhoareregardedastheprivateindividualsofthepublic,ratherthanthepublicasthepublicofprivateindividuals.Intheplaceof
theidentityofbourgeoisandhomme...stepstheidentityofcitoyenandhomme.Thefreedomoftheprivateindividualwillbedefinedaccordingtotheroleofhumanbeingsas
socialcitizens(Gesellschaftsbrger)thefreedomofhumanbeingsaspropertyownerswillnolongerdefinetheroleofthecitizenofthestate(Staatsbrger).
76
ItisobviousfromthistextthatHabermasrepresentsaposition,withouttheslightesttraceofcriticism,thatexplicitlybreakswiththebourgeoisliberalidealofthe
publicsphere.Thepointisnotonlythatonefunctionalizationoftheintimatesphereisreplacedbytheprojectofanother.Moregenerally,themodelreplacesbourgeois
dedifferentiation,whichviolatestheconstitutionalnormsoftheliberalpublicsphereinHabermas'sownargument,withaschemeofreversededifferentiationthatwould
beequallyincompatiblewiththesenormsiftheyweremaintainedorreestablished.Althoughacasecouldbemadethattheprojecthereoutlinedcontinuesthe
democraticdimensionofthenormativemodelofthepublicsphere,itmostassuredlybreakswithitsequallyimportantandconstitutiveliberaldimension.That
Habermaswas,in1962atleast,insensitivetosuchanoutcomeisshownbyhistreatmentofthe"liberal"thinkersJ.S.MillandTocqueville.
77


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HabermasiscertainlyrightinusingMarxtocriticizethemodelofthebourgeoispublicsphere,itstensionbetweennormandinstitutionalization.Muchmore
questionableishisobviouspreferenceforMarxoverMillandTocquevilleinthefurtherdevelopmentofthenormativemodel.Arguingfromthepointofviewof
Marxianradicaldemocracy,forexample,hehasnouseforMill'sconcern,consistentlyonthegroundofdifferentiation,todefendprivateautonomyandthefreedomof
minoritiesfromthegreatestdemocraticpower,thepowerofpublicopinion.Inexplicably,hetakesthisidea,inrealityapreconditionfortherationalityofpublic
deliberation,tobeadiminutionofthepublicsphereitself.
78
Moreover,hedoesnotseemtounderstandthattheideaofthepublicastheabolitionofpoliticalpower
involvesarenunciationoftheneedtolimitallpowerthroughtheonlymeanspossible,theestablishmentofcounterpowersandorganizations,andheistherefore
powerlessagainsttheincreasingpowerofthemodernbureaucraticstate.Fromthepointofviewofastrategyofdemocraticdedifferentiation,finally,Habermashasno
sympathyforTocqueville'sstressonvoluntaryassociationsastheintermediarybodiesrequiredforthestabilizationofdifferentiationandtheestablishmentof
democraticmediation.Hedoesnotrealizethatthismodel,requiredforthepreparationofcitizenshiponlevelswhereparticipationisstillpossibleinmodernsocieties,
involvesapotentialrelationshipbetweenhommeandcitoyenthatescapestheinvidiousalternativeofpowerlesshumanbeingandinhumancitizen.Theassociationsof
civilsocietyinTocqueville'stheoryprepareprivateindividualsfortheexerciseofpublicpower,ataskthattheliterarypublicsphereis,onitsown,incapableof
performing.Atthesametime,theseassociationspreservetheconnectionofcitizenstotheprepoliticalsocialnetworksthatserveastheirbackground.
79
Inplaceofthe
Marxianidentityofmanandcitizen,Tocquevillethusproposesadifferentiatedandinterdependentmodelofsocialbeingandcitizen.
Admittedly,MillandTocquevilleareonlypartiallyconcernedwiththededifferentiatingimplicationsofthelinkofmanandbourgeois.Habermasisrighttoappealto
Marxwhenheseekstoexpandprocessesofpubliccriticismandsupervisiontotheeconomicsphere.
80
Itisnotclear,however,whethertheidealproposed

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involvesanabolitionoftheeconomyinthewaythattheliberalutopia(judgedincoherentandimpossiblebyHabermashimself)seekstoabolishpoliticalpoweras
such,replacingitwithpublicdiscussion.Analternativewouldhavebeentoaffirmthedifferentiationoftheeconomicrealmandofitsspecificrolesandtopostulate
newformsofcomplementarityandinterdependencebetweeneconomicactors,privateindividuals,membersofassociations,andparticipantsinthepublicsphere.
Ofcourse,HabermaswouldhaveconsideredirrelevantthecombinationofMarxiancritiqueanddemocraticliberalnormsproposedhereonthebasisofsomestrains
ofhisearlywork,becausehebelievedthatneithertheMarxiannortheliberalutopiaswereadequateguidesforexploringwhatoccurredintheliberalpublicsphere.In
hisanalysis,neitheroptiondepictedhereMarxian,liberal,oreventheircombinationwasactualized.Instead,theliberalbourgeoispublicunderwentachangeof
structureentirelyincompatiblewithitsoriginalnormativeproject.TocquevilleandMarxwouldbothhaveunderstoodthecauseforthisfundamentalchange,namelythe
dramaticexpansionoftheextentandpowerofthemodernadministrativestate,whichhascontinuouslyresistedinvasionbypublicprocessesandprocedures.What
neitherTocquevillenorMarxcouldhaveimaginedwasthat,apartfromthesocialiststatesocietythatonefearedandtheotherferventlydesired,acomprehensive
repoliticizationofsocietycouldoccur,supposedlyremovingthefieldofforceinwhichthebourgeoispublicspherewasconstitutedandapparentlyabolishingthe
differentiationofcivilsocietyandstateforwhichpublicityservedasastabilizingmediation.ItwasCarlSchmittwhowasthefirsttoworkoutacomprehensivetheory
ofthedeclineofthepublicsphereintermsoftheallegedfusionofsocietyandstate.
TheFusionofCivilSocietyandState:
CarlSchmitt
Theshiftofthelocusofgenuinepublicityfromthestate(themodelofantiquity)toanindependentlyorganizedandjuridicallyprivatesocietalspheredoesnotinitself
avoidthethesisoffusionanddecline.Asalreadyindicated,CarlSchmittdevelopedhisinterpretationofparliamentarismaroundthistransmutationofthecon

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ceptofpublicity.Itisthusallthemorestrikingthathewasthefirstimportantthinkertolinktheendoftheliberaleratotherefusionofsocietyandthestateaprocess
thatsupposedlyeliminatedtheonlyspherecapableofsustainingtheclaimsofpublicityundermodernconditions.Accordingly,parliamentarydiscussion,andwithitthe
"wholesystem"oftheprotectionofsocialcommunication,hasbecometodayanemptyformality.
81
Parliamentisnownothingbutanantechambertothereallociof
power:thebureausorcommitteesofinvisiblerulers.
82
TheparliamentarystagehasbeentransformedfromaSchauplatzfor"thefreedeliberationofindependent
representativesseekingunity"intoanarenawherethe"pluralityofdividedyethighlyorganizedsocialforces"meetandclash.
83
Intheprocess,alltheoldclaimsfor
publicityhavecollapsed.
Foracomplexsetofreasons,itisdemocracy,orratherdemocratization,whichSchmitttakestobethefundamentaltendencyofthemodernera,thatisresponsible
forthecrisisofparliamentanditslegitimacy.Tobeginwith,hearguesthatdemocracyandliberalparliamentarismhaveentirelydifferentprinciples.Democracyisa
formofrulerestingonsocial(inmodernity:national)homogeneityand"iftheneedarisestheeliminationanderadicationofheterogeneity."Giventheactualand
structuraldifferencebetweenrulersandruled,democracyispossibleonlywhen,onthegroundofhomogeneity,theruledcan"identify"withtherulers.Startingwiththe
Rousseauianideaaccordingtowhichdemocracyistheactualidentityofthosewhocommandandthosewhoobey,
84
Schmittwindsupreducingthistoastringof
identificationsthatrestonno"palpablereality...somethingactuallyequallegally,politically,sociologically"butonlythe''recognitionofidentity."
85
Moreover,given
sufficientidentification,dictatorship,especiallyifsupportedbypedagogicclaims,iscompatiblewithdemocracyinthisviewindeed,Schmittbelievesthatradical
democracymustleadtodictatorshipbecauseoftheinevitablelackofpreparationofthemassesforselfrule.
Schmittarguesthatliberalismisquitedifferentfromdemocracy.Aboveall,itisadeeplyunpoliticalmodelinthatitrestsondiscussionratherthanidentification,
presupposingacorrespondingpluralityofopinionsratherthantheirhomogeneity.Schmitt

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doesnotconsiderforamomentthepossibilitythatthestructuralconnectionofpublicopinionandparliamentarypublicityestablishesamediumofgenuineifincomplete
identitybetweenrulersandruled.Democracyforhimisbasednotonactualthoughincompleteinstitutionalidentitybutoncompletethoughnecessarilymythological
identification.Thus,thetwoprinciples,liberalparliamentarismanddemocracy,arecontraryandincompatible.
Thereisonehistoricalcontextinwhichliberalismanddemocracyappearedasallies.InSchmitt'sdifficultandimpressionisticlineofargument,whatwasrequiredfor
thisalliancewasthe"identification"oftheextraparliamentary"people"withtheparliamentarypublicasitsrepresentative.Giventheveryrealdifferencesof
parliamentarynotablesandoutsideconstituencies,andofthelatteramongthemselves,theillusionofnecessaryhomogeneityandunitywithinsocietyandofsociety
withparliamentcouldariseonlyinthefaceofanenemy:untamedstatepower.Itisthisfriendfoerelation,ratherthananyHegelianintegratingactivityofthestate,that
achievedthetemporaryunityofsocietyresponsiblefortheillusoryidentityofliberalismanddemocracy.
Theproblem,however,isnotthatthisidentificationisillusorybutthatitistemporary.Althoughtheexistenceofanundemocraticandilliberalstateisnecessaryforthe
allianceofliberalismanddemocracy,bothideologies,albeitfordifferentreasons,pushtowarditsabolitionoritstransformationintoastateastheselforganizationof
society.Themilitaryadministrativestateisunacceptabletoliberalprinciples,fortheserecognizethelegitimacyofdecisionsonlyiftheyhavebeenarrivedatthrough
theapoliticalprincipleofdiscussion.Tobesure,liberalismisskepticaltowardanystateandseeksareduced"nightwatchman"variant.Itdoesnotattempttoabolish
fullyortoreplacethemilitaryadministrativestate.Thelatter,however,insofarasitistheremnantofahierarchicalandauthoritarianera,isfarmoreunacceptableto
democracy.Moreover,oncedemocraticforcesidentifywiththeliberalparliament,they,unlikeliberalforces,cannottoleratethefactthatthestateisnotidenticalwith
thisparliament.
Paradoxically,asthetriumphoftheallianceofliberalismanddemocracynearsitsgoal,withthecreationofastatethatrepresentstheselforganizationofsociety
(throughextensionofthefran

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chise,whichisapreconditionofthealliance),astatetowardwhichapolemicalattitudeisnecessaryandpossibleisnolongerapossibility.Alongwithits(supposed)
disappearance,theconditionsofsocialunityalsodisappear,puttingliberalism,democracy,andthestateitselfintocrisis.
86
Schmittexploresthenatureofthiscrisisby
analyzingtwodevelopmentslinkedtotheprocessofdemocratization:theemergenceofanewtypeofmassbureaucraticparty,andtheadventofstateinterventionism.
Thefirstleadstoafundamentaltransformationoftheinstitutionsandprocessesthattheliberalmodelofdiscussionpresupposed,evenifcounterfactually.Thesecond
representsachangewithevenmoreradicalramifications:the"functionaldedifferentiation"ofsocietyandstate.This"fusion"ofthepoliticalandthesocialeliminatesthe
spaceforapublicdiscursiveformofintermediation,transformingindeeddissolving,asitwerethepublicspacesinbothsocietyandstate.
AccordingtoSchmitt(whoobviouslytakesEnglandashismodel),theliberalpartysystemwasoriginallybasedonfreecompetition,throughthemeansofdiscussion
andpersuasion,forthevotesofaneducatedandindependent(elite)public.Indeed,liberalpartiesweretotakeshapeinthesphereofpublicopinion,thatis,in
parliament.Thisprinciplefounditssociologicalcorrelateinrelativelysmall,collegialpartiesofnotables.Becauseofalackofattachmenttobothfixedinterestsand
organizationalstructures,therepresentativeselectedbypartiesweresupposedlycapableoffreedomofactionanddeliberationinparliamenthencetheassumption
thattheywere,asabody,inthepositiontogenerateaunifiedwillofthestatethroughdiscussionandmutualpersuasion.
87
Democratization,however,hasledtothe
emergenceofanentirelynewtypeofcompetitivepartybasedonmassmembership,sociologicallylinkedtoaspecificconstellationofinterests,andheavily
bureaucratizedwithnumerouspaidfunctionaries.
88
Suchapartydoesnotvalueneutralityvisvisitsmembersandtendstobedeeplyinvolvedinthesocial,
economic,andculturallifeofits"clientele"inallstagesofthehumanlifecycle.Norisittolerantoftheformsofliferepresentedbyitscompetitors.Each"democratic"
partyistendentiallytotalisticinsofarasitseeksfullpossessionofthestateapparatus,whichisseenastheinstrumentforcarryingoutits

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socialgoals.Themultiplicityofsuchpartiesdoeskeepeachoneinchecktogether,theyconstituteapluralisticpartystate(asagainstasinglepartystate),a"labile
coalitionstate."Schmittpointedlymaintainsthatthistypeofstatehasitselfattainedatotalcharacterwithrespecttoitspredecessor,representingineffectafragmented
orparceledouttotalityinwhicheveryorganizedcomplexofpowerseekstoactualizeatotality"initselfandforitself"(insichselbstundfrsichselbst).
Schmitt'sexplanationforthechangingcharacterofpoliticalpartiesinthecontextofpoliticaldemocratizationdiffersfromconservativeandsocialistanalysesofthese
phenomena.Whileconservativesstressedthesupposedlyinevitablebureaucratizationofpolitics,giventheproblemsoforganizinguneducatedandatomized"masses,"
socialistsfocusedonthetendencytocreatenewmechanismsofexclusionanddepoliticizationreconcilingthe"participation"oftheexploitedwiththeimperativesof
maintainingtheexisting,exploitativesocioeconomicsystem.Schmitt,inspiteofhisbizarresetofaffinitieswithstrainswithinconservatismaswellaswithauthoritarian
versionsofMarxism,bypassesbothoftheseexplanations,focusinginsteadontheendofthepolemicalrelationofstateandsocietyundertheimpactofdemocratic
parliamentarism.Theunityofthediversesociologicalformationsofadepoliticizedsocietydependedonthesurvivaloftheauthoritarianstateform.Theemergenceof
thestateastheselforganizationofsocietyandtheweakeningoftheexecutivefragmentsocietyalonglinesofapluralityofinterestsandbeliefs.Politicalappealacross
thesociologicaldividinglinesbecomesimpossible,andpoliticalpartiesmustnoworganizewithinrigidifiedcategories.Furthermore,successfulelectoralappealnow
dependsonsatisfyingsectoraleconomic,cultural,andideologicaldemands.Accordingly,theparliamentaryfieldonceagainmirrorssocietyatlarge.Thistime,
however,thesocietyitmirrorsispluralisticallyorganized,andeachsegmentdemandsspecificperformancesineconomic,social,andculturalpolicy.Justasthestate
becomestheparliamentarystate,parliamentitselfbecomestheexpressionofmutuallyhostilesocietalpluralitiescapableofstrategiccompromisebutnotgenuine
agreement.

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Moreover,compromisecannolongerbeachievedthroughdiscussionofthetruthandjusticeofagivenpolicy,norcanitbeopenlyandpubliclyarrivedat,for
compromiseandopendiscussionviolatetheprinciplesofthenewtypeoftotalizingpoliticalparty.Theparliamentarydiscussionthatdoestakeplaceisanempty
formality,amerefacade,located"inagiganticantechamberinfrontofthebureausorcommitteesofinvisiblerulers....Smallandexclusivecommitteesofpartiesand
partycoalitionsmaketheirdecisionsbehindcloseddoors,andwhatrepresentativesofthebigcapitalistinterestgroupsagreetointhesmallcommitteesismore
importantforthefateofmillionsofpeople,perhaps,thananypoliticaldecision."
89
Schmitt'sconcern,unlikethatofMarxiancriticsofpluralism,isnotthatthesameinterestsalwaysdominatethroughextraparliamentarypressureanddealmaking.
Becausepartycommitteesmustworkthroughanelectedparliament,rulebythemcreatesinconsistentoutcomes,dependingonresultsofelectionsandcoalitionsthat
strengthenoneoranotherfaction.Therealdangerhefearsisnotoligarchybutwhatwaslatercalled"ungovernability,"sinceheisconvincedthatthepluralisticparty
statefragmentsthetwoconceivablesourcesofunity:stateandsociety.
Thisfragmentationisinfactsimultaneousasstateandsocietybecomeone.However,Schmitt'sfusionthesisisnotbasedsimplyontheactualizationoftheprogramof
thestateastheselforganizationofsociety.Indeedthisidea,basedonfacilegeneralizationfromthecaseofWeimar,isnotconvincingdespitethedialecticalvirtuosity
involvedinthereversaloftheHegelianargument.Therealityofthemodernstatedoesnotinfactdisappearwhenthedemocratictransformationofparliamentary
democracyiscomplete.Thisiscertainlynotthecaseinpresidentialsystems,buteveninparliamentarysystemsagrowthofthepoweroftheexecutivehashistorically
accompanieddemocratization.Thisgrowthoftheexecutiveisbothaconditionoftheconstitutionofcivilsocietyandathreattoitsindependenceanddifferentiation.
90

Thus,ifthefusionofstateandsocietyisthepresuppositionforthedeclineoftheparliamentarypublicsphere,thisfusionmusthavefoundationsinadditiontoformal
democratizationprocesses,oneslinkedtotheexpansionratherthantheweakeningofthemodernstate.

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Schmittdoesprovideasecondtrainofargumentforthefusionofstateandsociety,onewhoseconsequencesarefarmoregeneralwithrespecttotherootsof
independentsociallife.Thisargument,focusingonthemutualinterpenetrationofstateandsociety,isdifficulttodisentanglefromtheprimaryemphasisonthe
socializationofthestate,butuponcloserexaminationitturnsoutthatheretheissueisspecificallythatofatwodirectionalfunctionaldedifferentiation.Accordingly,the
nineteenthcenturyliberalstatewasdifferentiatedfromsocietynotonlyinthesenseofbeingindependentofsegmentalconstellationsoffixedsocialinterestsbutalsoin
thesenseofbeingneutralwithrespecttothegreatfunctionalspheresofsocietythataretherebydepoliticized:religion,culture,economics,law,science.
91
Here
Schmitt'smodelisaboveallthatofthelaissezfaireeconomicorderandastatethatintervenesatmosttorestorethedisturbedconditionsofeconomiccompetition.
Fromthispointofview,wegetanalteredcatalogueofliberalfundamentalrightsandfreedoms(personalfreedom,freedomsofexpressionofopinion,ofcontract,of
enterprise,ofproperty)thatdoesnotevenincludethekeyfreedomsofcommunication(assemblyandassociation).
92
Herethefunctionofrightsistomaintain
differentiationanddepoliticization,ratherthantoguaranteethepreconditionsofpubliccommunication.
AccordingtoSchmitt,theliberalmodeloffunctionaldifferentiationisassailedfromtwodirections.Thepostliberalstateisa"totalstatewhichpotentiallyembraces
everydomain."
93
Thisstatementhasadoublemeaning.First,thenewtypeofstateisnolongerneutralwithrespecttothevariousspheresofsocietyandbecomesin
effectaneconomic,welfare,cultural,educational,scientific,even"religious"stateinawordthatSchmittdoesnotseemtouseinthiscontext,itisaSozialstaator
socialstate.
94
Second,thenewtypeofstateintervenesinandpoliticizesallspheresofsociety.Theimplicationhereisthatthesocietystatedistinctionisabolished
withsuchradicalitythattheprivatesphereitself,stabilizedbyrightsmodeledonthatofproperty,ispenetrated,politicized,andabolishedasanindependentsphere.
Whilethemodeloftheriseofpluralistsegmentaldifferentiationseemstomakeonlysomerightstheoneslinkedtocommunicationpoliticallyirrelevant,themodel
offunctionaldedifferentiationactuallysupportsSchmitt'sstatementthatliberalrightsassuchhavebecomeobsolete.

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TherelationshipofthesetwomodelsinSchmitt'sargumentiscomplex.Theonly"explanation"heprovidesforfunctionaldedifferentiationis,onceagain,
democratization,whichforratherunclearreasons"mustdoawaywith...theformsofdepoliticizationcharacteristicoftheliberalnineteenthcentury."
95
Infact,the
argumentagainseemstorestontheextenttowhichtheprogramof"liberaldemocracy"canestablishthestateastheselforganizationofsociety.HereSchmittwould
haveusthinkthattheideaofaSozialstaat,inthesenseofaneconomic,welfare,cultural,etc.,state,andthatofsocietybecomingthestate(zumStaatgewordene
Gesellschaft)arethesame.Butinhisownargumenttheculminationofthestateastheselforganizationofsocietyonlyleadstothefragmentationthatis,the
segmentationalonglinesofinterestandideologyofthesocietythattakesoverthestate.Theoutcome,aswehaveshown,isafragmentedpluralisticpartystate
whosesovereigntyisparceledoutamongtheunits.Schmitt'sneverclarifiedargumentseemstohingeagainonthetypeofthedemocraticmassideologicalpartythat
involvesitselfinallaspectsofthesociallifeofitsmembers.Suchapartywouldpresumablyseekastatemodeledonitself,interveninginsocietyonbehalfofthe
economic,cultural,andotherinterestsitrepresents.UnlessSchmitthasinmindthespecificexamplesoftherelationshipoftheSocialDemocratstotheeconomy,orof
theCatholicCenterpartytoreligion,itisentirelyunclearwhythenewpartysystemshouldleadtoawholesaleprocessoffunctionaldedifferentiationofstateand
society.Indeed,evenMussolini'ssinglepartystatecouldcoexistforatimewithaliberaleconomicorder.
Onceagain,webelieve,thesourceoftheconfusionisSchmitt'sunwillingnesstoconcedethat,whereasinthecaseofsegmentationthesourceliesinsocialcomplexes
seekingtocaptureoratleastparceloutthestate,inthecaseoffunctionaldedifferentiationwearedealingwithapowerfuladministrativebureaucraticstateseekingto
penetratesociety.FromhishighlycommittedWeimarperspective,Schmittsaw"socialdemocratization"butnotstateinterventionismasadynamicforceleadingto
politicalcrisis.Nevertheless,heisawareoftwopossibleoutcomesthatareinlinewiththetwotendencieswewereforcedtoseparateinhisthought.Ofthetwo
versionsofthe"total"stateheoutlines,thefragmented

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pluralistvarietyistheproductofthetendencytowardsegmentationtheauthoritarianvarietyistheproductoffunctionaldedifferentiationdrivenbythelogicofthestate
itself.
96
Schmittseemstohavesomeideathatthetwoversionsofthetotalstateflowfromdifferentmeaningsoftheterm"socialstate"or"statesociety,"oneimplyingthe
primacyofthesocial,theotherthatofthepolitical.Hestatesthatthe"pluralisticpartystatebecomes'total'notoutofstrengthbutweaknessitintervenesinallareasof
lifebecauseitmustsatisfytheclaimsofallthoseinterested."
97
Nevertheless,healsobelievesthatthefragmentedvarietyofthetotalstateisnotsomuchanalternative
outcomeoftherepoliticizationofsocietyasanartificialproduct,bydefinitionalmostalwaysincrisis,aresultofthesurvivalofobsoletelegalandparliamentary
institutions.Inparticular,hebelievesthattheculminationofthetrendagainsttheliberalneutralizationofthestateandthedepoliticizationofsocietyhasalready
producedthefoundationsofanotherauthoritarianformofpowerrestingondemocraticplebiscitarylegitimacy.Indeed,itisanunstatedconsequenceofhisargument
thatsuchanoutcomecouldevenconvergewiththelogicalselfabolitionofthepartysystem,withtheruleofmanypartiesbeingreplacedbythatofasingle,
monopolisticparty.Thus,thetwotendenciestowardfusion,segmentationandfunctionaldedifferentiation,couldconvergeinanewtypeof"democratic''dictatorship.
OnthebasisofhisinterpretationoftheexperienceofWeimar,however,Schmittisconvincedthattheoperationofparliamentarylegality,evenifitisnolongerina
positiontoproducealegislativestate,isneverthelesscapableofcheckmatingtheemergenceofagenuinelypoliticalthatis,authoritarianstateform.
98
Aparliament
guaranteeingthepoliticalrightsofapluralityofpartiesiscapableofcheckmatingdecisionsoftheexecutivethatariseoutsidethegivenconditionsofcoalition
formation.Andonemightaddthatthesurvivaloftheliberalframeworkoflegalprotectionoutsideofparliamentmakesthereplacementofasystemofapluralityof
partiesbythatofasinglepartynearlyimpossible.
99
AccordingtoSchmitt,theallianceofliberalismanddemocracyis(forthepresent)beyondrepair.Theinstrumentofmajorityruleinparliamentlosesitschancesof
popularacceptancewhenhighly

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organizedpoliticalgroupingspredetermineallpossibleoutcomes,establishanirreversibleadvantageofincumbency,andrigidifyagivenstructureofmajoritiesand
minoritiesandevenofcompletepoliticalexclusion.Thus,eachpartneroftheformermarriageofliberalismanddemocracyisnowincrisis:democraticlegitimacyalong
withtheparliamentaryprinciple.Theircrisesproduceathirdone,thatofthestateitself,totheextentthatsolutionsbeyondliberalismandtheexistingformof
democracyaresuccessfullyblockedandthepossibilitiesofdecisionarecontinuallystymied.ToSchmitt,thereseemtobetwochoicesinherentinthissituation:the
continuationofanantipolitical,pluralisticpartystateinpermanentcrisisbutprotectedanddisguisedbyliberalprinciples,orthecreationofagenuinelypolitical,no
longerpluralistic,authoritarianstatelegitimatedbyanew,plebiscitaryversionof"democracy."ItisuselesstodenythatitisthissecondoptionthatSchmittchooses.
Indeed,itwasthischoicethatallowedSchmitttobeenthusiasticaboutItalianFascismandthatmadehisturntoNationalSocialismintellectuallyauthentic,ifnot
inevitable.ForSchmitt,noreturntoaconservative,nonplebiscitaryauthoritarianregimecouldprovideasolutionforthecrisisofthestate,sincesuchanalternative,
byreconstitutingtheirearlierpolemicaladversary,wouldleadtoareconstitutionoftheallianceofliberalismanddemocracyandagainunderminethestate.Likethe
leftistsandrightistsheadmired,Schmittproposedanalternativemarriage:thatofdemocracyandauthoritarianism.
Inanycase,withthecomingofthetotalstate,neitherofthetwooptions(pluralisticorauthoritarian)isconsistentwithadualismofstateandsociety,orwiththe
operationofaparliamentarymediationbetweenthem.WhatdoesnotoccurtoSchmittisthepossibility,soobviousintheAmericancontext,thatthetwoprinciples,
statistandpluralistic,stabilizedinaframeworkofliberalrights,couldcombinetoconstituteanewversionofthestatecivilsocietydualism.Threefeaturesofhis
thoughtwereresponsibleforthismyopia:anunwillingnesstorecognizethecontinuedexistenceofatendentiallyauthoritarianstateinthepluralisticeraaninabilityto
seethewholegamutofreasons,includingespeciallytheeconomicones,forstateinterventionisminsocietyandafailuretonotetheemergenceofyetanothernew
typeofpoliticalparty,the

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catchallparty,basedonamixedconstituency,interestedneitherintotallydominatingnorinparcelingoutthepoliticalsystem,capableofgreaterfluidityinthe
parliamentaryarenaandofmorethanmerelystrategiccompromisewithitsadversaries.
ThedisappearanceofthestateinSchmitt'spictureofliberaldemocracywashardlyinnocent:Hesoughttoreinforceanauthoritarianadministrationthathepresented
asweakened,andtodothishehadtodisguiseitsroleinthecrisisofthepoliticalorderofWeimar.Thepretensethattheauthoritarianelementofthestatewas
moribund,despitethepowerofthearmy,theadministration,andthelegalsystemalliedtotheadministration,nottospeakofthepresidentialprerogativesofthe
constitutionalsystem,helpedhimtoattackthepluralisticpartysystemthatproducednewlinksaswellastensionsbetweendemocracyandliberalism.
TheFusionArgumentinHabermas'sStrukturwandel
Givenitsthinlydisguisedauthoritarianintentions,itisallthemorestrikingthatthefusionargumentSchmittworkedoutwasadopted,andindeeddramatically
refurbished,bythewritersoftheFrankfurtschool.Theirattitudetoliberalism,democracy,andauthoritarianismwastheoppositeofSchmitt's,yetthefusionargument
becameforallofthemasignificantfeatureofthe"critiqueoftheauthoritarianstate."
Consistentlyenough,neithertheallianceofliberalismanddemocracy,northesupposeddeclineoftheiradversary,authoritarianexecutivepower,playsaroleinthe
Frankfurtanalyses.Thisstructureoftheargumentisreplacedbyanewone:thegreattransformationofthecapitalisteconomicorderfromliberaltomonopolyand
finallytostateorganizedcapitalism.Theargument,althoughfirstdevelopedinrelationtotheriseofauthoritarianstates,alsoprovedapplicableinthepostwarperiod,
whenliberaldemocracywasreconstructed.
100
Habermas'stheoryofthedeclineofthepublicsphere,howevermuchinfluencedbytheearlierthesesofSchmittand
Arendt,derivesfirstandforemostfromthevariousstrandsoftheFrankfurtschoolanalysisofthe1930s.Indeed,Habermasultimatelymanagedtorecastalmostallof
thesestrandsinanewtheoreticalframework,wheretheybecamequite

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usefulforademocratictheoryorientedtopractice.Butin1962,atthetimeofwritingofStrukturwandelderffentlichkeit,Habermashadnotyetachievedthis
position.Asaresult,unfortunately,helinkedthenotionofthetransformationofthepublicspheretothenegativephilosophyofhistoryofAdornoandHorkheimer,and
consequentlyhewasunabletoseemuchbeyondathesisofdecline,excepttothelimitedextentthathe,unlikehisteachers,stillharboredsomeclassicalMarxian
assumptions.Theapplicationofthetheoryofthepublicspheretocontemporarypoliticshadtowait.
HereweneedonlysummarizeHabermas'smultidimensionalsynthesis.Theargumentiscomposedofsixlevels:
1.Thethesisofstateinterventionisminthecapitalisteconomy.Thisargument,almostentirelymissinginSchmitt,involvessomethingqualitativelydifferentfromthe
expansionofstateadministrationandpoliticalbureaucracyduringtheabsolutistandevenliberalepochsstressedbyMarx,Tocqueville,and,inherownway,Arendt.
Themodernstateintervenesintheliberalcapitalisteconomy,atthepriceofitsliberalcharacter,toprotectthecapitaliststructureendangeredbyendogenouscrisis
tendenciesandprocessesofimpairedselfregulation.Thestateseekstocorrectdisequilibriaproducedbothbyselfregulatingmarketprocessesandbyphenomena
ofimperfect,oligopolisticcompetition(fiscalandmonetaryregulationofthebusinesscycle),tounderwriteprocessesofinvestment,accumulation,andtechnical
innovation,andtosupportaggregatedemandthroughwelfarestateexpenditures.Thisthesis,ratherundevelopedinStrukturwandel,wasfullyintegratedinthe
FrankfurttraditionbyF.Pollockandhiscolleagues(19321941)inrelationto"theauthoritarianstate."ItwaspowerfullyextendedinthewritingsofHabermasand
ClausOffeafter1968intheformofacritiqueofwelfarestatecrisismanagement.
101
2.Thethesisoftheassumptionofpublicpowersbyprivateassociations(newcorporatism).Thisthesis,firstintroducedintoFrankfurtdiscussionbyO.
Kirchheimer,
102
derivesfromSchmitt'scritiqueofWeimarpluralism.InHabermas's1962argument,thecritiqueisextendedtotheprepoliticallevel.Inprocessesof
oligopolisticcompetition,privateorganizationsarecapable,as

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againstliberalcapitalism,offormulatingwhatisineffectpubliceconomicpolicy.
103
Thecollectiveagreementsamongprivateassociationsinparticular,employment
associationsandunionslosetheirprivatelawstatusinfavorofaformofrulecreationthatwaspreviouslyreservedforpubliclawentities.Whileimportantareasof
administrationnowfalltoprivatelawentities,thestateitselfincreasinglyusesprivatelegalcontractualdevicestoregulateitsrelationswithitssocialpartners.This
argument,albeitdeemphasizedbyHabermasinhissubsequentwork,waspowerfullyextendedbyOffeinthe1980s.
104
Itisworthstressing,however,thathedidso
notonlytoindicateacomponentofoverallwelfarestatestructure(inanycase,acomponentnotequallyimportantunderallwelfarestates)but,undertheimpactofthe
neoconservativechallenge,tostressonepotential,albeitinternallyproblematic(andnormativelyunattractive!),avenueforreducingtheadministrativeandlegitimating
burdensoftheinterventioniststate.
3.Thethesisofthedeclineoftheintimatesphereofthefamily.Thisthesis,animportantcomponentofArendt'sanalysiswhoseveryformulationistakenoverby
Habermas("thepolarizationofthesocialandintimatespheres"),wasakeycontributionofHorkheimerandhiscolleaguesinthe1930stosocialtheory.Habermas's
1962analysis,drawingonnewliterature,stressesthedestructionoftheprivateshellofbourgeoispropertyaroundintimacy,causedbythelossofthefamily's
economicfunctionsandthegrowthofclientrelationstoastateinitscapacityofprovidingsocialinsurance.Thefamilyincreasinglylosesitsfunctionsof"education,
defense,caringanddirection,andevenofprovidingtraditionsandorientations...itsconductformingpowerinareasthatcountedasthemostinternalspheresofthe
membersofbourgeoisfamilies."
105
Thedeclineoftheauthorityofthefatheris,fromthispointofview,ambiguous:Thefamilylosesnotonlyitsrepressivebutalsoits
defensivefunctions.Thenewformsofevenmoreintensiveintimacyareseenashopelesslydefensive,inthemannerofArendtprivatelifebecomesmoreandmore
opentothegazeofoutsiders,downtotheverylevelofarchitecture.Thefakeintimacyofpubliccommunication,stressedbybothAdornoandArendt,representsto
Habermasbothaformofthesubsumptionoftheintimatesphereandthedegradationofpublicintomass.
106


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4.Thethesisofthedeclineoftheliterarypublicsphereandtheriseofmassculture.Thiscomplexofargumentsrepresentsthemostsuccessfulandbestknown
dimensionofthetheoryoftheearlyFrankfurtschool,aboveallofAdorno.ThestressinHabermas'sversionisonthegrowthoftheliterarypublicintothesphereof
consumptionandmanipulatedleisure.Thisislinkedtothedeclineoffamilybasedinstitutionsofculturalreceptionandcriticismaswellastotheindustrialcommercial
transformationofthemediaofcommunication.Amarketisnolongerthepreconditionofautonomousartmarketabilitybecomesaprincipleoftheindustrial
productionofart.The"democratization"ofcultureisapseudodemocratizationwhatisdemocratizedisnolongerculture.Thedramaticexpansionoftheliterary
publicsphereissimultaneouswiththedeclineofitscriticalcharacter.
107
Thenewmediafosteramerelypassiveformofparticipation.Thesurvivalofavantgardeart
andcultureonlysplitstheclassicalliterarypublicsphereinto"aminorityofreasoning,nolongerpublic,expertsandthegreatmassofpublicconsumers."
108
Theerosionoftheintimatesphereandofagenuineliterarypublicleadstothelossofthetensionbetweenhommeandbourgeois,abolishingtheprivatefoundationof
autonomywithoutprovidinganewpublicone.HerethethesesofthedeclineofthefamilyandtheriseofmassculturearelinkedtotheclassicalFrankfurtthesisofthe
declineoftheindividual.
5.Thethesisofthetransformationofthepoliticalpublicsphererepresentsaselectiveextensionofargumentsdevelopedinrelationtotheprepoliticaldimensionsof
publicity.Interestinglyenough,statistbureaucraticinterventionintotheeconomy,forArendtthereplacementparexcellenceofegalitarianpublicinteractionby
paternalism,issomewhatdeemphasizedintheanalysis,althoughHabermasdoesmentionthegrowthandincreasingindependenceofanadministrationthatsuccessfully
resisted,evenintheliberalera,thedemandsofpublicity.AllthemoreimportantistheSchmittianargument,stressedalsobyKirchheimer,accordingtowhichthe
assumptionofpublicpowersbyprivateassociationsleadstotheemergenceofcorporatistprocessesofnegotiation,bargaining,andcompromisethatbypasspublic
processesofscrutiny
109
andreduceparliamentarydiscussionanddebatetoaposthocprocessof

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legitimatingdecisionsarrivedatundertheprotectionofanew"arcanum."Nolongerattemptsbyrepresentativestoconvinceoneanother,speechesinparliamentnow
seektomobilizeaplebiscitaryopinionoutsideparliament.AsSchmittargued,representativesboundbypartydisciplinelosetheirindependenceassomething
resemblingtheboundmandateisrevived.HabermasrecognizesthatSchmitt'sconceptionofthetransformationofthepartysystemfromloosecollegialgroupings
boundbycommonopiniontopartiesasrigidsociologicalgroupingsnolongercorrespondstoreality.Thenewtypeof"catchallparty"stressedbyKirchheimer
amongothers,afurtherstageinthe"democratization''and"massification"ofthepoliticalsystem,onlyincreasesdepoliticizationbyfurtherreducingthelevelofpolitical
discourseandargument.
110
Ofcourse,thenewtypeofpartyisnolongerassociatedherewiththeparcelingoutofsovereignpower.Itsmostimportantresult,the
"vanishingofthepoliticalopposition,"touseKirchheimer'sphrase,hastheeffectofreducingpubliccontrolsupontheadministration,asstressedbyMaxWeber,
therebystrengtheningauthoritarianpowerwithoutauthoritarianmeans.
6.HabermasextendedSchmitt'sthesisthattheroleofparliamentassphereofmediationbetweenastrengthenedbureaucracyandprivateassociationsmustdecline.
Equallyimportant,however,washisuseoftheFrankfurtschoolthesisonmassculturetodemystifytheallegedly"democratic"characteroftheplebiscitary
componentsofthenewsituation,stressedbySchmitt.InthetraditionofAdornoandLowenthal,whoemphasizedtheauthoritarianpoliticalpotentialofthenewmass
cultureanditsmedia,Habermaspointstotheplaceofpropagandaincontemporarypoliticaldiscourse.Modernpoliticalmanipulationpresupposestheformsof
commercialadvertisementthatbecomedominantaspricecompetitionceasestobethemechanismcoordinatingoligopolisticgroupingsintheirstruggleformarket
shares.AsAdornoandhiscolleagueswellknew,propagandatheadvertisingandsellingofpoliticalleaders,parties,andpoliciespresupposesalreadyformed,
passive,uncritical,yetmobilizableaudiences.Whileadvertisingassuchturnstoindividualsintheirprivatecapacities,thushelpingtodecomposetheintimatesphere,
theintermediaryformof"publicrelations"turnstoanddeforms

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"publicopinion"through"theengineeringofconsent."
111
Itisthistaskthatbecomescentralforpoliticalpartiesofthecontemporarytype,inparliamentandespecially
intheelectoralprocess.Suchpartiesdonotneedcontinuousmassmembershipasmuchasanapparatuscapableatperiodicintervalsofmobilizingelectoralsupportin
themannerofanadvertisingagency.Althoughthereconstitutionofsomekindofpoliticalpublicsphereinelectoralcampaignsisunavoidable,
112
thepreferredtargets
ofpartiesarethoseindividuals,generallynotmembersofassociationsorhigherstatusgroups,whohavenoaccesstowhataredepictedhereasresidualformsofa
reasoningpublic.Thetargetedvotersareapproachednotthroughenlightenmentbutthroughappealstoconsumeristbehavior,andnotbyagitatorsoreven
"propagandists"oftheoldtypebutbyadvertisingexperts.
113
Tobesuccessful,''theorganizersofelectionsmustnotonlyrecognizethedisappearanceofagenuine
politicalpublicsphere,butfullyconsciouslymusthelpproducethisoutcome."
114
Theresultisnotunderstandingoragreementwithpoliciesbuta"symbolic
identification"withleadersthatismeasurable,andfurtheropenedtomanipulation,throughpopularityindicesand"public"opinionpollsthatreferexclusivelyto
nonpublicandatomizedopinion.Evenifpartiesandgovernmentswereactuallyresponsiveto"nonpublicopinion,"theresultwouldstillbemorelikeenlightened
absolutismthanagenuinedemocraticwillformationbasedonthetransformationofpersonalopinionthroughprocessesofrationaldeliberationintoagenuinepublic
opinion.
115
Habermas'saimonalltheselevelsofanalysisisnotonlytodemonstratethedeformationanddeteriorationoftheprincipleoffreepubliccommunication.Evenmore
importantforusishiscomplementarythesis:thatofthedestructionofthemodelofdifferentiationbetweencivilsocietyandstatethroughafusionoflevels.Ifthe
deformationofmediatinginstitutionsitselfpromotesdedifferentiation,itcanbealsobearguedthatthetendenciestowardfusionofstateandsocietyremovethesocial
spaceinwhichtheliberalpublicspherecouldfunction.Ononelevel,thedifferencebetweenthetwoprocessesisonlyoneofemphasis:Habermasisinterestedinthe
declineandrevivalofthepublicsphere,whichin1962hestillimaginedtobepossiblewithoutamodelthat

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differentiatedbetweenstateandcivilsociety.We,ontheotherhand,areinterestedinreconstructingthedifferentiatedmodel,whichwedonotthinkpossibleor
normativelydesirablewithoutarenewaloftheliberalanddemocraticprojectofthepublicsphere.
Butthereisalsoasystematicdifferencebetweenourtwoapproaches,totheextentthatthemodelofthedeclineofthepublicspherereferstoamuchmorecomplete
processoffusionandeven"onedimensionality"thanthatofthenewrelationofstateandsociety.ThiscanbeseeninthestructureofHabermas'sargument.Hetells
us,rightly,thatthemodeloftherepoliticizationofsocietythroughstateinterventionintheeconomycannot,onitsown,establishafusionargument,sinceprivate
economicactivitycouldbelimitedinimportantwayswithoutsuchinterventionaffectingtheprivatenatureoflargeareasofpersonalinteraction.Butheiswrongto
suggestthatthecasecanbecompletedbyreferringtothecomplementaryassumptionofpublicpowersbyprivateassociations.Evenifthetwoprocessesdoproduce
anintermediaryspheretowhichthedistinctionsofprivateandpublic,societyandstate,nolongerapply,theydonotinthemselvesmakethedistinctiondisappear,as
theterms"statizingsociety"and"socializingthestate"seemtoimply.Inparticular,thespheresofintimacyandpublicityproperarenotdirectlydecomposedbythetwo
processesforthistohappen,areificationandinstrumentalizationofthesetwoultimatelyculturalspheresisnecessary.Ifthetwocomplementaryprocessesleadingto
fusionaretoreachtheirgoal,thereificationofthespacebetweenthem,thatofculture,mustbecomemoreorlesstotal.ThethesisfirstintroducedbySchmittcanbe
savedonlywiththehelpoftheculturaltheoryoftheFrankfurtschool,especiallyintheversionofAdorno.Butthischoicewouldlead,inthecaseofHabermas'sown
thesisaswell,toamanipulatedpublicwhoseagentsareentirelypassiveandwhosepresentdynamiccouldinnowaypointtotherevivalofitsoriginalpromise.
116
Suchaconstellationcouldstillbeopentorevolutionaryruptures,inArendt'ssense.AnditisinfactfairtoaskattheendofHabermas'sbooktowhatextenthehas
escapedtheancientrepublicanmodelofthepublicspherehecriticizedinArendt'swork.Inworkingouttheconsequencesofthefusionargument,hesuddenlytellsus
that"themodelofthebourgeoispublicwasbased

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ontherigidseparationofpublicandprivatespheres,sincethepublicsphereofprivateindividualsorganizedaspublicscountedasprivate."
117
Whilejuridically
correct,thisargumentbreakswithHabermas'searlier,moreHegelian,argumentaccordingtowhichitwaspreciselytherigiddistinctionofpublicandprivatethatwas
relativizedbythevariouslevelsofmediation.
Weshouldnote,moreover,thattheutopiaHabermasderivedfromMarx,involvingthedualityofapublicstatesocietyandtheintimatesphere,alongwiththeprimacy
oftheformer,coincideswithArendt'srepublicanmodel.Habermas'stheoryofdeclinealsopostulatestheemergenceofamixedrealmthatisneitherpublicnor
private,leadingtothecollapseofgenuinepublicity.ForArendt,themodeloftheliberalpublicsphereworkedoutbyHabermas,concernedasitwaswithmediating
betweenstateandsocietythroughregulationofthepreconditionsofthemarketeconomy,alreadywasthismixedsphereandcouldinvolvenogenuinepubliclifeand
action.Theideaofapublicrealmcontrollingandinfluencingthestatewithoutsharinginpowerwouldhaveappearedsenselesstoher.Allthesame,itcouldbeargued
thattheonlyrealdifferencebetweentheiranalysesisthatHabermasgivesArendt'smodelofdeclineahistoricallydistinctstartingpointfromwhichadeclinecouldtake
place.Andindeed,howeverinconsistently,theemergenceofamixedrealmalsoseemedtoHabermastodeprive"thepublicsphereofitsoldbasiswithoutgivingita
newone."
118
Ofcourse,thiswasafunctionnotoftheriseofthemodernstateassuchbutofthepostliberalrelationsofstateandeconomy.Obviously,Habermasand
Arendtshareaninterestinworkingoutanewsuchabasis.Inthiscontext,however,weshouldalsorecallthatHabermasrepeatedlyassertsthatheseeksto
reinstitutionalizetheliberalratherthantheancientmodelofthepublicsphere.
TheidealoftheliberalpublicspherecontainsforHabermasthatofdemocratization.Paradoxically,thehistoricalprocessesofdemocratization,whetherofpoliticsasin
thepartysystemorofcultureasinmassculture,contributedtothedeclineoftheinstitutionsthatSustainedthisideal,inhowevercontradictoryafashion,reducingitto
anabstractprincipleoflegitimation.Thedeclineofliberalinstitutionscould,however,beseenfromtwopointsofview:thatofdifferentiationofstateandcivilsociety
as

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expressedbytheprincipleofrights,andthatofthepublicsphereasexpressedbytheprincipleofrationalcommunication.Itisthereforeambiguoustoarguefora
reinstitutionalizationofliberalprinciplesunlessonespecificallyreferstobothoronlyoneofthese.Habermas'sobviousinclinationwastodefendtheprincipleof
communicationprimarily.Tobesure,theclassicalcataloguesofrightspositedthisprincipleintermsofaseriesofwellknownrights(freedomsofspeech,assembly,
suffrage,etc.).Buttheverymeaningof"rights"inthiscase,asinothers,involvedsomethingmore:Rightsaslibertiesdifferentiatedbetweentheprivatesphereand
publicauthority,andtheyimpliedtheprotectionnotonlyofthemediatingpublicspherefromstatepowerbutalsooftheprivatespherefrombothpublics.
SinceHabermasdoesnotwanttoabandonsuchcatalogues,hearguesfortheirredefinitionandreconstruction.Inthiscontext,hemaintainsnotonlythattheactual
trendofwelfarestatejurisprudenceisinadirectionthattransformsthemerelydefensive,negativestructureofinheritedconstitutionalrightsbutalsothatthis
developmentrepresentswhatisineffecttheonlyimmanenttendencyinoursocietiestowardareinstitutionalizationofthepublicsphere.
119
Notonly,then,doeshe
speakaboutthesurvivaloftheprincipleoftheliberalpublicsphereonthenormativelevel,buthealsoclaimsthatboththeletterandthespiritofconstitutionalnorms
seekingtoregulatethetransitionfromliberalRechtsstaattothewelfarestateanticipatethenewformsofreinstitutionalizationofthisprinciple,therebycontradictingthe
institutionalpracticesofexistingwelfarestates.
120
Itisatthispointthatanargumentthatpreviouslytreatedthemodernpublicandintimatespheresaspassiveobjects
foreconomicandpoliticalprocessesleadingtotheirdisorganizationsuddenlydiscoversthatthenormsoriginatinginthesespheresarepossiblepointsoforientationfor
analternativestrategy.Accordingly,Habermasproposesamodelofreconstruction.Itshouldnotcomeasagreatsurprisethatwegetanewversionoftheantinomy
wefoundinbothHegelandGramsci,involvingtwoopposedorientations,onestatistandoneorientedtowardcivilsociety.
Weshouldnotethattheargumentdealingwithlegaldevelopmentsinthewelfarestatesuddenlybreakswiththegeneraltrend

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ofHabermas'sanalysisthatalignsitwiththenegativephilosophyofhistoryandsocialtheoryofthelateFrankfurtschool,andwiththeschool'slegaltheoryaswell.
HabermasdoesrefertoFranzNeumanninsuggestingthat,withthefusionofstateandsociety,thegeneralityoflegalnormscannotbemaintainedrather,lawand
administrationareincreasinglydedifferentiated.
121
Neumannwouldargue,however,thatwithoutthegeneralityofnormsitwouldbeimpossibletosustaintheprinciple
offundamentalrights,whichwouldbeincoherentwithoutanylimitationsandimpossibleifthelimitationswerenotdefinedaccordingtorigorouslygeneralstandards.
Habermas,ontheotherhand,maintainsthatonlythenegativeanddefensiveaspectsofrightsvisvisthestatearechallengedunderwelfarestate
constitutionalism.
122
Themotivationsofthestateinthiscontextareclear:Withitsinterventionintosociety,selflimitationwithrespecttosocialautonomymayseemobsolete,and,more
important,newjustificationsareneededthatcanvalidatethenewformsofstateactionasjust.Giventhesurvivalofliberalnormsaslegitimations,suchvalidationcan
bedevelopedbyrelyingontheinternallogicofliberalrights.Andgiventhedeclineofthecompetitiveeconomicsysteminthecontextofaninterventionistand
redistributivestate,the"positivefulfillment"ofthenegative,defensiverightsintermsofanactualabilitytopracticethefreedomsofspeech,assembly,andassociation
aswellasthoseofpoliticalparticipationnolongerfollowsmoreorlessautomatically.Thestatemustthereforeprovidethepositiveand,indeed,thematerial
guaranteesforparticipationintermsofnewsocialrights.Fromthepointofviewofliberalrightsthemselves,iftheseare"toremainfaithfultotheiroriginalintentions,"
their"normativeinterpretationmustbechanged."Whilenegativerightsas"liberties''(Freiheitsrechte)arepreservedinwelfarestateconstitutions,theymustnowbe
seenasrightsofparticipation(Teilnehmerrechte),whichwillbeinterpretedintermsofpositivesocialrights(Sozialrechte)tostateactivitiesratherthanformsofself
defenseandselfdifferentiationwithrespecttothestate.
123
Tobesure,thereissleightofhandinvolvedhere.EventheconstitutionsHabermasconsidersthemostadvancedcontain,headmits,negativerights,rightsof
participation,andsocialrights

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alongsideoneanother.ThisraisesthequestionofwhetherHabermashimselfmeanstoaffirmtheneedforbothnegativeandpositiverights,orwhetherheisarguingfor
atransitionfromthefirsttothesecond.Whiletheissueisambiguousinhispresentation,heseemstoconsiderthesurvivalofnegativerightstobeamarkofan
insufficientovercomingofthebourgeois"taxstate"(Steuerstaat)characterofthewelfarestate,theincompletenessofitsrealizationofthegoalofaunifiedstate
societysubordinatingeconomicprocessestoitsdirection.
124
Inlightofthisgoal,evenrightsoftheintimatesphere,nolongerprotectedbytheoutershellofproperty,
needtoberedefined,accordingtohim,asfunctionsoforderivationsfromthepublicprocessesofdemocraticparticipation.
125
Inthiscontext,Habermasseemsto
fullyaffirmW.Abendroth'sclaimthatthesupposedlyauthoritarianimplicationsofsuchamodelactuallyinvolveformostindividualsonlyatransitionfromdependence
ontheprivatepowerofparticularintereststodependenceonprocessesofcollectivecontrol"whosehighestunitofdecisionisthestateitself."Theonlything
Habermasaddstothisclearlystatistandauthoritarianmodelisthedesideratumthatthestateastheunifiedplanningandcontrolorganofallsocialprocessesisitselfto
besubordinatedintheunifiedstatesocietytoprocessesofthe''publicopinionandwillformationofthecitizens."
126
Thisdemocraticstatismisthensupposedtomake
negativerightsofindividualsandgroupssuperfluous.
Habermasdoesalsonoteandaffirmacompetingmodelwithinjurisprudenceorientedtowardthewelfarestate.Inthismodel,thefunctionofmediationbetweensocial
interestsandstatedecisionsdoesnotdisappearinthewelfarestateonlyitspubliccharacterisabandoned.Theprivatepublicorganizationsthatassumethisrole,
arisinginpartfromtheprivatesphere(socialassociationsandorganizations)andinpartfromthepublicsphere(parties),cooperatewiththeadministrationofthestate
andattempttosecure"public"acceptancethroughmanipulative,hierarchicalprocedures.
127
Whatisleftofapoliticalpublicsphereisdominatedbytheseentities,one
ofwhosetasksistoinfluencetheredistributiveactivitiesthatrepresentthepositiveguaranteesbehind"socialrights."Therealbargainingprocessesinwhichthisoccurs
arenotpublic,andthedemandsofpublicityaimedatstateagenciesbypass

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thejuridicallyprivatestructureofthenegotiations.Inthiscontext,Habermasstressesthetrendinwelfarestateconstitutionalismtowardextendingthedemandsof
publicityfromthestatetotherelevantsocialassociationsandpoliticalparties,andtotheprocessesoftheirinteractionwiththestate.Onlysuchlegislationcouldrevive
publicdiscussioninthespherethatreallymatters,bysubstituting"inplaceofthenolongerintactpublicofprivatepersonsinteractingonlyasindividuals,apublicof
organizedprivateindividuals."ItisthistrendthatHabermasconsidersidenticaltotheprojectofestablishingacriticalpublicsphereundercontemporaryconditions,in
deepandnotyetdecidedconflictwiththenowapparentlydominanttrendofthemanipulationofpublicity.
128
Habermasdoesnotseemtorealizethatthispluralisticmodelofthecriticalpublicsphereisinconflictwiththeidealofaunifiedstatesocietyaswell.Undoubtedly,he
identifiedboththeagent(statelegislativeactivity)andtheendresult(afullypublicprocessofdecisionconcerningallsociallyrelevantquestions)ofthetwoprocesses.
Allthesame,theprojectofestablishingaunifiedstatesociety,expressedinthetransitionfromnegativerightsrestrictingthestatetopositiverightsimplyingstate
action,pointstowardamonolithicdemocraticsocietywithasinglecollectiveactor,promotingtheparticipationofindividualsinasingle,unifiedsocietalpublicsphere.
Insuchacontext,minoritiesasgroupsandevenassociationswithparticularinterestsandidentitieswouldnotbeprotectedonlytheirindividualmemberswouldbe
protectedascitizensofthewhole.Evenifsuchamodeldoesnotbecomethemaskofstatistauthoritarianrule,ithasnosafeguardsagainstatotalitariandemocracy.
Incomparison,theprojectofdemocratizingexistingassociationsandpartiesispluralistratherthancollectivist.Whileitsaimistoreestablishthepublicsphere,thisisto
bedoneintermsofestablishingsmallpublicsineachassociation,linkedtogetherintermsofmoregeneraland,again,publicprocessesofinteraction.Evenifstate
legislationistoplayaroleinestablishingthismodel,theoldpolemicalattitudetotheauthoritariandimensionsofstateadministrationwouldinevitablyreturn,andthe
statewouldbepressednotonlytoguaranteethenewpublicsmateriallybuttolimititselfaswell.Unlesswebelievethattheadministrationofthe

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statecouldaltogetherdisappear,thisdoublerelationofpublicstostatewouldhavetobeinstitutionalized,arequirementreflectedpreciselyintheambiguityofthe
overallstructureofrightsfoundinmodernconstitutions.Thenewformsofpublicityobviouslyrequirenotonlymaterialinputsfromthestatebutalsoformsof
protectionfromstateinterference.Thesmallpublicsofassociationsandparties,whichmustbeautonomousevenvisvisthelargerpublicprocessregulatingtheir
interaction,cannotdowithoutbothnegativeandpositiverights.However,thisrequirementreestablishesthetwonormativefoundationsoftheliberalpublicsphere:
differentiationandcommunication.Thepointdoesnotapplyonlytotherightsofcommunication,though.Themembersofdemocratizedassociationsneedthesame
doubleprotection.Tobeabletoparticipateatall,theyneedpositivesupportsandguaranteestobeabletofunctionfreely,theyneednegativerightsandliberties.
129
Habermasundoubtedlybelievedthathistwomodelswerecompetitiveonlytotheextentthattheyaimedatdemocratizingthetwoseparateprocessesleadingtofusion:
"thestatizationofsociety"(stateinterventionism)and"thesocializationofthestate"(neocorporatism).Inassumingultimatefusion,heassumedtheconvergenceofthe
twodemocratizingprocessesaswell.Whathedoesnotrealizeisthathisfirstdemocratizingprocessproducesonlythesocialconditionsnecessaryfortheexerciseof
publicfreedom,intheformof"socialrights,"whichinthemselvesarequitecompatiblewithanenlightenedandpaternalisticabsolutism.Onlythesecondprocess
revitalizestheconstitutiveinteractionofthepublicsphereitself,intheformofgenuine"rightsofparticipation."Thetwoprocessesdonotfullyconverge,andinfactthey
reproducethedifferentiationthatstateinterventionismandcorporatismtogetherendangered.Moreover,theyflowfromtwodistincttheoreticaltraditions:theMarxian
utopiaofstatesociety,andtheTocquevillianprojectofreestablishingtheintermediaryassociationsofcivilandpoliticalsocietyinademocraticform.
Thesecondreasonwhythetwomodelsmayseemtoconvergeisthecommonprocessbywhichtheyaretobeinstituted:welfarestatelegislativeaction.Habermas
doespostulatethesurvivaloftheliberalvalueofpublicity,whichservesasthenormativebackground

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forstateactorsseekinglegitimacyinthecontextofincreasinginterventionism.Butthenormsarenotlinkedtootheractorsontheirbehalf,forthisisnexttoimpossible
inthecontextofthedeformedandmanipulatedpublicsphere.
Logically,atleast,stateactioncanaimatitsownselflimitation.Allthesame,thereisreasontobelievethatmodelsofdifferentiationbasedonrightshaveneverbeen
establishedwithoutactorsoutsideofandevenantagonistictothestate.Themodelofthedeformedpublicsphere,however,impliesasocietywithoutoppositionand
thepassivityofpotentialsocialactors.Habermas'schoicefollowsfromhisanalysis.Theimpliedidentificationofthetwomodelsforrestoringpubliclifeisaresultnot
onlyofhissocialistconvictionsbutalsoofhisdiagnosisofanirreversiblestatistturnintheorganizationofmodernsocieties.Thus,thechoicebetweentwomodelsof
thestatizationofsocietyonepublicdemocraticandonemanipulativedemocraticturnsouttobenochoiceatall.Paradoxically,theanalystwhohasdonemostto
identifythenormafiveidealofthemodernpublicspherewiththedifferentiationofstateandcivilsocietycametotheconclusionthatthisidealcouldbesavedonlyby
acceptingwhathasalreadyoccurred:dedifferentiationandtheabolitionofanindependentcivilsociety.

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6
TheGenealogicalCritique:
MichelFoucault
OnecouldinterpretFoucault'sworkasanothercritiqueofthewelfarestateparalleltothatofArendt,Schmitt,andHabermas,albeitonethatderivesfromadifferent
theoreticaltraditionandusesdifferentmeans.OfgreaterimportanceforusisthefactthatFoucaultpresentsafarmorerelentlesscritiqueofmoderncivilsocietythan
anyofhispredecessorsorcontemporaries.WhileheshareswithArendthersuspicionsregardingthegenesisandfunctionsofthesocial,whilehisgenealogicalaccount
ofmodernpowerrelationshasthesametargetasSchmitt'shistoricistcritique(theliberaldemocraticmodeloflawandthenormativeconceptionofcivilsociety),the
thrustofhisanalysisisneitherantinorprostatist.Itstargetcomprises,rather,thecategoriesofcivilsociety.Thesemovetocenterstageandplaykeypartsinthestory
ofthebirth,growth,anddynamicsofmodernpowerrelations.Tobesure,thecontemporarywelfarestateplaysaroleintheglobalizationanddeepeningofmodern
formsofdomination,butitisneithertheirsourcenorthemainactorinthedrama.
Indeed,whileFoucaultwouldcertainlyagreewithHabermas'saccountofthewaysinwhichthedeformedpublicspherefunctions,aswellaswiththethesisofan
interpenetrationofsocietalandstatepowerrelations,hewouldrejecttheverynotionofdeformitytowhichHabermascounterposedthecontinuedrelevanceofthe
normsofcivilsociety.Inthisrespect,atleast,Foucault'sanalysisparallelsthatofNiklasLuhmann.Botharguethatthenormativeconceptionoflegitimation,law,
publicity,andrightsisanobsoleteremnantofthearistocraticmonarchicsystem.Althoughbothare

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awarethattheseconcepts(alongwithdemocracy)weretakenupbyreformersandrevolutionariesinthelateeighteenthandearlynineteenthcenturies,theyinsistthat
theyareirrelevanttomoderndecenteredsocieties.However,LuhmannandFoucaultgiveratherdifferentreasonsforthisthesis.Asweshallseeinchapter7,
Luhmannlocateshisexplanationinthemodificationoftheprimaryprincipleofsocietaldifferentiationi.e.,inthereorganizationofthesocialsystemofstratification
intofunctionaldifferentiation.Inmodern,differentiatedsocialsystems,itisnolongerpossibletorepresenttheunityofsocietyrepresentationandthenormative
categoriesofcivilsocietyhavebecomehopelesslyromantic.ForFoucault,however,itisnotfunctionaldifferentiationbuttheemergenceofanewformofstratification
andnewpowerrelationsthatrendersthenormativejuridicalmodelanachronistic.WhiletheproblemofdominationrecedesintothebackgroundinLuhmann'swork,it
iscentraltoFoucault's.Accordingly,andincontradistinctiontoHabermas,Foucault'sversionoftheriseanddevelopmentofmoderncivilsocietyisunambiguously
negativefromthestart.Moreover,sincetheyareconceivedastheproductofmoderntechnologiesofpower,noneofthecategoriesofcivilsocietycanprovidea
referencepointforanyprojectto thestructuresofdominationpervadingoursocieties.Itistothisratheralarmingconceptionofcivilsocietythatwenow
turn.
Marx,Generalized
Inmanyrespects,themostimportanttouchstoneforunderstandingFoucault'scritiqueofcivilsocietyistheworkofKarlMarx,ratherthanthatofhisown
contemporaries.IfMarxwasthepeerlessnineteenthcenturycriticofmoderncivilsociety,
1
surelyMichelFoucaultdeservestoinheritthattitleforthetwentieth.Like
Marx,hispurposeistoanalyzetheformsandtechniquesofamodalityofpowerthatisuniquelymodern.Hisanalysis,againreminiscentofMarx,takesupthecore
categoriesofcivilsocietylaw,rights,autonomy,subjectivity,publicity,plurality,thesocialinordertoshowthat,farfromarticulatingthelimitstodomination,they
areinsteaditssupports.Althoughweintendtoshowthatthis

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analysisisonesided,indeed,thatFoucaultiscaughtupintheverystandpointofthemodalityofpowerthatheanalyzes(strategicreason),itisneverthelessclearthat
notheoryofcivilsocietycanignorehiscontributionifitistoavoidapology.
Despiteimportantdifferences,Foucault'sanalysisofthespecificityofmodernsocietybuildsonacoreinsightofMarx:Modernityinvolvestheemergenceofanewand
pervasiveformofdominationandstratification.ThisisnottosuggestthatFoucaultoperateswithintheMarxistuniverseofdiscourseindeed,thedialectic,economic
determinism,historicalmaterialism,thebase/superstructuremodel,theconcernwithideology,thestrategyofimmanentcritique,andthefocusonclassstruggleareall
absentfromhiswork.
2
Heexplicitlyabandonsthisdiscourseforseveralreasons.First,theMarxianfocusontheeconomyyieldsaninadequateaccountofpower
relationsneithertheforms,thestrategies,northeactualfunctioningofpowercanbelocatedintheeconomyorplacedinasubordinatepositionrelativetoit.
3

Second,thedialecticaltheoryofhistorythatpostulatestheemancipatorypotentialofamacrosubjectcapableoftotalizinglocalresistancesintoarevolutionarypolitical
movementthatcouldendsocietaldominationonceandforallisdeeplymisguidedanddangerouslyutopian.
4
Moreover,totalizingtheoryinanyofitsguisesisbotha
hindrancetoresearchandpoliticallydisadvantageous.AccordingtoFoucault,global,systematizingtheorytendstoglossoverthedetails,localforms,andspecificityof
themechanismsofpower,whileatthesametimeholdingeverythinginitsplaceinsteadoflooseningthefightgripofunitarydiscoursesonourthinking.
5
Foucaultdoes
notrejectMarxismforthesakeofemphasizingthepositiveachievementsofmoderncivilsociety.Onthecontrary,hedoessoinordertoprovideasuperioraccount
ofthenewkindsofpowerrelationsthatpervadesociallifefarmorethoroughlyandextensivelythanMarximaginedpossible.
Foucaultdoesnotusetheterm"civilsociety,"buthedoespresupposethedifferentiationbetweenstateandsocietythat,accordingtoMarx,wasthehallmarkof
modernity.
6
Moreover,likeMarx,hearguesthatthelocusofmodernpowerrelationsissociety,independentofanddistinctfromthesovereignstate.Foucaultdoes
notreducesocietytoitseconomicsubstructure,nordoeshe

Page258
seeclassrelationsastheparadigmaticformofpowerrelationsorstruggleinmodernsociety.Instead,hetakestheMarxianinsightintothe"anatomy"ofcivilsocietya
stepfurther
7
justasMarxdiscoveredpowerrelationsinthefactory,constitutedandconcealedbythejuridicalnicetiesofthelaborcontract,Foucaultuncovers
asymmetricrelationsofpowerintheotherkeyinstitutionsofmodernsociety:hospitals,schools,prisons,asylums,armies,thefamily,andsoon.Indeed,whatMarx
claimsregardingexchangerelationsandcontractlawis,accordingtoFoucault,trueofalljuridicalformsandallthemajorinstitutionsofmodernsociety:Norm,legality,
andrightsgotogetherwithdiscipline,powerrelations,andsubjugation:
Historicallytheprocessbywhichthebourgeoisiebecameinthecourseoftheeighteenthcenturythepoliticallydominantclasswasmaskedbytheestablishmentofanexplicit,
coded,andformallyegalitarianjuridicalframework,madepossiblebytheorganizationofaparliamentary,representativeregime.Butthedevelopmentandgeneralizationof
disciplinarymechanismsconstitutedtheother,darksideoftheseprocesses.Thegeneraljuridicalformthatguaranteedasystemofrightsthatwereegalitarianinprinciplewas
supportedbythesetiny,everyday,physicalmechanisms,byallthosesystemsofmicropowerthatareessentiallynonegalitarian,andasymmetricthatwecallthedisciplines.And
although...therepresentativeregimemakesitpossible...forthewillofalltoformthefundamentalauthorityofsovereignty,thedisciplinesprovide,atthebase,aguaranteeof
thesubmissionofforcesandbodies.Thereal,corporealdisciplinesconstitutedthefoundationoftheformal,juridicalliberties.
8
(Ouremphasis)
Thus,Foucaultalsolooksbehindthejuridicalrelationsofliberaldemocraticregimesandanapparentlyegalitarianmarketsocietytothesystematic(nonaccidental)
formsofdominationwithinsociety.Indeed,acentralconcernofFoucault'sprojectistodisposeonceandforallwithwhathecalls"thejuridicalmodelofpower"that
stilldominatesourthinking,inordertodirectourattention(andresistance)tothesubtleyetpervasiveformofpowertypicalofmodernsocietiesthatescapes
articulationinjuridicalterms.
9
Sincethefateofthecategoriesofcivilsocietyisboundupwiththecontrasthesetsupbetweenthetwomodelsofpower,itiswell
worthlookingintothem.

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AccordingtoFoucault,thejuridicalmodelofpowerandthelegaledificeofourownsocietyareinheritedfromtheancienrgime.TherevitalizationofRomanlaw
beguninthetwelfthcentury,togetherwiththediscoursesofsovereignty,legitimacy,andrights,playedaconstitutiveroleinestablishingtheabsolutepowerand
authorityofthemonarchy.Right,accordingtoFoucault,is,intheWest,theking'sright.Evenwhenthejuridicaldiscourseturnsagainstthemonarch'scontrol(inthe
name,forexample,ofpreservingfeudalrightsorofestablishingindividualrightsagainstthestate),itisalwaysthelimitsofthissovereignpowerthatareputinquestion,
itsprerogativesthatarechallenged.Whetherthejuridicaldiscourseofrightwasaimedatlimitingorassuringtheabsolutecharacteroftheking'spower,itsaimwasto
constitutepowerashisright."Theessentialroleofthetheoryofright,frommedievaltimesonwards,wastofixthelegitimacyofpowerthatisthemajorproblem
aroundwhichthewholetheoryofrightandsovereigntyisorganized."
10
Sovereignty,inshort,isdefinedinjuridicalterms,whilelawconstitutespowerasthelegitimate
rightofsovereignty.
Inpart,ofcourse,thisjuridicalconstructionservedtoeffacethedominationintrinsictopower,makingthelatterappearasthelegitimaterightofthesovereignand
involvingthelegalobligationtoobeyit.Inpart,italsoservedastheinstrumentandjustificationforconstructinglargescaleadministrativemonarchies.Accordingly,the
juridicaldoesarticulatetheforminwhichpowerwasexercisedunderabsolutemonarchies,thatis,therelationshipbetweensovereignandsubject.
11
Indeed,the
juridicalmodelarticulatesaspecificconceptionofthewaysinwhichpowerisexercised:Itisbasedonamodelofpowerthatoperatesthroughthemechanismsoflaw,
tabooandcensorship,limits,obedienceandtransgression.
Whetheroneattributestoittheformoftheprincewhoformulatesrights,ofthefatherwhoforbids,ofthecensorwhoenforcessilence,orofthemasterwhostatesthelaw,inany
caseoneschematizespowerinajuridicalform,andonedefinesitseffectsasobedience.Confrontedbyapowerthatislaw,thesubjectwhoisconstitutedassubjectwho
is"subjected"ishewhoobeys....Alegislativepowerontheoneside,anobedientsubjectontheother.
12


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Inshort,themodelofpowercorrespondingtothejuridicalisrepressive.Accordingly,powerappearstobe"strangelyrestrictive":Itispoorinresources,sparingofits
methods,monotonousinthetacticsitutilizes.Theonlyforceithasistheforceofthenegative,apowertosaynoitpositslimits,itdoesnotproduce.Thispoweris
incapableofdoinganythingexceptpreventingwhatitdominatesfromdoinganythingbutwhatitispermittedtodo.Assuch,sovereignpowerisindeedlimited,insofar
asitinvolvestherightoverlifeanddeathonlyvisvistheexerciseoftherighttokillorrefrainfromkilling,toletliveortotakelife.Itisnoaccidentthatthesymbolof
suchpoweristhesword,forthejuridicopoliticalmodelofpowerwasindeedexercisedasameansofdeduction,asubtractionmechanism,asarighttoappropriatea
portionofwealth,ataxonproducts,goods,services,labor,andbloodleviedonthesubjects.Suchaformofpowersilences,represses,forbids,takes,seizes,butthat
isall.
13
Needlesstosay,itisFoucault'scentralthesisthatthenewtypeofpowerthatbegantodevelopintheseventeenthandeighteenthcenturiesandbecameglobalizedand
perfectedinthenineteenthandtwentiethisincompatiblewiththerelationsofsovereigntyandisineveryaspecttheantithesisofthemechanismofpowerdescribedby
thetheoryofsovereignty.Thenewtypeofdisciplinarypower,oneofthegreatinventionsofbourgeoissociety(sic),
14
isirreducibletotherepresentationoflaw:The
juridicalcannotserveasitssystemofrepresentation.
15
Norcanthemodelofrepressionaccountforthemode,techniques,orexerciseofthisformofpower.
Nevertheless,thismodelcontinuestoholdswaytoday,inpartasanideologyofright,inpartastheorganizingprincipleofthelegalcodesEuropeacquiredinthe
nineteenthcentury.
16
Itremainshegemonicinthefieldofpoliticaltheory,informingboththeliberalandtheradicaldemocraticversionsofcontractarianism.
Indeed,inawayquitereminiscentofMarx(andCarlSchmitt),Foucaultscoffsatliberalpoliticaltheorythatseesintheuniversallegalismsofsociety(informal
equality,rights,andparliamentarydemocracy)limitsimposedbyafreesocietalcommunity(composedofsovereignindividuals)ontheexerciseofpower.The
contractarianillusionthatpowercanbemadevisible,localized,andrestrictedtothepoliticalstatewhoseboundariesareclearly

Page261
delimitedbytherightsofjuridicalsubject,ofcoursehadaroletoplayintheconstructionofthemodelofparliamentarydemocracyinoppositiontotheadministrative,
authoritarian,absolutistmonarchies.Butitremainsprisonerofthejuridicalmodelofpowerfirsterectedbythesemonarchies:Eighteenthcenturycontractariancriticism
ofthemonarchywasnotaimedagainstthejuridicalsystembutratherspokeinthenameofapurerandmorerigorouslegalitytowhichallthemechanismsofpower
wouldconform.''Politicalcriticismavaileditself,therefore,ofallthejuridicalthinkingthathadaccompaniedthedevelopmentofthemonarchy,inordertocondemnthe
latterbutitdidnotchallengetheprinciplewhichheldthatlawhadtobetheveryformofpower,andthatpoweralwayshadtobeexercisedintheformoflaw."
17

NeithertheRousseauian,radicaldemocratictranspositionofsovereigntyfromthekingtothepeoplenortheliberalideaofrightsantecedenttogovernmenttranscends
thejuridicalconceptionofpower,thedoctrineofsovereignty,ortheconcernwithlegitimacybothassumethattheruleoflawandthecodificationofrightsrender
powerlegitimateandcontrollable.Bothdiscusspowerintermsofthestate,sovereignty,consent,contract,andrights,implyingthatpowerisvisible,localizableinone
place,limitable,andtobeexercisedinaccordancewithafundamentallawfulness.
Theveryideaofacontractamongindividualsthatestablisheslegitimatepowerbylimitingitthroughlawandrightsconstruespowerasanoriginalrightofsovereignty
thatisgivenup,whenpoliticalsocietyisestablished,totheartificialsovereign.Thismodelconstruesoppressionasthetransgressionofthelimitsofthetermsofthe
contract.Therighttorebelagainstpowerthathastransgresseditslimits,therebyviolatingtherightsofanother,istherighttoreestablishlegitimate,juridicallybound
power.Accordingly,
therepresentationofpowerhasremainedunderthespellofmonarchy.Inpoliticalthoughtandanalysis,westillhavenotcutofftheheadoftheking.Hencetheimportancethat
thetheoryofpowergivestotheproblemofrightandviolence,lawandillegality,freedomandwill,andespeciallythestateandsovereignty(evenifthelatterisquestionedinsofar
asitispersonifiedinacollectivebeingandnolongerasovereignindividual).Toconceiveofpoweronthebasisoftheseproblemsistoconceiveofitintermsofahistoricalform
thatischaracteristicofoursocieties:the

Page262
juridicalmonarchy.Characteristicyettransitory.Forwhilemanyofitsformshavepersistedtothepresent,ithasgraduallybeenpenetratedbyquitenewmechanismsofpower
thatareprobablyirreducibletotherepresentationoflaw.
18
Foucault'spointis,ofcourse,thatthismodelofpowerisanachronistic.Butwhyisitstillaccepted?Apartfromthehistoricalreasonsmentionedabove,Foucault
mentionsthreeotherrolesthatthejuridicalplaysinmodernsociety.Thefirstisclearlyideological,despiteFoucault'srejectionofthenotionofideology.Forhestates
manytimesthatthediscourseoflawandrightsmaskstheoperationsofpowerbydivertingusfromattendingtothenewlyemergingdiscoursesofthedisciplines
themselves,andbyconcealingthemechanismsofdisciplinarypowerthatoperateoutside,underneath,andthroughthelaw.Itorientsus,inotherwords,toquestions
oflegitimacyandillegitimacyratherthanissuesofstruggleandsubmission,torelationsofsovereigntyratherthandomination:
Thetheoryofsovereignty,andtheorganizationofalegalcodecentereduponit,haveallowedasystemofrighttobesuperimposeduponthemechanismsofdisciplineinsuch
awayastoconcealitsactualprocedures,theelementofdominationinherentinitstechniques,andtoguaranteetoeveryone,byvirtueofthesovereigntyoftheState,theexercise
ofhispropersovereignrights.
19
Inreality,thedisciplineshavetheirowndiscourse,whichisnotthatofnormsbutofnormalization.Thediscourseofrightsconcealsthefarmoreimportantdisciplinary
discursivity.Here,therelationofthediscourseofrighttoactualpowerrelationsisoneofformandcontent.Modernsociety,then,fromthenineteenthcenturyupto
ourownday,hasbeencharacterized,ontheonehand,byalegislation,adiscourse,andanorganizationbasedonpublicright,whoseprincipleofarticulationisthe
socialbodyandthedelegativestatusofeachcitizenand,ontheotherhand,byacloselylinkedgridofdisciplinarycoercionswhosepurposeisinfacttoassurethe
cohesionofthissamesocialbody.Theformeranachronisticyetusefulnormativediscourseofrightandsovereigntydisguisesthenewpowerrelationsofmodernity.
20


Page263
Foucaultdoes,ofcourse,discussanew,moderndevelopmentofthediscourseandorganizationoflawandright.But,asHabermashaspointedout,the
reorganizationofrightthatFoucaultstresseshasnothingtodowithnormativedevelopmentsinternaltolawsincetheeighteenthcenturyorwiththeexplosionofcivil
rightsinourcentury.
21
NotonlydoesFoucaultentirelyneglectthedevelopmentofnormativestructuresinconnectionwiththemodernformationofpower,buthis
discussionof"thejuridical"asintegralto"feudalmonarchic"powermissesthedifferencesbetweentheoldconceptionofprivilegesandthemodernconceptionof
rights.Indeed,heseemstobelievethatthemodernstructuresofrightthatareconstitutiveofthevariousdomainsofcivilsocietyandofthenewrelationbetween
citizensandthepublicsphereareessentiallythesameasunderabsolutistregimes.Apparently,wearetoconcludefromhisanalysisthatconcernwiththeprocedural
principlesofdemocraticlegitimacywithcivil,political,andsocialrightsinshort,withconstitutionalism,isarelicfromtheperiodofabsolutism:
22
Wehaveenteredaphaseofjuridicalregressionincomparisonwiththepreseventeenthcenturysocietiesweareacquaintedwithweshouldnotbedeceivedbyallthe
ConstitutionsframedthroughouttheworldsincetheFrenchRevolution,theCodeswrittenandrevised,awholecontinualandclamorouslegislativeactivity:Theseweretheforms
thatmadeanessentiallynormalizingpoweracceptable.
23
Ifrightservessolelytoestablishthelegitimacyofsovereignpower,simultaneouslyconcealingdomination,thenFoucault'sstrategyseemstobethedemystificationof
formerinordertomakethelattervisible.
Butthediscourseofrightsandthejuridicalconceptionofpowerhaveanotherfunction.Itisnotonlytheideologicalcoverforanewformofdomination,butis
constitutiveofthelatter:"Thesystemofright,thedomainofthelaw,arepermanentagentsoftheserelationsofdomination,thesepolymorphoustechniquesof
subjugation.Rightshouldbeviewed,Ibelieve,notintermsofalegitimacytobeestablished,butintermsofthemethodsofsubjugationthatitinstigates."
24
As
indicatedearlier,thereal,corporealdisciplinesconstitutethefoundationoftheformal,juridicalliberties.

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Indeed,whatthenew,nonanachronistic(nonnormative)developmentofthejuridicaldiscourseandformentailsisits"colonization"bytheproceduresofnormalization,
bytheempiricaldisciplinesfromsociologyandmedicinetopsychology.Individualrights,individualizinglaw,andthepenetrationoftheoldnormativestructureoflaw
bythedisciplinesturnlawitselfintoaneffectivemediumof,andapartnerin,thedisciplining,normalizingtechniquesofdomination,despitetheultimateheterogeneityof
thelevelsofdisciplineandsovereignty.
25
Moreover,itispreciselythesenonnormativedevelopmentswithinlawandlegaldiscoursesthatimplicateitinthemodern
structureofpower.Theuseofmedical,psychological,sociologicalexpertise,ofstatisticaldata,inshort,ofempiricalinformationandnonlegallanguageswithinlegal
discoursetomakeone'scase,isproofthatthedisciplineshavepenetratedthejuridicalstructuresandrenderedthempositive,empirical,functional,andquasi
disciplinarythemselves.Thus,lawdoesnotnecessarilyfadeintothebackgroundinthenineteenthandtwentiethcenturies,butitnowoperatesmoreandmoreinthe
serviceofnormalizationasthejuridicalinstitutionisincorporatedintoacontinuumofapparatuses(medical,administrative,etc.)whosefunctionsareforthemost
partregulatory.
26
TheideaoftheconstitutiveroleoflawvisvissubjugationisevocativeoftheoldMarxianfunctionalistcritiqueofrightsandjuridicalforms.Here,too,thejuridical
structuresareconstitutiveofthemodernmodalityofpower,andthejuridicalsubjectappearsnotasthelimitto,butastheeffectof,power.Theanalogywiththelabor
contractasthelegalformthatencodes,conceals,andconstitutestheasymmetricpowerrelationsinthesphereofproductionisstrongindeed.However,forFoucault,
themodernformsofpowerdonotcontradictorviolatetheegalitariannormsofcivilsocietybutare,rather,theirfoundation.Thisnormalizingfunctionofan
increasinglypositivistandempiricalconceptionofcolonizedlawisquiteabsentinMarx.Hence,unlikesomeversionsofMarxism,Foucaultarguesthatthenormative
principlesofcivilsocietycannotserveasthereferentforacritiqueofdominationorprovidevalidorientationsforsocialmovementsthatmightseektorealizethem
morefully.Insofarastheyremainnormative,theprinciplesofright,theruleoflaw,legitimacy,etc.,areanachronis

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ticinsofaraslawbecomescolonizedbythedisciplinesand,asitwere,empirical,itservesdomination.Inshort,Foucaultexplicitlyrejectsthepathofimmanent
critique.
ThethirdreasonforthepersistenceofthejuridicalmodelofpowergivenbyFoucaultisquasipsychological.Thecontractmodelconstruespowerasamerelimiton
one'sdesiresorfreedomlegitimatepowerisitselflimitedvisvisrightsandfreedomsthatarereservedtothepeople.Onthismodel,weremainfreetodowhatthe
lawdoesnotproscribe.Powerasapurelimitonfreedomimpliesthatameasureoffreedom(negativeliberty)remainsintact.Indeed,thisisthegeneralformofits
acceptabilityinoursociety.Thus,thesocialpsychologicalexplanationoftheseductivenessofthejuridicalmodelofpowerispredicatedonthefactthat"poweris
tolerableonlyonconditionthatitmaskasubstantialpartofitself.Itssuccessisproportionaltoitsabilitytohideitsownmechanisms.Wouldpowerbeacceptedifit
wereentirelycynical?"
27
Whilethisexplanationsoundssuspiciouslylikeatheoryoflegitimation,Foucaultwouldrejectsuchaninterpretation.Thejuridicalmodelofpowerisnotthelegitimating
discourseofdisciplinarypowerbutadiversionarytacticthediscoursesofthedisciplinesarequitedifferent.Whileweshallshowthat,despitehisdisclaimers,Foucault
needsatheoryoflegitimationandinstatementsliketheoneabovedoesindeedbringtheconceptbackintohisframework,thisishardlythewayhewouldwishtobe
interpreted.Farfromleadingustoanalyzequestionsoflegitimacy,consent,sovereignty,andobedience,hewantstosteerusintheoppositedirection,tomakeuslook
directlyatdomination/subjugationinitsmaterialinstances,initspositiverealformsandtechniques.Indeed,theentirepreoccupationwiththenormativedistinction
betweenlegitimateandillegitimatepower,questionsofjustice,thediscourseofrights,andsoon,mustbeabandonedandreplacedwithareversemodeofanalysis,
onethatstartswiththemicrotechniquesofdominationinthelocaldisparateregionsofsocietyratherthanaconceptionofsovereignpower,thestate,andlegitimacy.
28
Forthis,however,adifferentconceptofpowerisneeded.Ifthejuridicalmodelwasusefulforrepresentingapowercenteredarounddeductionanddeath,itis"utterly
incongruouswiththe

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newmethodsofpowerwhoseoperationisnotensuredbyrightbutbytechnique,notbylawbutbynormalization,notbypunishmentbutbycontrol,methodsthatare
employedonalllevelsandinformsthatgobeyondthestateanditsapparatus."
29
WeareofferedananalysisofthisnewmoderntypeofpowerinDisciplineand
Punish,thenintheseriesofessayscollectedinPower/Knowledge,andfinallyinthefirstvolumeofTheHistoryofSexuality.Unlikethejuridicalmodel,which
conceivesofpowerassomethingthatispossessedbyanindividualoragroup,thatisexchangeableandrecoverable,subjecttolegallimitsanddissolvedby
knowledge,truth,andauthenticdiscourse,thisdisciplinary,normalizingpowerisconceivedofaboveallasarelationofforces:Itisexercised,notexchanged,andit
operatesthroughanintimateassociationwithdiscoursesoftruthandtheproductionoftruth.Accordingly,
Powermustbeanalyzedassomethingwhichcirculates,orratherassomethingwhichonlyfunctionsintheformofachain.Itisneverlocalizedhereorthere,neverinanybody's
hands,neverappropriatedasacommodityorapieceofwealth.Powerisemployedandexercisedthroughanetlikeorganization.Andnotonlydoindividualscirculatebetweenits
threadstheyarealwaysinthepositionofsimultaneouslyundergoingandexercisingthispower.
30
Moreover,farfrombeinglocalizedinonemacroinstitutionsuchasthestate,poweriscoextensivewiththesocialbodytherearenospacesofprimallibertybetween
itsmeshes.Rather,therelationsofpowerareinterwovenwithotherkindsofrelations,includingproduction,kinship,family,knowledgerelations,sexuality,andthe
like.Powerrelationsare,asitwere,theimmediateeffectsofthedivisions,inequalities,anddisequilibriathatoccurinthelatter,and,conversely,theyaretheinternal
conditionsofthesedifferentiations.Whilepowerrelationsaresuigeneris,
31
emergingindispersed,heterogeneous,localizedarenasandexercisedthrougharangeof
"microtechniques,"theycanbeintegratedintomoreglobalstrategiesandserve,forexample,economicorstategoals.
Inshort,Foucaultreplacesthejuridicalconceptionofpowerwithastrategicmodelofahostileasymmetricrelationofforces.
32
Poweriseverywhere,notbecauseit
embraceseverything,butbecauseitcomesfromeverywhere.
33
Inaddition,modernpowerisnotexer

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cisedthroughprohibitionandnegation.Rather,itoperatesthroughamultiplicityoftechnologiesofcontrol,sorting,surveillance,andinterrogationthatare
productiveofnewdiscourses,knowledge,andtruths,ofnewkindsofindividualsorsubjects,ofrequiredbehaviorsandfunctionalresults.Powerrelationsareboth
intentionalandnonsubjective,basedoncalculationandclearlydecipherablelogicandaimsthatarenonethelessanonymous.
34
Finally,therearenorelationsofpower
withoutresistancesformedatthepointwhererelationsofpowerareexercised.
Whilethisconceptioniscertainlymoreprofoundthanthatoftheliberallegalisticmodel,Foucaultisnottheonlyonetoviewpowerinthisway.Onecanfindanot
dissimilarpositivesumconceptionofpowerintheworkofbothTalcottParsonsandNiklasLuhmann.
35
However,Foucaultdoesprovideacompellinganddetailed
analysisofthetwomainformsinwhichthismodelofpowercametobeexercised,aswellasauniquethesisregardingtherelationshipamongknowledge,power,and
truththattheseentail.Disciplinarynormalizingpower,gearedtothesubjugationofbodiesandexercisedthroughan"anatomopoliticsofthehumanbody,"isanalyzed
indepthinDisciplineandPunish.TheHistoryofSexuality,ontheotherhand,focusesonregulatoryproductivebiopower,orientedtothecontrolofpopulations
theirhealth,lifeexpectancy,andlongevityexercisedthrougha"biopoliticsofthepopulation."Whilenotidentical,thesetwoformsofpower,emerginginthe
seventeenthandeighteenthcenturiesrespectively,constitutedthetwopolesaroundwhichtheproductiveorganizationofpoweroverlifewasdeployed.
36
Eachone
developedaspecificrangeoftechniques,typeofdiscursivity,andknowledge,andeachresultedinaspecificproduct:thesoul,thedocilebody,andmaninthefirst
casethedesiringindividualandsexualityinthesecond.
Thenewhumansciencesofcriminology,medicine,psychology,education,sociology,education,etc.,cometogetherwiththenewtechniquesofsurveillance,
examination,sorting,individualizing,andnormalizingtoconstitutediscipline.Itisthroughdisciplines/discipliningthatthebodyisdiminishedasapoliticalforceatthe
leastcostandmaximizedasausefulforce.
37
Theseformsofknowledgeandpowertechniquesalsoconstitutethesoulastheproductofthejudgmentalgazeof
teachers,doctors,educators,

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prisonguards,andsocialworkers.Theeffectofdisciplinarypower/knowledgeisthusmanasknowable,calculable,normal,useful.
Biopoweralsooperatesthroughdiscursivity,producesnewtypesofindividuals,andresultsinknowledgethatislinkedtoaregimeofpower.Thediscursiveexplosion
withregardtosexualitythateruptedintheeighteenthcenturyandconstitutedindividualsasdesiringsubjectsalsomadeuseoftechniquesthatemergedindisparate
settings.Foucaultcitestheconfessionaltechniquesdevelopedwithinmonasteriesandperfectedbypsychologyandthegatheringofstatisticalinformationbythepolice
onthewealth,manpower,productivecapacity,andhealthofthepopulation.Healsodiscussesthecorrespondinghumansciencesespeciallydemography,medicine,
biology,psychiatry,psychology,ethics,pedagogy,andurbanologythatfocusedonbirthanddeathrates,lifeexpectancy,fertility,andpatternsofdietandhabitation
andinstigatedaceaselessdiscussionaboutthedetailsofsexualbehavior.Thesenewformsofknowledgeconstitutethepeopleasapopulationtoberegulatedand
controlledinthenameofincreasingitslife,productivity,wealth,andutility.Theyalsoconstitutetheindividualasadesiringsexualbeingwhosesecretlongingsmustbe
ferretedout,madetospeak,andchanneledintheproper(useful)directionthroughprocessesofselfinterrogationaided,ofcourse,byexperts.Thus,sexstandsatthe
centerofthenewtechniquesoflife.Here,too,whatisatissue"isthetypeofpoweritbroughttobearonthebodyandsex.Inpointoffact,thispowerhadneitherthe
formofthelawnortheeffectsofthetaboo.Onthecontrary,itactedbymultiplicationofsingularsexualities...itextendedthevariousformsofsexuality."
38
Thenew
sexualitiesthatappearinfantilesexuality,theperversions,thehystericalwomanandthathauntthespacesofthehome,theschool,theprison,"allformthecorrelate
ofexactproceduresofpower."
39
Intheprocesssexitselfbecomesconstitutedasaproblemfortruthandthetargetofanimmense(medical/psychological)apparatus
forproducingthetruthaboutourselves.
Theseanalysesoftheformsofmodernpowerrelationsarebothinstructiveandcompelling.Whatisquestionable,however,isthetheoreticalpresuppositionsofthe
genealogicalmethodofanalyzingpoweranditsimplicationsforatheoryofmodernizationand

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ofmoderncivilsociety.Sinceourmaininterestisthelatter,weshallonlybrieflytouchontheformer.
TheGenealogyofModernCivilSociety
ThePhilosophicalandNormativeAmbiguitiesofGenealogy
ThephilosophicalpresuppositionsofwhatFoucaultcallshumanismserveasthemaincontrasttohisowngenealogicalapproach.Theideathatthereisahumansoulor
self,subjectivity,aninnerhumannature(eitherasadesiringsexualbeingorasanautonomoussovereignsubject),oranessenceofmanthatisuniversal,thatcanserve
asthegroundofthebasicvaluesofautonomy,equality,freedom,andlife,andthatdisinterestedknowledgecanexpressandliberateisrejectedbyFoucaultinhis
masterfulcritiqueoftheveryconceptofmaninTheOrderofThings.Boththesubject/objectdualityandfoundationalistassumptionsatthecoreofhumanismleadto
unresolvableantinomies.Butthisisnotall.ThegenealogyofthemodernsoulpresentedinDisciplineandPunishgoesbeyondthephilosophicalcritiquetorevealthat
theverynotionsofsubjectivity,thesoul,theself,autonomy,andnormativity(alwaysinterpretedasnormalization)aretheproductsofdisciplinarypower/knowledge.
40
Accordingly,Foucaultwarnsusagainstthemisconceptionthatknowledgecanexistindependentlyoftheinterestsofpower,oronlywherepowerrelationsare
suspended.Thereis,onthegenealogicalanalysis,noknowledgethatdoesnotpresupposeandatthesametimeconstitutepowerrelations.
41
Thehumansciences,the
disciplines,yieldtheobjectiveknowledgeofman,thesoul,thesubject,andtheindividualrequiredbydisciplinarypower.
Thesameholdstrueforthesubjectsideoftheequationandfordiscursivity.Theideathatintensiveselfinterrogationandspeakingorcommunicatingthetruththatwe
havediscoveredaboutourselvestoothersistheroadtoselfmastery,authenticity,andliberationfromrepressionisasnaiveastheideaofdisinterestedobjective
knowledge.Farfromdissolvingtheeffectsofpower,theauthenticindividualwhospeaksthetruthaboutherself,herdesires,needs,identity,innermostconcerns,isthe
productofconfessionalpowertechniques.Thegenealogicalaccountofsexualityaimstoshow

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thatthehermeneuticsubjectisthehistoricalproductofapower/knowledgeregimethatfunctionsinandthroughdiscourse.Genealogyanalyzesthediscursive
techniquesoftheconstitutionofsubjectselveswhoprobetheirowndepth(throughselfinterrogation)andspeak/confessthetruthsdiscoveredthereby.Theritualsof
confessionaldiscourseinvolvetheactualorvirtualpresenceofapartnerwhostandsastheauthorityprescribingandappreciatingtheconfession,judging,punishingor
forgiving,andconsolingthepersonwhoarticulatesit.
42
Thus,notonlytheobjectifyingdiscoursesofthesocialsciences,butalsothesubjectifyingdiscoursesbyand
aboutourselves,are,onthegenealogicalanalysis,deeplyconnectedtopower.Farfromhavinganaffinitywithfreedom,orwithuniversality,reason,andtruth,theyare
imbuedwithrelationsofpowerandarealwayshistoricallyspecific.Accordingly,Foucaultseeshisgenealogicalinvestigationsaspartofa"politicalhistoryoftruth."
43

Knowledge,truth,reason,andpowerareintertwinedandcontextrelativegenealogicalinvestigationsintofieldsofknowledge,typesofnormativity,formsof
subjectivity,individualandcollectiveidentitiesrevealthetechnologiesofpowerwherebytruth,knowledge,andidentityareproduced.
TheproblemswiththisNietzscheanstancevisvisnorms,reason,andtruthhavebeenpointedoutmanytimes.Weshallmentiononlyafewofthemostfrequent
objectionsthatbearonthenormativedimensionsofourconceptofcivilsociety.
First,thereistheproblemofthenormativeambiguityofFoucault'sgenealogicalaccountofnormativity.Arewetotakethistobeoneamongmanycritiquesofthe
foundationalistmetainterpretationofhumanistvalues,orisitaimedatthesubstantivecoreofthesevaluesthemselves?Ifthelatteristhecase,andtheotheraspectsof
genealogytobeexploredbelowindicatethatitis,thenFoucaultisleftintheparadoxicalpositionofhavingtodenyanynormativestatusforhisowncriticalanalysesor
ofbeingunabletojustifythenormativepoliticalimplicationsofhiswork.
44
Second,ifonetakesFoucaultathiswordregardingthepowerrelatednessoftruth,thentheobviousquestionarises:Whatisthestatusofthe"truths"revealedby
Foucault'sowngenealogicalinvestigations?Whichinterests,whatstrategies,whatformofpowerrelationsdoesFoucaultstandfor?
45


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Third,isn'ttheclaimthatallknowledgeandrationalityitselfderivefromthepracticesofpowerbasedonanundifferentiatedconceptofpower?Areallpowerrelations
thesame?Whatexactlyisthedifferencebetweenpoweranddomination,ifthereisany?
46
TheobfuscationinFoucault'sconceptofpowerlies,accordingto
Habermas,initsconcealedderivationfromtheconceptofthewilltoknowledge.
47
Andthis,inturn,restsonanambiguoususeofthecategory''power."As
Habermaspointsout,Foucault'suseoftheconceptofpowerreproducesthe"transcendentalempiricalambiguity"thatherelentlesslyuncoversinthehumanist
conceptionofman:Ontheonehand,itisuseddescriptivelyintheempiricalanalysesofpowertechnologiesontheother,itisabasicconceptwithinatheoryof
constitution.
48
Thefirstexplainsthefunctionalsocialcontextofthesciencesofmanthesecond,theconditionofpossibilityofscientificdiscourseaboutman.But
doesn'tthegenealogicalapproachthatclaimstodobothoftheseatoncesimplyreplacetheobjectivismofthehumanscienceswitharadicallyhistoricistsubjectivism?
49
Anddoesn'tthetranscendentalempiricalambiguityinhisconceptofpowerleadFoucaulttoovergeneralizeandevenontologizepowerrelations?
50
Moreover,
doesn'ttheequationofreason,knowledge,anddiscoursewiththerationalityofdominationderivefromthisontologizingofpowerandinvolveareductionist,one
sided,strategicinstrumentalconceptionofreasonitself?
51
Afourthobjectiontogenealogicalassumptionsisthattheconceptoftherelativityoftruthtoa(power)regimeisultimatelyincoherent.Ontherelativitythesis,the
transformationfromoneregimetoanothercannotyieldagainintruth,norcantherebeliberatingtransformationswithinaregime.Thereisnosuchthingastruth
independentofitsregime,sinceeachregimeproducesitsowntruth.Butwhat,then,isthemeaningofFoucault'sclaimthatthetruthmanufacturedbypowerisits
mask,disguise,thatis,untruth?
52
Doesoneuntruthsimplycoveroveranother?Oristhediscourseofthedisciplinestruerthanthejuridicaldiscourse?
Fifth,andfinally,doesn'ttheverynotionofpowerrelationsasFoucaultusesit,namely,alwayswiththequalification"inegalitarian,"implydomination,andisn'tthis
conceptmeaninglesswithoutitsopposite,freedom?
53
Moreover,evenifwegranttheideaof

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powerwithouta(global)subject,evenifwerecognizethatthereisalwaysastrategiccontextinwhichpowerrelationsareembeddedandwhichisnotunderthe
controloftheactors,doesitmakesensetospeakofstrategiesofpowerwithoutprojects,orofsocietyintermsofanonymousrelationsofforces?
54
Foucault's
insistencethatpowerrelationsareinegalitarianandintentional,thatthereisnopowerwithoutresistance,impliesatleastthattherearespecificinterestsinvolvedin
exercisingandmaintainingpower,andspecificvictimswhoseinterestslieinoverturningpowerrelations.Butwhoseinterestsareinvolvedinthedevelopmentand
maintenanceofdisciplinaryregulatorymodernpowerrelations?Oncetheseareinplace,howisresistancepossibleinthecarceralcivilsociety,andinthenameof
whatdoesoneresist?Itistimetoturntothesequestions.
TheGenealogicalAccountofModernization
AccordingtoFoucault,thehistoricalprocessesthatconstitutedthesocialsphereinwhichthemodernindividualliveshavedeprivedtheidealoftheautonomous
sovereignsubjectofanyprogressivecontent
55
andhavedenudedsocialinstitutionsofanyautonomoussolidarityorhorizontalrelations.Neithertheconceptofthe
individualnorthenorms,structure,ordynamicsofcivilsocietycanbeunderstoodasagaininfreedomorserveasareferentforemancipatorypolitics.Weshallreturn
tothistheoryofmodernindividualityandsociality,butfirstitisworthlookingbrieflyatthehistorical"genealogy"ofmodernsocietythatisclearlymeanttoreplacethe
materialisttheoryofhistoryanddeprivecriticsofitsreassuringdialectic.
DisciplineandPunish,thefirstbookinwhichFoucaultpresentshistheoryofpower,alsoprovidesthecleareststatementofhisgenealogicaltheoryofmodernization,
thatis,ofthetransformationinvolvedinshapingourcontemporary"carceral,""disciplinary"society.
56
Althoughthebookfocusesonthegenealogyofthemodern
prison,itisclearlymeanttobetakenasexemplaryforawiderangeofhomologouschangesthatcharacterizethetransitionfromthe"classicalage"(theageof
absolutismor,moregenerally,theancienrgime)tomodernsociety(lateeighteenthcenturyto

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thepresent).
57
ForitisFoucault'sthesisthattheasymmetricpowerrelationsandthetechniquesoflearningaboutanddiscipliningbodiesthatwereperfectedinthe
prisonnowpervadeaneverbroaderrangeofcontemporarysocietalinstitutionsandaffecteveryone.Indeed,"thecarceralarchipelagotransportedthistechniquefrom
thepenalinstitutiontotheentiresocialbody."
58
Thus,thegenealogyofthemodernprisonrevealsamodalityofpowerthatisallpervasiveinmoderncivilsociety.
TheinnovationsinFoucault'sgenealogicalaccountofmodernitydonotlieinthespecificepochsoutlinedinthehistoricaltrajectoryhetraces.
59
Theseepochsarequite
standardinmodernizationtheory.Weare,inshort,presentedwithdescriptionsoftwosocietaltypesandatransitionalperiodbetweenthem:traditionalsocietyorthe
"ancienrgime,"composedofthesocietyofordersandtheabsolutiststate
60
(seventeenthtonineteenthcenturies),andmodernsociety,emergingintheeighteenth
centuryanddevelopedthroughoutthetwentieth.ThetransitionalperiodisdealtwithbyanalyzingthetheoriesoftheEnlightenmentandthereformers'discourse
precedingandduringtheFrenchrevolution.
NorisFoucault'sassessmentofthesechangesintermsofareplacementofoneformofdominationwithanotherparticularlyneworshocking,despitethechallengeit
posestostandardliberalaccounts(contractarianorenlightenmenttheories).Indeed,atfirstsight,thesimilaritiesofFoucault'sapproachwithatleastoneimportant
streamwithinsociologicaltheoriesofmodernizationarestriking.
61
TheredthreadofFoucault'stextisthethemeoftheemergenceofthemodernindividualasthe
storyofanewandpervasiveformofdominationevolvingthroughtwointerrelatedprocesses:thedestructionoftraditionalgroupsolidaritiesandthefragmentationor
levelingofpeoples,orders,andcoherentsocialgroupsandtheconsolidationofdisciplinarytechniquesofsurveillanceandcontrolofbodiesthatfabricateanewform
ofindividualitywhoseillusionofsovereigntyisthecounterparttotheabsenceofanyautonomousgrouplifeorgroupidentity,meaningfultraditions,formsof
association,orpowerresources.TheonlyseriousdifferenceonthelevelofcontentbetweenthisversionofmodernizationandthatofTocquevilleorNisbet,for
example,isthatthelatterattributetheleveling,individualizingformofpowerprima

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rilytotheemergenceofthemodernstate,whileFoucaultseesitastheresultofamultiplicityofinstitutionalforcesordevelopmentsinsociety,economy,andpolity.
Forboth(aswellasforMarx),however,moderncivilsocietyisneverthelessthatcolonizedterrainwheresolidarity,association,groupautonomy,andspontaneity
havebeenreplacedbyanewformofsocialcontrol.
Tobesure,Foucaultdoesnotdescribethecontrastbetweentheoldregimeandmodernsocietyinordertoidealizetheintermediarypoliticalbodiesofthe
Stndestaat,whichrepresented,forTocqueville,atleast,thecruciallociofpoliticallifethatlimitedtheadministrativepowerofthestate.
62
Indeed,thereisno
systematicdistinctioninFoucault'sworkbetweenthetypeofpoliticalactionwithintheframeworkofassembliesandthestateactiontypicalofadministrativepower
relations.
63
Itwaspreciselythissortofdistinction,however,thatledTocquevilletoseekmodernequivalentsfortheoldformsofassociation,autonomy,and
counterpowerasearchthatisdoomedtofailureonFoucault'stheory.
64
NordoesFoucaultassignpositivevaluetotheculturaltraditionsortheintegrativefunctionsensuredbytheoldintermediarybodies(asNisbetdid).
65
Onthecontrary,
itistheopportunitiesfordisorderintheintersticesofthesocietyoforders,duringtheabsolutistperiod,forwhichFoucaultseemstobenostalgic.Thus,whatis
pinpointed(andsomewhatidealized)inFoucault'scontrastbetweentraditionalandmodernsocietyisneitherthepoliticallifeofthearistocracynortherichlytextured
andcommunallyintegratedtraditionsofthesocialordersorsemiautonomousregions,buttheincompletecontrol,regulation,organization,anddiscipliningofsocietyin
thepremodernperiodandthespacesforsolidarityandspontaneousrebellionthatthiscreated.Itisthisrelativeabsenceofefficientcontrolthatcontrastssosharply
withtheinexorableorganization,discipline,andsurveillancetechniquesofmodernity.AnditisherethattheoriginalityofFoucault'streatmentlies.
66
Foucault'sthesisisthatthespecificnatureoftheexerciseandmodalityofabsolutistpowerencouragedtheemergenceofpopularrevolts.Thisthesisisdemonstrated
throughananalysisoftheformandmeaningofpunishmentinabsolutistregimes.Ontheonehand,the"supplice"orpublictortureandexecutionofthe

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criminalsymbolizetheabsolutepowerofthesovereigntocodifythelackofpowerofhissubjects.
67
Publicity,visibility,andthelightofappearanceareallthe
exclusiveattributesofthesovereignthemeanstoexpressandrepresenthispersonalpowerandhismonopolizationandcontrolofthepublicspace.Sovereign
power,asindicatedabove,isamixtureofrepressionandjuridicalcontrolthesovereignishewhomakes,andthereforeisabove,thelaw.
68
Thediscourseofrights
hereisthediscourseofthispowerofjurisdictionandimmunity.
69
Thepowerofthesovereignisthepowertosilence,banish,punish,andannihilatethosewho
transgresshislaw.Crimeisseenasanattackonthewillandbodyoftheomnipresentsovereign,thatis,asanactofwarortreason.
70
Punishment,astheceremonyof
sovereignpowerthatmarksthebodyoftheoffender,restoresandreconstitutessovereignty.Itrevealstheforce,terror,andvengeanceofapowerthatispersonaland
arbitrary,thatismadepublicthroughitsperiodicexpenditure,yetandthisisthekeyisdiscontinuousintimeandspace.
Discontinuousintwosenses.First,withintheframeworkofthesocietyoforders,thephenomenaofrightsandimmunities(inFoucault'sterminology,illegalities)
constituteasourceofcounterpowerandautonomousgroupsolidarityfortheprivileged,signifyingthenonpervasivenessandincompletenessofsovereignpower.But
Foucaultisfarmoreinterestedinanothertypeofdiscontinuityor"illegality,"namely,thatoftheleastfavoredstratumthepeople.Thelowerordershadnopositive
privileges,buttheybenefitedfromaspaceoftolerationgained"byforceorcunning"inwhichillegality,orthepossibilityofactingoutsideof,orofignoring,lawand
customwasregularlypracticed:"Roughlyspeaking,onemightsaythat,undertheancienrgime,eachofthedifferentsocialstratahaditsmarginoftoleratedillegality:
thenonapplicationoftherule,thenonobservanceoftheinnumerableedictsorordinanceswereaconditionofthepoliticalandeconomicfunctioningofsociety."
71
This
toleranceofillegalitywasasignnotofsovereignbeneficencebutofthediscontinuityofmonarchicpower.Itwastiedtotherelativelyweakpenetrationofthesocial
bodybythispowerand,correspondingly,totheexistenceofspaceswithinsocietyfortheemergenceofautonomoussolidaritiesandrevolts.

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Indeed,nexttothemonopolyofpublicityandactionbytheonlyrealindividual,thesovereign,therewasanotherformofactionandpublicityavailabletothepeople,
namely,theriotandtherevolt.Thisistheothersideofthesupplice.Thenecessarypresenceofthepeopleatpublicexecutionsprovidedtheoccasionforconstituting
centersofillegalityintheveryexerciseofsovereignvengeance.Thespectator,theguarantorofpunishment,could,inotherwords,turnrebelandchallengepunitive
power.
72
Itishere,inthecarnivallikeinversionofrules,inthemockeryofauthority,andinthetransformationofthecriminalintoahero,
73
thatFoucaultsituatesthe
linkbetweenillegality,thespontaneoussolidarityofawholesegmentofthepopulation(vagrants,thepoor,beggars,etc.),andrevolt.Thisspontaneityofthe
assembledpopulaceistheuncontrolledandunmasteredreferentoftheveryexerciseofsovereignpower.Theirresistancetocentralcontrolisindicativeofstillintact
localautonomy,culturaltraditions,andmoralresourcesforconstitutingcollectiveidentitiesandsolidaritiesopposedtothesovereign'sprojectofmonopolizingpower.
Thesepopularsolidaritieswereglorifiedinthebroadsheetsandpamphletsmeanttodegradethem
74
asspacesforpopularillegalitiesleftopenbythediscontinuous
formofsovereignpower,theybecamethetargetofthenew,modernmodalityofdisciplineandsurveillance.
Foucault'sdescriptionofsovereignpowerisstrikinglysimilartoHabermas'sanalysisofprebourgeoisreprsentativeffentlichkeit.Bothfocusonthepublicdisplay
ofmagnificenceandmight,onthedemonstrativedimensionoftheexcessesofsovereignty,ontheshowofforceasrepresentativeofpower,andonthecodificationof
itsmonopolybythesovereign.Butananalysisoftheothersideof"publicpower"intheoldregime,ofthe"illegalities"andbroadsheetsofthepopularclasses,ofthe
interrelationbetweenrepresentativepublicityandthepublicityavailabletothepeople,isnottobefoundinHabermas'sstudy.Thisisamajoromission.Habermas,
conversely,analyzestwoadditionaldimensionsofpublicitywithinabsolutistsocietythatarestrangelyunderemphasizedinFoucault'saccount:theemerging
administrativeapparatusofthestatecharacterizedbytheterm"publicoffice,"andthedevelopmentofthe"bourgeoispublicsphere"inthecaffs,salons,literaryclubs,
newspapers,andsoon,oftheeighteenthcentury.
75
InHabermas's

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study,aswehaveseen,theseprefigureimportantdimensionsofpublicfreedominmodernsocietyinsofarasthemodernprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacyandthe
conceptionofpublicofficeaspublicservice,implyingaccountability,havetheiroriginshere.
Foucaultiscertainlyawareofthestatemakingprocessesundertheoldregime,buthisemphasisisquitedifferentfromHabermas's.
76
Foucaultpointsoutthatitwas
theemergingcentralizedapparatusofpublicadministrationthatbegangathering"useful"informationdemographicdataonbirths,deaths,health,crime,poverty,
welfareandsoononanincreasinglyleveled(fromthestate'spointofview)population,turningthesovereign'ssubjectsintoobjectsofknowledgeandpower.This
knowledgewasintimatelyconnectedwithanewformofdisciplinarypower("biopower")emergingwithintheadministrativeagenciesofthestatealongsidethejuridical
discoursesofsovereigntyandlegitimacy.
Nevertheless,Foucaultinsistsrepeatedlythatthenewtechnologiesofpowercannotbecomprehendedeitherthroughjuridicalconcepts,asarelationbetween
sovereignandsubjects,orintermsoftheoppositionbetweenstateandsociety.Forthestateisnottheirsoleorevenprimarysourcerather,theyemergedslowlyina
widerangeofinstitutions(theconvent,thearmy,theclinic,theschool,thefactory,theprison)alongsidethevisibleplayofsovereigntiesintheabsolutistperiod.These
processesconstituteforFoucaultthebirthofthemodernwithinthewomboftheoldsociety.Accordingly,thereisnoneedtoemphasizethenewformofthestateasa
hierarchyofpublicoffices,nortomentionitscounterpartthenewformsofbourgeoispublicitythatemergewithincivilsociety,withtheirspecificprojectsof
liberalizationanddemocratization.Thepublic,impersonal,ruleboundcharacterofstatebureaucraciesdoesnothingtodiminishorrestrictthereachorscopeof
administrativepoweronthecontrary,itmakesitmoreefficient.Andpresumablytheclaimsmadeforthebourgeoispublicspherearesufficientlydealtwithaspartof
thereformer'sdiscourse.Inourview,thisisanerrorfraughtwithconsequences,foritispreciselythenewformsofpublicity,association,andrightsemergingonthe
terrainofmoderncivilsocietythatwillbecomethekeyweaponsinthehandsofcollectiveactorsseekingtolimitthereachofstateandothersocietalformsof
disciplinarypower.

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Asaconsequenceofthetheoreticaldecisiontorestricttheconceptofsovereigntyasaformofpowertotheoldregime,Foucaultineffectagreeswiththosereformers
whofocusexclusivelyonitsjuridicaldimensions(ontheproperlocusofpowerandonitslegalityandlegitimacy),onlytodeclaretheentirediscoursetobe
anachronistic.Thediscussionofrights,contract,popularsovereignty,andsimilartopicsis,accordingly,nothingmorethanafacileinversionorimputationoftheking's
attributesto"thepeople."Insteadoftherepresentativepublicityoftheking'spower,publicity,asclaimedbyreformersforthepeople,istobetheexpressionoftheir
newlyacquiredsovereigntyandtheirmodeoflimitingstatepower(i.e.,thelaw).Thisdiscourseisepiphenomenal,however,insofarasitoccursabovethereallociof
modernpowerrelations.
77
Thereformers'discussionofpowerintermsofthestate,sovereignty,consent,contract,andrightsimpliesthatpowerisstillpublic,
localizableinoneplace,andlimitable.Theliberaljuridicalconceptofpower,inotherwords,missestheessenceofthenewmodeofdomination.Tofocusonthe
edificeofrightsandpublicityembodiedinconstitutionsandparliaments,tostressthedevelopmentanddemocratizationofthestate,istobedeceivedregardingthe
realdynamicsofpowerinmodernsocieties.
Accordingly,Foucaultarguesthatthediscourseofreforminthetransitionalperiodtheconceptionofatransparentpowerthatfindsitslegallimitinthenotionof
humandignity,thatpunisheshumanelywithaviewtowardrestoringratherthandestroyingtheintegrityofthecriminal,togetherwiththethemesofsovereignty,consent,
andlegitimacyconstitutesautopianmodelofsocietythatisnever,norcouldeverbe,institutionalized.Thisdiscoursehas,nonetheless,certainnotsounintended
consequences.Themostimportantoftheseistheshiftinthe"right"topunishfromthesovereignmonarchto"society."Leniencyofpunishmentisindeedaccomplished,
butwiththecorollarythatcrimeisseennolongerasanattackonthesovereigntyofthemonarch(i.e.,theother)butratherasanattackonsocietyasawhole(us),
turningtheoffenderintoa"publicenemy"ormonsterwhomustberehabilitatedinordertoreemergeasajuridicalandmoralsubject."Thesocietythathas
rediscovereditslawshaslostthecitizenwhoviolatedthem."
78
Inotherwords,oncecrimeisseenastheviolationofsociety'sown

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laws,thesolidaritybetweenthepopularillegalitiesandthecriminalissevered.Indeed,thedestructionofsolidaritybetweentheoffender,therebel,thecriminalwho
refusesthelaw,andthepopulationturnsouttobetherealtargetofthereformers'projects.
79
"Thetrueobjectiveofthereformmovement,eveninitsmostgeneral
formulations,wasnotsomuchtoestablishanewrighttopunishbasedonequitableprinciples,astosetupaneweconomyofthepowertopunish...sothatitcould
bedistributedinhomogeneouscircuitscapableofoperatingeverywhere,inacontinuousway,downtothefinestgrainofthesocialbody."
80
Insertingthepowertopunishmoredeeplywithinthesocialbodycouldaccomplishtwothings:controlofthepopularillegalities,whichhadbecometoocostly,and
developmentofamoreefficienteconomyofpower.Thedimensionofthereformers'projectsthatsuitedthisgoalmostadmirablywas,ofcourse,thediscoveryofthe
advantagesofdisciplinarytechnologies.Bentham'spanopticonspeaksmoreloudlyforFoucaultthanallthetheoriesoflegality,popularsovereignty,rights,and
legitimacy."The'Enlightenment'whichdiscoveredthelibertiesalsoinventedthedisciplines."
81
Thus,ontheoneside,thereformers'discourseoperateswith
representation,visibility,publicity(oftrialandsentencing),andtransparencyofthepowertopunishandofthelawsthatdefinecrimesandpunishmentsappropriateto
them.Ontheotherside,adisciplinarytechnologyisdiscoveredthatinvolvessecret,continuous,andautonomouspunishmentprocessesinshort,apowerthat
operatesontheothersideoflegality,isolatedfromboththesocialbodyandjuridicalpower.Thejuridicalmodelreintegratesthejuridicalsubjectintosocietythe
technologicalpracticecreatesobedientsubjectsanddocilebodies.ForFoucault,then,itisnottoanewformofpublicity,legislation,andlegalitythatwemustlookto
findtheseedofthemoderninthetransitionfromtheoldtothenewregime.Rather,weshouldlooktothenewtechnologiesofpowerdevelopinginsocietalinstitutions
andarticulatedinreformprojects.Thediscoursesworthattendingtoarethoseofthehumansciences,which,togetherwiththenewdisciplinarytechniques,providethe
meansforconstituting,learningabout,andcontrollingthemodernindividual.Thereisoneimportantnewformof"publicity"worthnoting,butitisnotthatofelections,
legislation,

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rights,courts,andthelike.Rather,itisthevisibilityofsubjugated,individuatedindividualsbeforetheeyeofanowinvisiblepoweravisibilityatfirstoftheinmateto
thesupervisorsofclosedinstitutions,butultimatelyofthedeviantbeforesocietyatlarge.
Thegenealogicalapproachto"modernization"thusdiscountsashopelesslynaiveanyinterpretationoftheprinciplesofcivilsocietylegality,rights,plurality,
publicityasabasisfortheemergenceofspaceswithinmodernsocietyfornewformsofautonomousassociationandsolidarity.Foucault'svisionofmodern
disciplinarypowerascompleteandcontinuousandhis(attimesfunctionalist,attimesconstitutive)interpretationofrightsastheanchorsofthispowerkeephimfrom
recognizingthat,liketheimmunitiesinanearlierperiod,moderncivilandpoliticallibertiesalsosecurespacesforautonomy,forassociation,forsolidarities,andforthe
selfconstitutionofgrouplife,newidentities,andthedevelopmentofcounterpowersthesinequanonfortheresistancetobiopowerthatheneverthelessbelievesis
stillpossible.Moreover,Foucault'spositivistattitudeandhisemphasisonthestrategicdimensionofthereformers'projectspredisposehimtoviewthenew
disciplinarytechnologiesasthe"real"innovationnexttowhichthenormativeandsymbolicprinciplesofmoderncivilsocietyappearassecondaryatbestfunctional
to,butultimatelyirrelevantappurtenancesof,disciplinarypower.
82
Theabovenotwithstanding,Foucault'sanalysisoftheemergenceofmodernsocietydoesnotquitenegatethethesisofdifferentiationasakeyelementof
modernization.Indeed,hisdiscussionofthegenesisofthetechnologiesofpowerandtheirglobalizationwithincontemporarysocietypresupposesdifferentiation.Asis
wellknown,Foucaultinsiststhatamultiplicityofprojectsandinterestscametogethertoproduceanewpoliticaleconomyofpunishment,discipline,andcontrol.He
arguesthatEnlightenmentphilosophersandassociatedsocialgroupscontributedtothistransformationbutthat"itwasnottheyaloneinthisoverallprojectofanew
distributionofthepowertopunish,andofanewdistributionofitseffects,manydifferentinterestscametogether."
83
FollowingWeber,Foucaultarguesthatthe
specificdisciplinarytechniqueswerediscoveredindependentlyandlocallyindistinctinstitutionssuchasthemonastery,thearmy,thefactory,

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andtheprison.Ofcourse,multiplicityisnotthesameasdifferentiation:Someofthesearestateinstitutions,othersaresocietal.However,Foucaultdoesdifferentiate
betweenstateandsocietywhenitcomestoidentifyingtheinterestsbehindtheglobalization,ifnotthegenesis,ofthemoderntechniquesofpower.Indeed,despite
disclaimerswithregardtoMarxianclasstheoryandtheoriesofstatepower,thetwosetsofinterestsinvolvedintheglobalizationofdisciplinaryregulatorypowerturn
outtobethoseofthebourgeoisieandtheadministrativestate.Letusconsidereachoftheseinturn.
Withinthemodernizingsocietyoftheoldregime,thereisonemajorsetofinterestsbehindthestruggleagainstthearbitrarymonarchicpowerandthesocietyoforders:
theconcernofthebourgeoisietoabolishpopularillegalities,especiallyvisvispropertyrights.
84
AccordingtoFoucault,itwastheneedtoprotectaccumulationsof
mercantileandindustrialcapitalmorethananythingelsethatnecessitatedasevererepressionofpopularillegality.
85
Thereemergedtheneedforaconstantpolicingconcernedessentiallywiththisillegalityofproperty.Itbecamenecessarytogetridoftheoldeconomyofthepowertopunish,
basedontheconfusedandinadequatemultiplicityofauthorities....Itbecamenecessarytodefineastrategyandtechniquesofpunishmentinwhichaneconomyofcontinuity
andpermanencewouldreplacethatofexpenditureandexcess.
86
Inshort,penalreformwasessentialforacapitalistmarketeconomytoemergeandtofunctionhencethestruggleagainstthe''superpower"ofthesovereign,withits
incalculabilities,andagainstthe"infrapower"ofacquiredprivilegesandtoleratedillegalities.Accordingly,withintheconfusedsetsofinterestsandgoalsinvolvedinthe
transitionfromabsolutismtomodernity,Foucaultstressestheimportanceofthatnew,differentiatedstructure,thecapitalistmarketsystem,anditsspecific
requirements.
Theclassinterestsofthebourgeoisiearealsoatstakeinthedevelopmentoftheseconddimensionofthemodernformofpower:regulatorybiopower.HereFoucault
explicitlyrejectstheneoMarxianthesisthatthesexualityofthemiddleandespeciallylowerclasseshadtoberepressedbecauseitwasincompatiblewith

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ageneralandintensiveworkethic.
87
"Theprimaryconcernwasnotrepressionofthesexoftheclassestobeexploited,butratherthebody,vigor,longevity,
progeniture,anddescentoftheclassesthat'ruled.'"
88
Selfaffirmationandtheneedtodifferentiateitselfasaclassfromtheunhealthylowerordersandthedegenerate
nobilityaretheinterestsatworkintheinvestmentofitsownsexwithatechnologyofpowerandknowledgethatthebourgeoisiehaditselfinvented.Inpart,this
involvedatranspositionofcastemannersofthenobility,basedonblood,tothebourgeoisieintheguiseofbiological,medical,oreugenicpreceptsfocusedonbodily
health,theindefiniteextensionofstrength,vigor,andsoon.Onlylater,inthesecondhalfofthenineteenthcentury,werethetechniquesofregulatorybiopower
generalizedtotherestofthepopulation.Thatis,onlyaftertheneeddevelopedforastableandcompetentlaborforceandasecuretechnologyofcontrolwasinplace
(throughschooling,thepoliticsofhousing,publichygiene,institutionsofreliefandinsurance,thegeneralmedicalizationofthepopulation),wastheproletariatgranteda
bodyandasexualityandweremiddleclassvaluesimposeduponthem.Thisdoesnotchallengethemainclaim,however,"thatsexualityisoriginally,historically
bourgeois.
89
TheplaceofthestateanditsinterestsissomewhatmoreambiguousinFoucault'sanalysis.Ontheonehand,thecritiqueofthesovereigntymodelwasmeanttosteer
usawayfromthestateasacentrallocusofpowerorthekeyforceincreatingdisciplinarytechniques.Ontheotherhand,mostofthelociinwhichthetechnologiesof
disciplinarypowerdiddevelopwere(inFrance,Foucault'sreferent)stateinstitutions:armies,schools,clinics,prisons,etc.Moreover,Foucaultgrantstheimmense
importanceofthedevelopmentofacentralizedorganizationofthepolice,"themostdirectexpressionofroyalabsolutism."
90
Foritisthestatepolicewhotakeover
thepreviouslyfragmentedfunctionsofsurveillanceofcriminalityandeconomicandpoliticalsupervisionandunifytheseintoasingleadministrativemachine,assuring
continuityofcontrol.Andthisdimensionofstatesovereignty,atleast,endureswiththetransitiontomodernity.WhileFoucaultinsiststhatthestateisnotthesoleorigin
ofdisciplinarypower,hegrantsthat"theorganizationofthepoliceapparatusintheeighteenth

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centurysanctionedageneralizationofthedisciplinesthatbecamecoextensivewiththestateitself."
91
Infact,themajorfunctionofthestateapparatuswastoensure
thatdisciplinereignsoversocietyasawhole.
92
Thisbreadthofdisciplinealongwiththecontinuityofitsexercise,potentialoractual,arespecifictomodern
domination.Whathasbeensaidofthebourgeoisiecanthusalsobesaidofthestate:Thenewlydifferentiated,centralizedadministrativestateapparatusesalsohadan
interestinabolishingtheold,incalculable,andexpensivepersonalformsofpowerandsubstitutingitsnewtechniquesforthem.Thestate,then,asakeyactorin
generalizingdisciplinarypower,doesplayamajorroleinFoucault'saccountofthetransitiontomodernity.
Thestate'sinterestsalsoplayacentralpartintheglobalizationofbiopower.Thebeginningoftheeighteenthcenturysawademographicupswingaccompaniedbyan
increaseinwealthandanendtothegreatravagesofplaguesandstarvationasaresult,thesocietalpreoccupationwithdeathisreplacedbyaconcernwithmanaging
lifeandaccumulatingpeople.Accordingly,thestatebecomesinterestedingatheringinformationaboutandcontrollingthehealth,wealth,manpower,resources,
reproduction,andwelfareofthatnewentity,"thepopulation,"asameanstoincreasingstatepower.Informationgatheringandsupervision,involvingamaximizingof
collectiveandindividualforcesratherthanarepressionofdisorder,was,itnowturnedout,anaturalfunctionforthepolice:
Wemustconsolidateandaugment,throughthewisdomofitsregulations,theinternalpowerofthestateandsincethispowerconsistsnotonlyintheRepublicingeneral,andin
eachofthememberswhoconstituteit,butalsointhefacultiesandtalentsofthosebelongingtoit,itfollowsthatthepolicemustconcernthemselveswiththesemeansandmake
themservethepublicwelfare.Andtheycanonlyobtainthisresultthroughtheknowledgetheyhaveofthosedifferentassets.
93
Thestate'sinterestinthepowerknowledgegeneratedbytheemergingdisciplinesforthepurposeofadministeringandoptimizingthelifeandutilityofthepopulations
underitscontrolisthusparamountintheglobalizationofbiopower.
94
Sexwasattheheartofthispoliticaleconomyofpopulation:"Itwasessentialthatthe

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stateknowwhatwashappeningwithitscitizens'sex,andtheusetheymadeofit,"
95
becausepowerissituatedandexercisedattheleveloflife,thespecies,therace,
andthelargescalephenomenaofpopulation.Indeed,itisthenewconcernonthepartofthestatewithlifeandpopulationthatmarksasociety's"thresholdof
modernity,"accordingtoFoucault.
96
ItseemstobeFoucault'sthesis,moreover,thatbythelatenineteenthcentury,thetwoformsofpowerdisciplineandtheregulationofpopulationsandthetwo
greatinterestsbehindtheirglobalizationcametogether.Thesetechniquescame"torevealtheirpoliticalusefulnessandtolendthemselvestoeconomicprofit....Allof
asudden,theycametobecolonizedandmaintainedbyglobalmechanismsandtheentireStatesystem."
97
Theapogeeofthisdevelopmentis,obviously,the
contemporarywelfarestate.Throughitsregulatorycontrols,thewelfarestateconstitutesthesocialasadistinctobjectdomainofgreat"public"interestwhile
simultaneouslymakinguseofthedisciplinary,confessionaltechniquesalreadyperfectedbysocietaldisciplinesandinstitutionstocontrolit.OnFoucault'saccount,
however,itisnotthelogicoftheeconomyorthestatethatpenetratesandcolonizescivilsociety.Functionalreason,forFoucault,workstheotherwayaround:The
institutionsandpracticesofcivilsocietygeneratethetechnologiesofpowerthatarethentakenupandglobalizedbythestateandthebourgeoisie.
ThisshouldprovideacluetoresolvingtheambiguitywehavenotedconcerningtheplaceofthestateinFoucault'sanalysisofpowerrelations.Becauseheinsistson
thedecentralizationanddeinstitutionalizationofpower,yetidentifiesstateapparatusesaskeylociofdisciplinaryregulatorypower,commentatorshavecomeupwith
diametricallyopposedinterpretationsoftheplaceofthestateinhisoverallanalysis.AxelHonneth,amongothers,accusesFoucaultofignoringthestatealtogetherby
virtueofhisdecentralizedconceptofpower.
98
PeterDewes,however,assertsthat,inanalyzingthevariousdisciplinaryinstitutionsoftheasylum,clinic,andprison,
"Foucaultwishestoshowthatfromthebeginninginterventionandadministrativecontrolhavedefinedthemodernstate."
99
AccordingtoDewes,Foucaultis
concernedtoshowthatinterventioninasocietaldomainbystateagenciesisamore

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fundamentalcharacteristicofmodernsocietiesthananeconomyreleasedfromdirectlypoliticalrelationsofdomination.
100
Foroneinterpreter,thestateplaysnorole
atallinmodernpowerrelationsfortheother,itiseverything.
Foucaultwasquestioneddirectlyaboutthisambiguity.Hisresponseimpliedthatthestate,theeconomy,andsocietyarethreedistinctelementswithinmodernsocial
systems,eachofwhichhasitspowerrelations,disciplinarytechnologies,andmodesoffunctioning.
101
Althoughthestate(governmentaladministration)
102
does
becomeacoordinatingcenterforsocietaldisciplinarypower,althoughitsadministrativeagenciesdopenetratesocialinstitutions,theseneverthelessretainspecific
internalpowerrelationsthathavetheirownconfigurationand"relativeautonomy."
103
Thestate,notquasovereignbutquagovernment,
104
doespenetratesociety,yet
"itwouldbewrongtobelievethatthedisciplinaryfunctionswereconfiscatedandabsorbedonceandforallbyastateapparatus."
105
Inshort,Foucaultmaintainsthat
thestatecannotoccupythewholefieldofpowerrelationsandcanoperateonlyonthebasisofalreadyexistingpowerrelationsconnectingthefamily,knowledge,
technology,thefactory,sexuality,etc.,towhichthestaterelatesasasuperstructure.Thestateisonelocusofdisciplinarytechnologyamongmany.
Wemightnotethat,likethemodalityofpowerhedescribes,Foucault'sgoalistomakevisiblenotthestatebutsociety.Andofcourseheisrightininsistingthatpower
relationsarenotexclusivelylocatedin,nordotheyemanatefrom,anyoneplaceinmodernsociety.Nevertheless,despitetheeleganceofsomeofhisformulations,he
doesnotresolvethedilemmaarticulatedbyhisinterpretersheseems,rather,tovalidatebothantinomicpositions.Butifthestateissimplyonelocusofdisciplinary
poweramongothers,thentheverymeaningofthemodernstateislost,forthetermreferstothedifferentiatedentitythatsucceedsinmonopolizingthe(legitimate)
meansofwarandviolenceand,innonfederalpolities,ofadministrationaswell.Suchan"order"ishardly"one"amongmany.Byusingthethesisofdecentralized
powertodenystatesovereignty,Foucaultreproducesthepositionofthephilosophicalpluralists(althoughforoppositereasons)andopenshimselftoCarlSchmitt's
objectionthatastatethatislikeany

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otherassociationororganizationofpowerinsocietyisnostateatall.If,conversely,thestateisthecoordinatingmechanismofdisciplinarypower,ifsocialinstitutions
arethenecessarysupportsandcomplementsofstateadministration,ifwithinsocietalinstitutionsonefindshomologousformsofdomination,if,inshort,"society"is
equivalenttothefieldwhereadministrativeapparatuseshavetheirplay,thenindeedthestate,oratleastits"logic"ormodusoperandi,iseverywhere.Butthisisa
convincingideaonlywithrespecttothesymbolicmeaningof''totalitarian"regimes.
106
Foucaultisabletoholdbothpositionsbecauseheseesstateandsocietyonlyfromthepointofviewofstrategicpowerrelations.
107
Indeed,state,society,and
economyarepresentedasthreestrategicfieldswithessentiallythesameinternaldynamicsand,asstatedabove,homologoustechnologiesofpower.Modernityisnot
characterizedbyastatethatpenetratessocietyorbysocioeconomicpowersthatpenetrateandcontrolthestate.Rather,itisconstructedintermsofthepenetrationof
eachdistinctrealmbydisciplinarytechnologiesofpowerandstrategicpowerrelations.Whatthismeansisthatstate,economy,andsocietyaredifferentiatedfromone
anothernotintermsofanyspecificrationalityofaction,modeofintegration,orformsofinteractionbutonly,somehow,asseparatesitesofpower.Thisisa
differentiationthatseemstomakenodifference.
108
TheNegativityofCivilSocietyandtheLossoftheSocial
Foucaultpresentsuswithadeeplydisturbinganalysisofthedarksideofmoderncivilsociety.Asindicatedabove,farfromconstitutingan"incrementin
freedom"(Marx),thedevelopmentofthecomponentsofcivilsocietyinmodernityanewformofindividuality,subjectivity,rights,plurality,publicity,legality,and
socialitynowappearsasnothingbutaneffectofpowerrelations.Civilsociety,inshort,isequivalenttoitsnegativity.
Whatislostinthisconceptionisadistinctconceptofthesocial,
109
ThisistherealreasonwhyFoucaultgivesussuchanexceedinglyonedimensionaldiscussionof
rightsanddemocracy.
110
WeneedtolookagainatFoucault'sassessmentofeachofthesekeycomponentsofmoderncivilsocietytomakeourpoint.

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WehavealreadyseenthatforFoucault,thejuridicalsubjectismerelythesupportofdisciplinarypower.Themodernlegalpersonendowedwithrightsisadimension
ofmodernindividualitythat,farfromindicatingautonomy,isfunctionalto,eventheproductof,disciplinarycontrol.Throughobservation,continualsurveillance,
sorting,partitioning,ranking,examining,training,andjudging,disciplinecreatesthematerialcounterpartofthejuridicalsubjectbyinvestingthebodywithpower
relations.
ButFoucault'sgenealogyofthemodernindividualdoesnotrestrictitselftorevealingtheundersideofthe"legalfiction"ofthejuridicalsubjectitextendstoanattack
onmodernselfreflexivesubjectivityassuch.
111
Disciplinarypracticesobjectifythesubjectandcreatesetsofdichotomies,eachsideofwhichisaneffectofpower:
mad/sane,sick/healthy,criminal/goodcitizen,abnormal/normal.WhatHegelsawasthetwokeyachievementsofmoderncivilsocietytheabstractrightofthelegal
personandtheprincipleofsubjectivefreedomofthemoralsubjectwhoseintentionsandwillmustbeconsideredinanyjudgmentofanact
112
becomeinFoucault's
handstheproductsofpowerrelations.Themoralsubjectistheresultofthenormalizingjudgmentthatisexercisedthroughsurveillance,examination,andwiththehelp
oftheobjectifyingsciencesofman:criminology,sociology,medicine,psychology,psychiatry,statistics,demography,etc.Moreover,itisnotthroughthe
"internalization"ofvaluesandnormsthatthe"falseconsciousness"ofthemoralsubjectiscreated,norcanthissubjectbeemancipatedthroughthedevelopmentofa
"true''consciousness.Powerdoesnotstopwhereknowledgeandselfreflectionbegin.Rather,knowledge,truth,subjectivity,andreflectiveconsciousnessarethe
coproducerandproductoftheobjectifyingdisciplines.Theyconstitute,togetherwiththenormalizinggazeoftheguard,thedoctor,andtheteacher,asubject
(subjected)objectofpower/knowledge.
Thesameholdstrue,ofcourse,forthesoulorpsyche.Thesearenottheproductsofanemancipatoryprocessofselfunderstandingbutofa"pastoralpower"whose
techniquesofselfsurveillance,selfinterrogation,confession,andtherebyselfconstitutionandselfdiscipline,initiatedbythechurch,havebecomesecularizedand
generalizedinmoderncultureandsociety.Thus,thepoliticalaxis

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ofindividualizationhasbeenreversedwiththeshiftfromfeudaltomodernsociety.Ascendingindividualizationreflectingthepower,privilege,andstatusofafamilyor
groupisreplacedbyadescendingindividualizationthatincreasesthevisibilityandsingularityofthosesubjugatedbyandsubjectedtodisciplinarytechniques.Inother
words,aspowerbecomesmoreanonymousandmorefunctional,thoseonwhomitisexercisedtendtobemorestronglyindividualizedandmadevisible.
113
The
modernindividualisthecombinedeffectofdisciplinaryandpastoralpoweraselfmonitoringsubjectwhofunctionsashisownsoldierpriest.
Thistheoryofindividualizationhasclearconsequencesforthemeaningandroleofthenewformofpublicityspecifictomoderncivilsociety.Asthedisciplinesbecome
deinstitutionalizedandcirculatefreelyinsociety,
114
"itisthedustofevents,actions,behavior,opinions'everythingthathappens'"thatbecomesvisible,publicto
omnipresentsurveillancebythefacelessgazeofpower.
115
Indeed,liketheprocessofindividualization,relationsofpublicandprivatebecomeinvertedwiththe
developmentofmodernsociety.Insteadofthespectacleofpublicrepresentationofsovereignpower,itisnowthepopulationwhobecomevisibletothe"public"gaze,
whilepowerrecedesintothebackground.Thisis,ofcourse,thepointofthepanopticmetaphor.Theshiftinpublicityfromthepunishmenttothetrialdoesnotmean
thattheprinciplesofdignityandmoralfreedomarerespected,butratherthatjusticenolongertakespublicresponsibilityfortheviolenceboundupwithitspractice.It
alsomeansthatallofsociety,vicariously(throughpublicity)ordirectly,takesontheroleofjudgeandengagesinnormalizingjudgments.Evenaftertheprisonand
punishmenthavebeenopentopublicscrutiny,thepublicremainscomplicitouswithatechnologyofpunishmentthatbydefinitionyieldsvisibilityandcontroltothe
observer.For"disciplinemakespossibletheoperationofarelationalpowerthatsustainsitselfbyitsownmechanismandwhichforthespectacleofpublicevents,
substitutestheuninterruptedplayofcalculatedgazes."
116
Inplaceofthesovereignwhodisplayshispower,wehavethecarceralsocietydisplayingitsdisciplined
subjectstotheanonymousviewer.Thus,iftheindividualproducedbydisciplinarypastoralpowerapproximatesthesoldierpriest,thepublicbefore

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whomtheexerciseofpowerismadevisibleishardlydistinguishablefromthepolice.
117
Accordingly,democratization,orthecontrolbythepublicofadministrativefunctioning,innowaylimitspower,astheliberalwouldhaveit,orgeneratesakindof
powerdifferentfromadministrativecontrol:Itsimplyensuresitsproperfunctioning.Democratic"control"ofthedisciplinarymechanismsthroughpublicityentails
accessibilitytothegreattribunalcommitteesoftheworld.ForFoucault,thissimplymeansthatanyonecancomeandseewithherowneyeshowschools,hospitals,
factories,andprisonsfunction.
118
Modernpublicityprovidesnoalternative,limit,orchallengetodisciplinaryandpastoralpower.
Plurality,thethirdelementinmoderncivilsocietyhailedbyitspartisans,faresnobetterinFoucault'shands.Itissimplyreducedtothemanylociofpowerrelations
andstrategies,andthemultiplicityofatomizedindividualswhoarealreadyproductsofknowledgepowerrelations.Thediscourseoftheseindividuals,their
"consensus,"isasmuchaninstrumentofpowerrelationsasisthediscourseofthemodernsciences:Itnormalizes,andnormatizes,whilemaintainingtheobjectof
powerinsubjectionandasapotentialactoronlyinthepurelystrategicsense.Thus,neitherpublicitynorpluralityconstitutesachecktopower.
Butwhataboutthefinalterminourequation,thesocial?WesaidearlierthatFoucaultlosestheconceptofthesocialinhisanalysisofmodernsociety.Thisisnot,
strictlyspeaking,correct.Rather,hepresentsuswithaconceptofthesocialthatisidenticalwiththenetworkofstrategicpowerrelationsdescribedabove.Asalready
indicated,societyistheterrainofapparatusesandinstitutionswithmultipleformsofsubjugation.ForFoucault,its"normative"dimension,socrucialtoDurkheim'sand
Parsons'sunderstandingofsocialintegration,is,asweknow,simplynormalization.Thesocialbond,farfrombeingamoralcommitmentoranormativeconsensus
constructedthroughthemediumoflanguage,tradition,and/orareflective,discursiverelationtopartsoftradition,isthenetworkofinterwovenandmutuallyreinforcing
strategies.
119
Indeed,Foucaultisabletoviewplurality,publicity,andindividualityinpurelystrategicandfunctionaltermsbecausehisveryconceptofmodernsociety
isthatofastrategicfieldpervadedbyadministra

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tivetechnologies.Thesetechnologieslevel,individualize,andnormalize,buttheyalsorankandsortindividualsandpopulationsinahierarchicalmannerthatpermits
communicationonlythroughathirdelementunequalpowerrelations.Thisisthenewmodeofstratificationthatsubstitutesforhorizontalandautonomoussocial
interaction.
Wehavealreadyseenthatpopularsolidaritieswerethetargetofdisciplinarypower.Themodernsocietythatsucceedsindestroyingthemisone"inwhichthe
principalelementsarenolongerthecommunityandpubliclife,but,ontheonehand,privateindividuals,andontheother,thestate."
120
Suchanimageofmodern
societyprecludesanymeaningofsocialityotherthancoordination"fromabove"(throughadministrativetechniques)and/orstrategicinteraction.Italsodeniesthe
existenceofanyspaceswithinmodernityfortheemergenceofnewformsofsolidarityandassociation.Indeed,sinceFoucaultmaintainsthatdisciplinary/pastoral
powerextendsbeyondtheenclosedinstitutiontobecomecomplete,consistent,andtotal,forthepurposeofefficientandeconomicalproductionofwealth,
knowledge,andusefulindividuals,nothingelseseemstobepossible.Thedisciplinaryorganizationofsocietalspacemultipliescommunicationsandcontacts,butonly
withintheframeofstrategiesandapparatusesthathavealreadyreconnoiteredandcontrolledtheterrain.ReminiscentofMarx'snotionofcooperationwithina
capitalistfactory,Foucault'smodernsocietyispreschematizedbythestrategist'sgaze:"Theclassicalagesawthebirthofthegreatpoliticalandmilitarystrategyby
whichnationsconfrontedeachother'seconomicanddemographicforcesbutitalsosawthebirthofmeticulousmilitaryandpoliticaltacticsbywhichthecontrolof
bodiesandindividualforceswasexercisedwithinstates."
121
Accordingly,moderncivilsocietyiscomposedonlyofindividualizedstrategistsengagedinastruggleof
eachagainstall,pervadedbypowerandpoliticsunderstoodaswarcarriedonbyothermeans.
122
Aswestatedattheoutset,ananalysisofthenegativesideofcivilsocietyandofthespecificallymodernformsofdominationandstratificationisanimportant
componentofanycriticaltheory.Onemight,infact,arguethatthisisallthatFoucaultintendedtodoandthatitisunfairtoaccusehimofpresentingageneralmodelof

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society.Onecould,inshort,claimthathehasanalyzedthelogicandprojectofcontemporaryformsofpowerrelationsthenegativeside,notthewhole,ofcivil
society.Perhaps.YetitremainsthecasethatFoucault'scritiqueisitselfcaughtinthestrategicreasonheexposes.
123
For,onthebasisofhistheoreticalframework,
hecannotpointtoanyothercategoryofaction,anyothermodeofintegrationandinteraction,thatwouldbeabasisforanalyzingthestrugglesagainstdisciplinary
power,orthe"positiveside"ofmodernity,ifthereisone.
Foucaultdoesinsistthat"therearenorelationsofpowerwithoutresistancesthelatterareallthemorerealandeffectivebecausetheyareformedrightatthepoint
whererelationsofpowerareexercised."
124
But,havingequatedlegalityandnormativitywithnormalization,subjectivitywithsubjugation,selfreflection,morality,self
consciousness,andthesoulwiththeproductsofdisciplinarypastoralpower,discourseandtruthwithadministrativestrategiesofcontrol,andthehumanscienceswith
thedisciplinesthatserveor,rather,arepartofpower,Foucaultisleftwithnoconceptualmeansfordescribingresistancesasanythingotherthancounterstrategiesof
power.Weareaccordinglyleftinthedarkregardingthepracticalthrustofthegenealogicalstrategyofanalysis,whichFoucaultneverthelesspositsasaformof
politicalengagement.
Onething,however,isclear:Foucaultisnotapartisanofasimplisticreversalofvalues.Genealogicalanalysesrevealthepowerstrategiesinvolvedinconstitutingnew
objectsandidentities(thehomosexual,thehystericalwoman,thepervert,delinquency,insanity,sexuality)andthepejorativeconnotationsattachedtothem.Butthe
purposeofsuchanalysesisnottoencouragearevaluationinwhichhomosexuality,theperversions,crime,insanity,sexualityareliberated,deemednatural,freedto
speakoutintheirownvoice.Suchastrategywoulddonothingtoquestionthecategorizationinthefirstplaceortounderminetheagenciesandmechanismsthat
perpetuatethegripsofpoweronbodies,pleasures,andformsofknowledge.Instead,genealogyismeanttochallengenotonlythemoralvaluationsofthenormaland
theperverse,forexample,butalsotheverynormalizingtendencyassociatedwiththedemandthatweunderstandourselvesthroughoursexuality,asifthissayswho
weare.

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Perhapsthecriticalthrustofgenealogyissimplytouncoverpowerstrategiesinvolvedinthegenesisofpower/knowledgeregimesinordertodisturbtheunitary,global
formthesetakeandtorevealtheirhistoricalandhencecontingentcharacter.SuchaprojectwouldplaceFoucaultclosetothecriticaltheoryoftheFrankfurtschool.
125
Presumably,thisstrategywouldrevealthebattlelinesandcreatethepossibilityforacounteroffensive.Indeed,onecouldeveninterpretthefocusonthesocietal
genesisandmultiplelociofdominationasanattempttoinvokeacivilsocietyorientedstrategyofresistanceagainstboththelocalpowerstructureswithincivilsociety
andtheirglobalization/colonizationbythestate.
Suchaninterpretation,however,doesnotresolvethedifficultiescreatedbyFoucault'srelentlesscritiqueofpower,forheisstillunabletoarticulate"otherness"orthe
formsofactionthatescapethelogicofinegalitarianstrategicpowerrelations.Ontheoneside,hedisempowerscritique,includinghisown,byananalysisthatequates
discourse,reflection,andtruthwithpowerstrategies.Ontheotherside,hecannotspeakforthevictim,asWalterBenjamindid,orofferanaturalisticnotionofwhatis
repressedbydisciplinarypower,asHerbertMarcusedid,
126
becausethevictimaswellasherpsychearealreadyproductsofpowerandbecauseFoucaulthas
rejectedthe"repressive"thesisregardingpowerrelations.Indeed,ifresistanceisjustthecounterstrategyofthatveryproductofpower,themodernindividual,then
whysupportit?Whyisiteveninteresting?Whatdifferencewoulditmake?
127
Apparently,allthatsuccessfulresistancecanproduceisasubstitutionofonestrategyof
powerforanother.
Thereis,inshort,nobasiswithinFoucault'sworkfordistinguishingresistancefromotherstrategicformsofactionorstrategiesofcontrol.Hecannotappealtothe
normsarticulatedbycollectiveactors,foranyappealtonormseitherreproducesthediscourseofpower(andlockstheresistersintonormalization)orconstitutes
simplyanotherstrategyofpower.Indeed,Foucaultseesthecoordinationofactionthroughnormsas,inessence,strategic.Norcanhefollowthepathtakenby
Habermas,identifyingcommunicativeinteractionasthecoreofanemancipatorypracticethatinvolvesareflectiononandchallengetonorms,institutions,andpractices
in

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thenameofalternative(morejust,moredemocratic,moreliberal)normsandinstitutions,because,forFoucault,communicationisonlyameansoftransmitting
informationand(throughthemakingoftruthclaims)controllinganddisempoweringopponents.Thetheoreticalstrategyofopeningnormstoreflectionisclosedtothe
theoristwhoviewsreflectionasmerestrategy.Inotherwords,onthebasisofFoucault'scategorialframework,itisutterlyunclearwhatgoalsorprinciplesthosewho
resistdisciplinarypowermightinvokethatcouldhaveaclaimonoursolidarity.Theonlycluehegivesusisafewellipticalstatementstotheeffectthat"Therallying
pointforthecounterattackagainstthedeploymentofsexualityoughtnottobesexdesire,butbodiesandpleasures."
128
However,asFoucaulthimselfshowedinthe
secondandthirdvolumesofhishistoryofsexuality,neitherbodiesnortheirpleasuresaremattersofsheerfacticity:Bothareconstructedsymbolically,asobjectsof
knowledgeandidentity,albeitindifferentwaysindifferenttypesofsocieties.Thus,toevokethebodyanditspleasuresasawaytobreakwiththesexdesireregimeis
ambiguous,tosaytheleast.Withoutthisreferent,however,Foucaultisleftwiththesimplefactofresistancetopower,butthissimplefacthasnonormativeweight,for
itwouldalsobepreytothegenealogist'scynicalgazeandberevealedasanotherstrategyforpower.
Butthereisapriorquestiontothatraisedaboveregardingthereasonsforpartisanshipwithresistance.How,onthebasisofFoucault'sanalysis,isresistanceonthe
collectivelevelevenpossible?Suchresistancewouldhavetobeunderstoodeitherasthedefensiveactionofgroupswhoseidentitiesandsolidaritieshavenotyetbeen
penetratedbydisciplinaryapparatuses,orasthecounterstrategiesonlocallevelsofindividualswhoarealreadytheirproductsandhenceareselfmonitoring,purely
strategicactors.Inthefirstcase,wewouldbeseeingpremodernsolidaritiesinapurelydefensivepostureinthesecond,modernrebelswithoutanynorms,institutions,
principles,ordiscoursestoappealto,forthesearealreadymechanismsofcooptation.Thelattercouldonlyappealtoorgesturetowardabstractothernessor
differenceperse.Indeed,itisunclearhow,onthebasisofFoucault'stheory,individualswhowishtoresistcouldcometogethertoformthesolidaryandautonomous
groups,associations,andcollectiveiden

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titiesthatarethesinequanonforcollectiveactioninthefirstplace.Thebodymightputupsomeresistancetothedrill,the"subject"mightshyawayfromsurveillance,
andtheindividualmightstruggleagainstthemanipulationsofbiopower,butevenifFoucaultwerewillingtopostulatetheotherofreasonanddiscourseinitsprimordial
vitality(whichheexplicitlyisunwillingtodo),thiswouldhardlysufficeforanexplanationoftheemergence,solidarity,resources,collectiveidentities,andprojectsof
collectiveactorswhochallengemodernformsofdomination.Foucault'sanalysishasdeprivedthemodernrebelofanyinstitutional,normative,orpersonalresources
forconstitutingherselfintermsotherthanthosemadeavailablebytheforcesthatalreadycontrolher.Thetraditions,solidarities,andspacesforautonomousactionleft
openbytheinefficient,discontinuousmodalityofpowerintheancienrgimefind,inFoucault'swork,nomodernequivalents.Thisisnotbecausehewasintenton
analyzingsomethingelsebut,rather,becausethegenealogicalaccountofmodernpowerrelationsturnstheveryconceptofautonomousvoluntaryassociationintoan
anachronisminthecarceralsociety.Autonomyistheillusionofthephilosophyofthesubject,voluntaryconsentispartofthedeceptivejuridicaldiscourse,
association(inourview,thetrulymoderndimensionofsociality)issimplyimpossibleinasocietyconceivedofasastrategicfieldconstitutedbyakindof
Gleichschaltungofallorganizationsbydisciplinaryadministrativeapparatuses.Wearethusleftwithacritiqueofpowerthatinsiststhatresistanceexistsbutcannot
tellshowitispossible,whatitisfor,orwhyitmeritsoursupport.
Butisn'titobviousthatdisciplinarypowerinmodernsocietyisaimedagainstthenewsolidarities,associations,andmovementsthatemergeontheterrainofmodern
civilsocietyitself?Andisn'titclearthatcollectiveactorsmustarticulatedistinctprojects,newcollectiveidentities,andspeakinthenameofspecificvaluesandnorms
iftheyaretobecomecollectiveactorsandactatall?Moreover,insodoing,theyappealtopreciselythosenewtraditions(ordiscourses),norms,andinstitutions,
stemmingfromthedemocraticrevolutionsoftheeighteenthandnineteenthcenturies,thatFoucaulthassocleverlydisempowered:freedom,justice,solidarity,
democracy,and,moreconcretely,parliaments,elections,associa

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tions,rights,andsoon.Withoutananalysisofthetwosidednessoftheseinstitutions,
129
nottomentionmodernformsofindividuationandselfreflection,theidea
thatmodernsocialmovementscontinuouslyemergeandchallengedisciplinarypowerwouldbeincomprehensible.CharlesTaylormakesasimilarpointwithrespectto
thetraditionofcivichumanism,themovementsinspiredbyit,andthefreeinstitutionscreatedinitsname.Hecorrectlypointsoutthatcollectivedisciplinescanfunction
intwodifferentways:asstructuresofdomination,andasbasesforequalcollectiveaction.Suchdisciplinescan,ofcourse,undergoachangeinfunction,slidingasit
werefromfoundingegalitarianpoliticsintoservingdomination.ButFoucault'sanalysisofmodernpowerblursovertheseprocesses,revealingonlythenegativesideof
modernity.Hethusservesasa"terriblesimplificateur."
130
Itisourthesisthattheconditionofpossibilityfortheemergenceofmodernsocialmovements,withtheirautonomoussolidarities,newlycreatedidentities,andstrategic
resources,ispreciselythedifferentiatedstructureofmoderncivilsociety:
131
legality,publicity,rights(toassemble,associate,andcommunicatefreefromexternal
regulation),andtheprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacy.Indeed,wecontendthatthemodernconceptionoffundamentalrightsisatleastasimportant,inthisregard,as
thetraditionofcivichumanismcitedbyTaylor.Howelsecanoneaccountfortheworkers'movement,civilrightsmovements,thewomen'smovement,theecology
movement,regionaliststrugglesforautonomy,oranymodernsocialmovementor,forthatmatter,theforcesarrayedagainstthem?Unlessoneseesatleastthe
doublenessofrightsandoflegality,onewouldbeforcedtoconcludethatcollectiveactorswhodoappealtorights,andwhoreinterpretthekeynormsofmoderncivil
societywiththeirdemandsformoreautonomy,moredemocracy,forpublicrecognitionasindividualsandasgroupmembersdifferentfromoneanotheryetmeriting
equalconcernandrespect,aresomehowallmistaken,somehowarticulatingirrelevant,anachronisticprinciplesandridiculousprojects.
132
SinceFoucaultrejectsthe
onlyconceivablealternative,theprojectoftotalrevolution,hehasworkedhimselfintoaviciouscircle:Eitherthenormsandprojectsarticulatedbysocialmovements
arestrategiesofcounterpowerandassuchhavenogreater

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normativeclaimthanthoseofotherpowerseekers,ortheysimplyreproducetheexistingdiscoursesofpower.Foracriticaltheorywithapartisanintent,asFoucault's
surelyis,thisisindeedaseriousflaw.
ItistellingthatFoucaultcannotconsistentlymaintainthisstance,atleastwithrespecttonormsandrights.Althoughhereducesnormativitytonormalization,he
nonethelessalwaysspeaksofmodernpowerrelationsasinegalitarian,implyingthategalitarianrelationswouldbepreferable.Healwaysdescribesthelatterwiththe
imageryofaleveledstrategicfieldofpower,butitisobviousthathisentireanalysisisparasiticonthenormofequality,howevermuchhemaydisparagenorms.
Similarly,heinsiststhatrightsshouldbeviewednotintermsoflegitimaciestobeestablishedbutintermsofthemethodsofsubjugationtheyinstigate.
133
Inpart,this
isbecauserightshavebeenreorganizedinourtime,insofarastheyhavebeeninvadedbytheproceduresofnormalizationthatcolonizelaw,thusmakingthelegitimacy
questionirrelevant.
134
Heevennotesthetendency,onthepartofthoseseekingtoresistthedisciplinesandalltheeffectsofpowerandknowledgethatarelinkedto
them,toresurrectthediscourseofrightsandlegitimacy.Butheseesthisasablindalley,for"itisnotthroughrecoursetosovereigntyagainstdisciplinethattheeffects
ofdisciplinarypowercanbelimited."
135
Thenewtwentiethcenturydiscoursesofsocialrightsoperateontheterrainofnormalized,colonizedlaw,whiletheolder
discoursesofcivilandpoliticalrightsareanachronistic.
Nevertheless,evenFoucaultisforcedtoreturntothelanguageofrightswhenhetriestoarticulatestrugglesagainstdisciplinarypower:
Ifonewantstolookforanondisciplinaryformofpoweror,rather,tostruggleagainstdisciplinesanddisciplinarypower,itisnottowardtheancientrightofsovereigntythatone
shouldturn,buttowardthepossibilityofanewformofright,onethatmustindeedbeantidisciplinarianbutatthesametimeliberatedfromtheprincipleofsovereignty.
136
(Our
emphasis)
Thatthisiswhereheleavesthematterisnotsurprising.Foucaultcansaynothingpositiveaboutthis"newformofright"becausehehasdenudedtheverycategoryof
rightsand/orlawofitsmultidi

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mensionality.Certainlylawcanfunctionasamediumofdominationandcontrol,andsomerightsdoseemtodisempowertherightsbearers.Butsurelythisisnotthe
wholestory,oreventhemainpartofit.Aswenotedearlier,Foucaultmissesthenormativeandempoweringdimensionsoflawandrightsbecausehe,likeMarx,
takestheliberalideologyofrightsatfacevalue,onlytorejectit.Onthisaccount,thediscourseofrightsmeansthediscourseofsovereigntycontractlegitimacy
transposedfromthekingtothepeople,andconstruedthistimeasthepolaroppositeofthepolitical,thestate,andpower.Thisformofthediscourseofrightsis,of
course,ideologicalandunacceptable.Butthereisanothermeaningtotheconceptionandeffectofrightsclaims:Inmoderncivilsociety,rightsarenotonlymoral
oughts,theyalsoempower.Rightsdonotonlyindividualize,theyarealsoamediumofcommunication,association,andsolidarity.Theydonotnecessarilydepoliticize
theycanalsoconstituteavitalconnectionbetweenprivateindividualsandthenewpublicandpoliticalspheresinsocietyandstate.Norisitthecasethatquestionsof
justiceandlegitimacyaresomehowanachronisticinmoderndisciplinarysociety:Theseremainimportanttoanysociety,nomatterwhatformpowertakes.
Foucaultisrightinarguingthatmoderncivilsocietyisnotequivalenttoitsprinciplesoffreedom,equality,democracy,justice,rights,autonomy,andsolidarity.Butitis
alsonotequivalenttoitsstrategiesofdominationandcontrol.Dr.Mengeleisnotthetruthofmedicalknowledgeandpracticebutonlytheirperversiontheuseof
mentalinstitutionstopunishpoliticaldissentersisnotthetruthofpsychiatryorpsychoanalysisbutitsabuse.Institutionalizednorms(intheformoflaw,rights,and
customs)donotonlynormalize,theyalsoempowerandprovideastandpointandaspaceforcriticizingandchallengingspecificinstitutionalarrangementsandcreating
newcollectiveandindividualidentities.Indeed,thesymbolicdimensionofdiscoursecannotbereducedtoits''real"functions.Theinstitutionalarticulationofcivil
societyprovidesforamodernformofthesocialthatismorethanandotherthanthedisciplinaryapparatusesanalyzedbyFoucault.Thetwogotogetherbothare
modern,buttheyareneitheridenticalnorofthesamecloth.Onlyananalyticalframeworkbroadenoughtoencom

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passthedarkandlightsidesofmodernitycanaccountfortheconditionsofpossibilityofthenumerousandimportantsocialmovementsor"resistances"thatanimate
anddynamizemoderncivilsociety.AndonlywithinsuchaframeworkcanoneplacethefruitfulyetdangerouslyonesidedworkofFoucaultinitsproperperspective.

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7
TheSystemsTheoreticCritique:
NiklasLuhmann
Weinherittheconceptofcivilsocietyfromtwosources:thehistoryofconceptsandtheories,andtheselfunderstandingofsocialmovements.Theideologistsofsocial
movementsseemtoconfirmthatarichtraditionofinterpretationhasnotbeenexhausted,thatitremainsanadequatebasisforthesymbolicorientationof
contemporarysocialactors.ThisargumentcouldeasilybemobilizedagainstthehistoricistthesesofRiedel,Koselleck,Arendt,andtheearlyHabermas,accordingto
whichtherelevanceoftheearlymodernconceptofcivilsociety,forbetterorworse,istobeconfinedtoitseighteenthandnineteenthcenturyorigins.Indeed,their
ownintenseinteresthelpstonegatetheirclaimsandhasitselfcontributedtotherevivaloftheconcept.Andyetthecaseofthecriticscannotbesoeasilydisposedof,
fortheirclaimthattheveryconceptofcivilsocietyisanachronisticislinkedtoananalysisofcontemporarysocietyasinvolvingafusionofrealmsinparticular,those
ofstateandsocietythatweredifferentiatedintheearlierliberalepoch.Torespondtothemonemustgobeyondtheeffortofhermeneuticrecovery.
Deeplyconvincedofthelimitationsofevenacriticalhermeneutics,
1
webelievethatitisessentialtoexaminetheconceptofcivilsocietyalsoinlightofasocial
scientificallyelaboratedtheorythatattheveryleastincorporatesanobjectivatingperspective.Thelinkbetweenthehistoryofconceptsandtheselfunderstandingof
movementsmaybebasedonaquestionabledoubleprojection:Theverysamecategoriesthatinformtheselfunderstandingofcontemporarysocialactorsmaybe
projectedbackwardbyhistori

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ans,whoareneverfreeofcontemporaryconcerns,andthenprojectedforwardbymovementideologiststoprovethedepthandhistoricityoftheirprojects.
2
While
socialtheoryalsohasinternalizedstructuresofinterpretationandcommitment,onthewholetheseincludepreciselythatobjectificationofmodern,globalsocietal
contextsthatneitherhistoriansnormovementtheoristsarewillingandabletoaccomplish.Thus,identityformingnarrativescanbeconfrontedwithdescriptiveand
explanatorymaterials.
Evenmoreimportant,sincemodernsocialsciencehasadoptedapolemicalattitudetowardthecategoriesoftraditionalpoliticalphilosophy,itisinthiscontextthatwe
findsomeofthebestargumentsagainstcontemporaryapplicationsoftheconceptofcivilsociety.Thus,aconfrontationwiththeresultsofsocialsciencerepresentsan
importanttestforthoseseekingtosaveorrevivetheclassicalconcept.Itisourbeliefthatthistestcanbesustainedonlyiftheconfrontationinvolvesatheoretical
reconstructioninlightofcontemporarydevelopmentsaddressedbysystematicsocialtheory.
Becauseofthenormativelymarkedheritageoftheconcept,itisdifficulttofindsystematicsocialtheoristswhotakeuptheissueofcivilsociety.InMaxWeber'smany
greatworks,forexample,thereishardlyamentionofthetermorofanyobvioussubstitute.TalcottParsonsandNiklasLuhmannrepresentimportantexceptionsto
thistrend.
3
WehavealreadypresentedParsons'sconceptofsocietalcommunityasanattempttotranslatetheHegeliancategoryofcivilsociety,enrichedby
Durkheim'sconceptof"thesocial,"intocontemporaryterms.Luhmann,however,isrighttonotethatthismovebyParsonsinvolvesabreakwiththesystemstheoretic
assumptionsofhisownwork,withoutanygeneraltheoreticaljustification.HereisacluetoLuhmann'ssurprisingpreoccupationwiththeproblemofcivilsociety.
4

Undoubtedly,hisintereststemsfromaconvictionthatsociologistssuchasDurkheim,Parsons(hismajorforerunner),
5
andHabermas(hismostimportantrival)arestill
undertheswayofthismajorconceptof"oldEuropean"practicalphilosophy.Luhmann'sstrategyagainsttheconceptofcivilsocietyanditssocialscientific
precipitatesistoidentifythemwiththetraditionalsocietascivilisandshowtheresultinginadequaciesforthestudyofmodernconditions.
Paradoxically,Luhmann'sownsophisticatedtheoryofdifferentiation,developedinanentirelydifferentcontext,replacesCarl

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Schmitt'snotionoffusionbetweenpreviouslydifferentiatedsphereswithoneofincreasinglycomplexinputoutputrelationsamongthem.Inthisrespect,heishighly
importantforusbecausehepotentiallyresuscitatesoneaspectoftheconceptofcivilsociety.However,heemphaticallyrejectsthenotionthatoneofthedifferentiated
spheresshouldbeunderstoodasanykindofreplacementforcivilsociety,orthesocial,ornormativeintegration.Notevenlaw,thelastsignificantrepositoryofa
"normativestyleofexpectation,"playssucharoleinhistheory.Society,inhisanalysis,standsonlyforthewhole,andinsomeversionsevenfora"worldsociety."
6
Ofcourse,Luhmann"reconstructs"manyoftheearlymodernsubcategoriesofcivilsocietyontheterrainofsystemstheory.Ineachcase,however,thereconstruction
involvesadecisivebreakwithearlymodernintentions:Positivelawisseenasnormlessinitsdeepestfoundations,associationisunderstoodasbureaucratic
organization,andpublicopinionisreducedtothemanipulationofthethemesofcommunication.Itischaracteristicthatdemocracyisidentifiedwiththegeneralsocial
cyberneticfunctionof"meaning,"thatis,withthemaintenanceofreducedcomplexity.Onthebasisofsystemstheory,allthatremainsofthemodernconceptofcivil
societyisthebarefactofdifferentiationitself.
7
Thus,Luhmannisalsoimportantforus,because,onthelevelofsystematicsocialscience,heworksoutahighly
comprehensivechallengetothewholetraditionoftheconceptofcivilsociety.
Luhmann'spreoccupationwiththeproblemofcivilsocietyisindeedsurprising,givenhisowntheoreticalassumptionsandinterests.Hisexercisesinasociological
versionofconceptualhistoryrankwiththebestinthisfield.Accordingtohim,politikekoinonia,translatedas"politicalsociety,"wasfirstusedasaconceptto
describeandelaborateupontheemergenceofanevolutionarystageofhumandevelopment,namely,theconstitutionofpoliticalrulethatsuppressedorgreatly
reducedtheimportanceofarchaic,kinshipbasedassociationsandthepowerofreligionintheimmediaterelationsofsubandsuperordination.
8
Theinstitutionsof
politicalofficeandpoliticalprocedurewerethemeansbywhichthereorderingofsocietywasaccomplished,themajorresultbeing"thepossibilityofresolvingconflicts
throughbindingdecisions."

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Politicalrule,tobesure,meanttheemancipationofhumanbeingsquaindividuals.Butitalsomeanttheirseamlessintegrationintoapoliticallydefinedsocietal
framework.
Luhmannissomewhatunclearonwhythe"selfthematization"ofthisdevelopmentoccurredonlyintheGreekcitystate,inparticularthedemocraticpolisofAthens.
9

Morerevealingthanhisactualexplanationishissomewhatunderemphasizedadditionoftheprincipleofcitizenshipwhenspeakingofthepolisasaversionof
politicallyconstitutedrule.
10
Hedoesnotnoticethatpoliticalruleneedstobeandcanbethematizedassuchonlywhenthewieldersoftheinstrumentsofdomination
(heretheoikospatriarchdespots)constituteapublic.Hisownstressisonthedimensionofdominationratherthanonpublicaction.Theactualruleinanypolitical
societyisthatofapart(intheGreekrepublics,citizens)overthewhole.ToLuhmann,severallogicalparadoxesassociatedwiththeconceptofpolitikekoinoniaare
tobetracedtothisstateofaffairs.Throughitslinguisticformanditsoppositiontotheoikos,politikekoinoniaisunderstandableasonlyonetypeofkoinoniaamong
others.Yetitisalsotheallencompassingsocialsystem,thepolis.Thus,itisawholethatisparadoxicallyconceivedasitsownpart.
11
Or:itisawholethathasparts
outsideitself,inparticulartheoikos.
12
ThelessoniscleartoLuhmann:Thesocietythatthematizeditselfaspoliticalsocietymisunderstooditself.Itwasonlyasocial
systeminwhichanewlydifferentiatedpoliticalsubsystemhadfunctionalprimacy.
13
ForLuhmann,asecond,relateddifficultyoftheclassicalconceptionofpolitikekoinonialiesintheattempttoviewsocietyasaction.Thiswaspossible,accordingto
him,becausethepoliticalsystem,supposedlyorientedtowardright,just,andvirtuousactionwasidentifiedwiththewholeofsociety.Equallyimportantwasthe
understandingofpoliticalsocietyasabody,asacorporateunitycapableofaction.
14
Inthiscontext,therelativelyexceptionalexistenceofdifferentiated,specialized
organizationsandtheirslightimpactonsocietypermittedaconceptionofpoliticalsocietyasawholeasitselfanorganization,anorganizedbody.Ofcourse,theaction
andthegoalsofthissupposedbodywereactuallytheactionsandthegoalsofitsrulingpartonlythispartconstitutedanorganization.

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AccordingtoLuhmann,theconceptsofpolitikekoinoniaand,later,civilsocietyinallitsvariantsthematizedtheintegrationofthisorganizationofrulersandthe
orientationofitsindividualactorsintermsofthenormafivecategoriesofmoralityandlaw(inthelattercase,moralizedlaw).Politicalsocietywasstabilizedthroughthe
institutionalizationof"relativelyuniversal...rulesforinterpersonalrespectandmutualesteem."
15
Inotherwords,the"generalizedmorality"ofpoliticalsocietiesthus
servedasthebasiclegitimationofpoliticalauthority.Nevertheless,Luhmannclaimsthatitwasonlyfunctionally(andnotlogically)necessarytounderstandpolitical
societyinnormativeterms.
16
Perhapswhathehasinmindisthat,althoughthemediumofpowerhasalreadyreplacedordinarylanguagecommunicationasameansof
transferringdecisions,itslackoffulldevelopmentortheabsenceofother"mediaofgeneralizedcommunication"hasmadeacontinuedrelianceonearlierformsof
direct,linguisticmodelsofcommandandobedienceunavoidable.Thelatter,however,cannotoperatewithoutnormativeformsofjustification.Morelikely,thepoint
maybelinkedtohisnotionthatthemediumofpowerrequiresanormativelyconstructedlinguisticcodeforitsoperation.
17
Thebinarycodeofrightandwrong,
allowinginprincipletheschematizationofalldecisionsdoesnotrepresentpowerasitactuallyoperateshence,normativelanguageisactuallynotindispensabletothe
descriptionofpoliticallyorganizedsociety.Norwoulditsactorsneedittoorientthemselveswithinasystemofpower.Butaslongaslawisnotyetmadepositive,this
moralisticlegallanguageisrequiredtorepresenttheoperationofpowerandtheworkingsofpoliticalsocietytoitssocialenvironment,whichisnotyetlinkedtothe
politicalsubsystembyother,functionallyinterchangeable,media.
Thus,inLuhmann'sterminology,theinstitutionalizationofthemediumofpowerallowsanimportantbutincompletereplacementofnormativestylesofexpectationby
cognitiveones.Nevertheless,whileonthelevelofsocialselfreflectionasecularmoralityhasnowtakenonthecentralroleinsocialintegration,inrealitythe
emergenceofpowerasthefirst"symbolicallygeneralizedmediumofcommunication"
18
grantedimmenseimportance,andindeedfunctionalprimacy,forthefirsttime
toasubsystemrelyingona

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cognitiveratherthananormativeattitudetosocialnormsthemselves.Thissubsystemremainslinkedtoastructureofrulesthat,evenifnolongertiedtoimmediate
interaction,iscapableofreducingthecontingencyofactiononlybygeneralizing,universalisticorientationsandmutualexpectationsthatremainnormativeinthesense
ofbeing"counterfactually"maintainedeveninthefaceofempirical"disappointments."Thislinkageisfunctionallynecessary,atleastuntilitisreplacedbyfunctional
equivalents,inordertounburdenthepowersystemofsomeoftheneedsofintegrationandtherebyprotectit(andsociety?)fromitspotentiallyvastoverextensionor
"inflation."
Ancientpracticalphilosophy,ourfirstsourcefortheconceptofcivilsociety,wasinthiscontextthetheoreticalthematizationofboththeprimacyofthepoliticalandthe
moralizationofpolitics.AccordingtoLuhmann,itserrorsinvolvedaconfusionofthepart(politics)withthewhole(society),ofactionwithsystem,ofpower(asa
medium)withmorality(tiedtoordinarylanguageinteraction),andofmoralityasasocialrealitywiththemoralityofthemoralists.
19
Thetheoryofbourgeoissocietyisconvictedofanalogousiffewererrors.BrgerlicheGesellschaftrepresentstoLuhmannonlysuperficiallyarevampingoftheold
societascivilis,inspiteoftheetymologicalderivationofthefirstcategoryfromthesecond.Actually,asthesuggestedalternativeterm,"economicsociety,"indicates,
brgerlicheGesellschaftreferstoatoposthatisnotidenticalwithbutparallelto"politicalsociety."Thetwoalsoturnouttobestructurallydifferent.
20
Again,
Luhmannbeginswiththeselfthematizationofeconomicsociety,whichisclassicallyrepresentedbyMarxiansocialtheory.Hereeconomicsocietyisunderstoodasa
newtypeofsocietyinwhichproduction,andevenmore"ametabolicallyfoundedsystemofneeds,"replacespoliticsasthecentralsocialprocess.
21
Fromadifferent
pointofview,alsocharacteristicofMarxism,bourgeoissocietymeansthatapoliticallydefinedruling''part"(e.g.,Brgerinthesenseofcitoyen)isnowreplacedas
thedominantstratumbytheownersofproperty(Brgerinthesenseofbourgeois).Luhmann'sreservationsconcerningtheMarxian(aswellasbourgeois)theoryof
economicsocietyparallelhiscriticismsofAristotelianpoliticalphilosophyasatheoryofpoliticalsociety.Bothmake

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theunderstandableerroroftakingthepartforthewhole,ofidentifyingasocietalsubsystemwiththewholeofsociety.Theerrorisunderstandablebecauseofthe
dramaticnatureoftheemergenceofeachofthesubsystemsandtheirfunctionalprimacy(foratime)inrelationtotheotherspheresofsociety.
22
Nevertheless,only
thisfunctionalprimacyshouldhavebeenassertedinthecaseoftheeconomy,andnotthereductionofallspheresoflifetoeconomics.Onlythenotionofthefunctional
primacyoftheeconomyiscompatiblewiththeempiricalfactthattheextentandinternalcomplexityofthepoliticalsubsystemcontinuedtogrowinthewholecapitalist
epoch.
23
Forfunctionalprimacyneedonlyimplythattheleadingsubsystemhasthegreatestinternalcomplexityandthatthenewdevelopmentalstageofsocietyis
characterizedbytasksandproblemsthatoriginateprimarilyinthissphere.
Thus,"political"and"economic"societyrepresentnotonlyparallelprocessesofdifferentiation,alongwithparallelformsofselfthematization,butalsosuccessive
evolutionarystages.DifferentlevelsofcomplexityindicateforLuhmannthreestructuraldifferencesbetweentheearlierpoliticalsocietyandthelater,morecomplex,
economicsociety:(1)transformationofthemeaningofprimacy(2)replacementofa(mainlyorpartially)normativebyacognitivestyleofexpectationand(3)lossof
thecapacityforactiononthepartoftheleadingsubsystemasawhole(nottomentionthesocialsystem).Letustakeeachoftheseinturn.
First,indiscussingtherelationoftheeconomictotheothersubsystems,primacycannolongerbeevenapproximatelyrepresentedintermsofauthorityordomination,
butonlybythepreeminenceoftheproblemtheeconomydealswith.ThedifferenceflowsfromLuhmann'sdistinctionbetweenthestructuresofpowerandmoneyas
communicationsmedia,withmoneybeingthemediumaroundwhichthedifferentiatedeconomicsubsystemisorganized.Inthecaseofpower,aselectivedecisionis
madeforsomeoneelsewhoismotivatedtoacceptor"tomake"thisspecificdecisionthroughaparticularcode,andinviewofnegativesanctions.Inthecaseof
money,adecisionismadeforoneself,andtheotherismotivatedtocarryouthisowncomplementarybutgenerallydifferentdecisioninviewofpossiblerewards,or
positivesanctions.
24
Inthefirstcase,decisionsaretransferredinthe

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second,onlyproblemsthatmustbedealtwith.Forthisreason,thelevelofsocialdifferentiationallowedbythefunctionalprimacyoftheeconomicsubsystemisfar
greaterthanthelevelpossiblein"politicalsociety."Thiscapacityisfirstthematizedintermsofthe"falsedichotomy"ofstateandsociety,anissuetowhichweshall
return.
Second,theprimacyoftheeconomicsubsystemnolongerrequiresageneralizedmoralityfortheintegrationofsociety."Itseemsthattheconstancyofmoralityover
time,whichissupportedbyallofsociety,canbereplacedbytheconstancyovertimeofpurelyeconomicopportunities."
25
Whereaspoliticsstillrequired(inthe
epochofitsprimacyonly?)"akindofmoral'cover'orlegitimation,"
26
theeconomicsubsystemrequiresitneither"functionally''nor"logically,"neitheronthelevelofits
representationnorforitsoperation.Thisistruebecausetheemergenceoftheeconomicsubsystemimplies"aswitchfromanormativetoacognitiveattitude.
Expectationsthatarenormativei.e.,counterfactualandincapableofadaptingtochangedconditionsarereplacedbyexpectationsthatcanlearnandadaptto
change."
27
Themoralintegrationofeconomiclifeandtheneedofsocietyingeneralforthistypeofintegrationrecedewiththedifferentiationoftheeconomic
subsystem.Thesocietyinwhichthissubsystemhasbecomeprimarycantherefore(contrarytotheopinionofDurkheimandParsons)graduallydispensewith
normativityorconfineittothesinglesubsystemoflaw,whoseownfoundationsalsobecomecognitive.
Finally,thedisappearanceofageneralizedmoralityasaformofsocialintegrationsignals(andisinpartcausedby)thelossofsociety'scapacityforaction.Withthe
dominanceofthemarketeconomy,itisimpossibletounderstandthesocialwholeasabody."Noonecanclaimtobetheplenipotentiaryrepresentativeofthe
economy."
28
Theeconomicsystemisnotacollectivity.Norcanonesorepresentthesocietyinwhichitisprimary.Anyattempttodiscoverunifiedagencyor
subjectivityrepresentingthissocietyismerelyanillegitimatetranspositionofapartiallygenuinepossibilityofpoliticalsocietyandleadsinevitablytoconceptual
mythology.Equallyimportantisthestimulusgivenineconomicsocietytothedifferentiationoforganizationsfromtherestofsocietyandfrom

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oneanother.Theresultofthisprocessisthatsocietyitselfcannolongerevenappeartofulfilltherequirementsofanorganization,ofanorganizedbody.Apluralityof
theorganizationsinsocietyareintegratednotbymeansofasuperordinateorganizationbutinsteadbytheworkingsofthesystemicmediaofpowerandmoney.Thus
(leavingasidethenotionofinteractionorintersubjectivity),thetransitiontothefunctionalprimacyoftheeconomicsubsystemmeans,forLuhmann,thenecessary
replacementofsocialintegrationbysystemintegration,ofactionasatheoreticalparadigmbysystem.Conceptssuchas"civilsociety"and"societalcommunity"arethe
obvioustheoreticalvictimsofthisshift.Tothisissue,too,weshallreturn.
Luhmannseesasobsoletenotonlytheconceptofpoliticalorcivilsocietybutalsotheonethatreplacedit.Economicsociety,oreventheprimacyoftheeconomic
subsystem,isnowathingofthepast.Thisprimacyhasledtodysfunctionalsideeffectsforitsvarious"environments,"whichmaynothavestrictlyeconomicsolutions.
29
Inoneversionofhisargument,whentheprimacyoftheeconomyisatanend,nosubsystemiscapableofdominatingorevenrepresentingthewhole.Inanearlier
version,thepossiblesubordinationoftheeconomyandofpoliticstoconscious,scientificcontrolorcoordinationisleftopen.Butsuchsubordinationcouldrepresenta
developmentalstageonlyiftheintegrityoftheeconomicsubsystemwerepreserved,asearlierthatofthepoliticalsubsystemwaspreserved,andif,alongwiththis,the
differentiationofsocietywereincreased.Theprimacyatthisstagewouldbelongtothesubsystemofscience
30
andnotthatofpolitics,asinSoviettypesocieties.For
suchasociety,aconceptionofsocietasscientificawouldrepresentanappropriateformoffalseconsciousness,althoughthelevelofreflectioncharacteristicofthe
subsystemofsciencecanalsoleadtoamoreappropriate(i.e.,systemstheoretic)thematizationofthenewformoffunctionalprimacy,thistimeavoidingthefallacious
hypostatizationofparsprototo.
31
Whicheverversionwechoose(andtherecentconceptionofautopoieticsystemsclearlyindicatesthefirst),thethreeconsequencesoftheprimacyoftheeconomic
subsystemwillcontinuetoapplytoLuhmann'sunderstandingofmodernsociety.Forhim,greaterdifferentiation,thedeclineofnormativeintegration,and

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theendofthecapacityofsociety(orevenarepresentativepart)foractionprecludeanyjustifiableconceptionofmodernsociety,orevenoneofitsdifferentiated
subsystems,aspoliticalorcivilsociety.However,fromthepointofviewoftheconceptdevelopedinthisbook,whichisnotlinkedtoanyutopiaofsocietyasaunified
agent,subject,ororganization,itseemsthat,withrespecttothefusionargumentdevelopedbythinkersfromSchmittandArendttoHabermasandOffe,the
Luhmanniantheoryofdifferentiationrefurbishesanimportantaspectoftheconceptthatisunderthreat.Andyet,whileonthemostabstractlevelhedoesofferan
alternativetothefusionthesis,thiscannotbenefitanyconceptionofcivilsociety,atleastinhismodel.Thereasonsforthisseemtobethatheconsidersthestatecivil
societydichotomytobefalse,andhereplacesitbyamodelthatdrawsthelinesofdifferentiationquitedifferently,andthat,eveninanexpandedmodelof
differentiation,heseesnoneedtoincludeaspherewhosefocusissocialintegrationthroughbothnormsandparticipationinassociations.
Theargumentforfusionofstateandsocietyhasalwaysbeenplaguedbyakeycontradiction:Many(especiallytheneoMarxist)proponentsofthisthesisinvokeit
whentheyalternatelydepictthesameepochasthatoftherepoliticizationofeconomyandsocietyandthatofthetransitionofthestatefromfulldependenceonor
"positivesubordination"tothe(capitalist)economyto"relativeautonomy"and"negativesubordination."
32
Thus,theymustassertdedifferentiationanddifferentiation
atthesametime.Thispuzzledisappearsintheearlier,technocraticversionofLuhmann'sargumentaswellasinthelater,liberalversion.Intheonecase,hewould
speakofamovementfromonefunctionalprimacytoanother,fromthatoftheeconomytothatofscientificplanning,expandingthedifferentiationamongspheresor,
rather,subsystems.Intheother,hewouldspeakofincreasingdifferentiation,permittingandpermittedbyincreasinglycomplexsubsystemswhosenetworkofmutual
inputoutputrelationscouldgrowcorrespondinglymoredense,givingtheappearanceoffusion.Ashenotes,theautonomyofthepoliticalsystemnevermeantits
isolation.Eventsintheeconomy,forexample,canhelpconstituteproblemsandmotivationsinpolitics,althoughanautonomouspoliticalsystemwillhavetoproduce
relevantdecisionsaccordingtoitsowncriteria.Thus,

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intersystemiccommunicationisintensified,notreduced."Withtheindependenceofpolitics,itsdependenceonsocietyalsoincreases."
33
Insteadoffusion,Luhmann
providesuswithapersuasivemodelofthegrowthofbothdifferentiationandinterdependence,ofbothsystemicselfclosureandopennesstoothersystems.
"Reciprocaldependenciesandindependenciesamongsubsystemsincreasesimultaneously.Inprinciple,thisispossiblebecausethereisanincreaseofcircumstancesin
whichonecanbedependentandindependent."
34
AccordingtoLuhmann,thewholediscussionconcerningtheseparationofstateandsocietyhasmisunderstoodthisphenomenonofincreasingdifferentiationand
interdependence.Inthespiritofhisthesis,onemightsaythatthefusionargumentamountsonlytoapartiallyfalseselfthematizationofgreaterintersocialcomplexity
characterizingtheevolutionarystagesucceedingthatoftheprimacyoftheeconomicsubsystem.Unfortunatelyforthestandarddichotomousconceptionofthe
oppositionofstateandcivilsociety,however,thiscriticismofthefusionargumentcannotalterLuhmann'sviewthatit,too,representedaformof"falseconsciousness,"
thistimeofthehistoricallynewlevelofdifferentiationcharacteristicofeconomicsociety.
35
Thecritiqueofoneformoffalseconsciousnesscannotrefurbishanearlier
form.
ButwhatisLuhmann'scaseforclaimingthatthedichotomyofstateandsocietyisfalse?First,andleastimportantlyperhaps,hethinksthatthecategoryofthestateis
toodiffuse:Itmeanseverythingfromgovernmenttobureaucracy,fromapartofthepoliticalsystemtoitswhole.
36
Itisnotobvious,however,howthiscriticism
appliestosuchrelativelyrigorousdefinitionsofthestateasMaxWeber's,
37
whichcouldbeandhaveoftenbeenusedinpoliticalsciencetoreformulatetheopposition
ofstateandsociety.PerhapsLuhmannwouldanswerthattheallinclusiveconceptofthestateasapoliticalorganizationthatmonopolizes,throughitsadministrative
staff,thelegitimateuseoftheinstrumentsofviolenceinagiventerritoryviolatestheinternalandorganizationaldifferentiationofthepoliticalsystem,orreducesthe
politicalsystemtomerelyoneofitsaspects.
38
Second,andnextinorderofimportance,Luhmannrejectsthesupposedimplicationofthedichotomythatstateandsociety(or

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civilsociety)eachconsistsofsetsofconcretehumanindividualsseparatedfromoneanotherintermsoftheirwholelives.
39
Whilethisobjectionappliestomany
versions(prevalentespeciallyinmovements)ofthepolemicaljuxtapositionofsocietyandstate,evenacursorystudyofthemoresophisticatedconceptionstreated
hereshoulddisposeofit.ForHegel,forexample,membersof"estates"and"civilservants"aretobefoundinbothcivilsocietyandthestate,albeitindifferent"roles"
and"functional"relationships.Luhmannmightrespond,however,thatdifferentiatedpoliticalrolesshouldbecontrastedwiththemultiplicityofsocialroles,acontrast
thatisstilloccludedbythesplittingofhumanbeingsintomerelytworoles,whetherpublicandprivate,citoyenandbourgeois,orcitizenandman.
ThisargumentisbasedonLuhmann'sfinalandmostimportantobjection.Hepointstoacharacteristicdiffusenessintheconceptofsocietywhenjuxtaposedtothatof
thestate.Assumingthatweknowwhat"state"means(and,atbest,forLuhmannitmeans"politicalsystem"!),theterm"society"isalooseonedescribingitswhole
environment.
40
Whileancientpoliticalsociety,understandingitselfasthewhole,didnotrecognizeitsenvironmentatall,thenotionofthestateexpressesthepointof
viewofthepoliticalsystemwhenitiscapableofseeingitselfaspartofadifferentiatedwhole,adevelopmentthatpresupposesthepoliticalneutralizationofreligious,
cultural,andkinshiprolesandmeaningcomplexes.
41
Thislevelofselfthematizationinturnpresupposes,atleastinthemainversionoftheargument,an
institutionalizationofthefunctionalprimacyoftheeconomic,allowinganewlevelofsocietaldifferentiation.Nevertheless,eventheeconomicsubsystemdoesnot
representthewholesocialenvironmentofthepoliticalsubsystem.Indeed,thedifferentiationofalegalsubsystemallowedthedifferentiationofthe"state"fromreligion
(throughconstitutionallaw)andtheeconomy(throughprivatelaw).
42
Onlyslightlylessimportantforthedifferentiationofthepoliticalsystem,onecouldspeakofan
institutionalizationofthesubsystemsoffamily,science,andcultureorartinthesamehistoricalcontext.Allthesesubsystems,whichcannotbereducedtoasingle
"organization''or"collectivity"or"sphere"or"logic"or,leastofall,"system,"constitutetheinternallydynamicanddifferentiatedsocialenvironment

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ofthepoliticalsystem,whichhasseparateinputoutputrelationswitheach.Moreover,theyhaveinputoutputrelationswitheachother.Theydonotconstituteany
coherententity(forLuhmann,asystem)inrelationtothepoliticalsystem.Thenotionofcivilsocietyisthusdecomposedratherthansavedbythemodelof
differentiation.
43
Butwhichconceptionofcivilsocietyistherebydecomposed?CertainlytheliberalorMarxistdichotomousmodelsdonotstanduptoLuhmann'scriticism.The
Hegeliantheory,ontheotherhand,whileitdoesnotincludeartorscienceorfamily,washighlydifferentiatedinternally.Totheobjectionthatthismodelnomore
differentiatedtheeconomicsubsystemfromlaw,associations,etc.,thandiditsMarxianheir,Gramsci'sresponse,differentiatingeconomyandcivilsociety,mightseem
sufficient.ThepotentialoutcomebecomesclearestinParsons,whodifferentiatestheculturalandeconomicsystemsfromboththepoliticalsystemandthesocietal
community,thelatterunderstoodastheintegrationsubsystemofsociety.Itisthislastsphereofsociety,composedofnormativelegalandassociationalcomponents,
thatweconsiderthemostadvancedreconstructionoftheconceptofcivilsocietywithinacademicsocialscience.LuhmannsharesthisinterpretationofParsonsbut
doeshisbesttoeliminateanysuchasphereinwhateverguisefromthesystemstheoryofsociety.
HereLuhmann'sstrategyistwofold.First,hedrawsthelinedefiningthepolityinsuchawayastoincludewithinitallpoliticallyrelevantassociationsandpublics.
Accordingly,institutionsthatothertheoristsrootedincivilsocietyandthatservedasmediationswiththestatearenowlocatedwithinthepoliticalsystemproper.Inthe
process,however,LuhmannseverstheconnectionoftheseinstitutionswithrationalcommunicationandevenwiththeParsonian"medium"ofinfluencethatis
dependentontheseprocesses.Second,heinterpretsthefunctionoflawandrightsinthedifferentiationofsocietyaspertainingonlytothe(self)limitationofthe
politicalsystem,nottotheinstitutionalizationofanyspecificsphereinneedofprotectionfromadministrativepenetration.Explicitlyrejectingtheideathatrightsmight
alsoprotectagainsteconomictendenciestowarddedifferentiation,heemphasizesthestandardliberalnotionofprotectingprivatespheres

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fromthestate.Thismodeloflawdoesapparentlycreateareservationfornormativity.Unfortunately,withinthetermsofLuhmann'stheory,theboundariesofalegal
subsystemthatisnotstabilizedbyamediumonthemodelofpowerormoneycannotbeeasilymaintainedagainsteitheracognitivestyleofexpectationor,more
concretely,theadministrativesubsystemofthepoliticalsystem.Intherestofthischapter,weshalladdressinmoredetailLuhmann'sanalysesoftherelationsbetween,
first,thepoliticalsystemandcivilsocietyand,second,thelegalsystemandcivilsociety.
1.Thedifferentiationofthepoliticalsystemintoadministration,parties,andpublicsseemstobecommontoParsonsandLuhmann.Actually,Parsons'sconceptionis
quitedifferentfromwhatLuhmannmakesofit.ForParsons,partiesandpublicsasinstitutionscanplayaroleinthe"supportsystem"ofpoliticsbecausetheyare
rootedinthesocietalcommunity.WhatseemstobeanambiguityamongvariousParsoniantextsconcerningtheprimarylocationoftheseinstitutionsinthepolityorthe
societalcommunityis,rather,anexampleofaquasiHegeliantheoreticalmovefocusingonmediation,inthesenseofprovidingbothdifferentiationandthe
interpenetrationneededtostabilizedifferentiation.
44
If,fromthepointofviewofthepoliticalsystem,thefunctionofpublicsandpartiesoperatinginthepublicsphere
istogenerateconsentandloyaltyforbindingdecisions,fromthepointofviewofthesocietalcommunitytheirroleisprimarilysocialintegrationand,secondarily,to
establishelementsofsocialcontroloverthestate.Locatedfirstandforemostinthesocietalcommunity,
45
thepubliciscapableofgeneratingsupportforthepolitical
systemonlytotheextentofbeingabletodrawontheresourcesofsolidaritygeneratedbyautonomousratherthanbureaucraticassociationsincivilsociety.
46
While
Parsonsrecognizesthepossibilityofmanipulationandopinioncreationbythemassmedia,hebelievesthatevenstrongertrendstowardautonomousexpressionand
discussioncounteractthispossibility.
47
InParsons'sconception,theinternaldifferentiationofthepoliticalsystemintoleadership,administrative,integrative,and
legitimatingsubsystems
48
(orgovernment,bureaucracy,legislatureandparties,andthejudiciary)givesthelattertwotheroleofgeneratinglegitimacyandmotivational
commitmentfor

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decisionsproducedandexecutedbythefirsttwo.Buthedoesnotsharewhatheseesastheillusionoftheelitetheoryofdemocracy,namely,thattheseresources
canbegeneratedentirelyfromabove.Nordoesheaccepttheviewoflegalpositivismthatlegislativeenactmentistheonlysourceoflaw,orevenofitsvalidity.The
veryideaofseeingthe"supportsystem"intermsofadoubleinterchangebetweenpolityandsocietalcommunitypresupposesimportanttradeoffs:Politicalpoweris
increasedandexposedtogenuinesocialcontrolthroughthesameinstitutions.
49
Thus,itisfairtoconcludethat,likeHegelbutlessconsistently,Parsonspresentstheinstitutionsofpoliticalassociationandpublicityintermsofadoublelocationthat
bothdifferentiatesandinterconnectsstateandcivilsociety.ToLuhmann,however,thesupposeddoubleroleofpoliticalinstitutionsonwhichParsonsbaseshis
dualistictopologicalconceptionreflectsonlythedifferencebetweentheofficial,textbookversionofpoliticsandtherealityaccessibletosocialscience.Moreover,an
internaldifferentiationofthepoliticalsystemreflectingtermbytermthedifferentiationofitsenvironment(Parsons,Hegel)wouldseriouslyendangertheautonomyof
thissystem.
50
Inordertobeautonomous,thepoliticalsystemmusthavetime,whichinturnpresupposesaninternalstructurethatneednotimmediatelyreacttoinputs
fromitsvariousenvironments.Butthiscouldnotbeavoidedifthestructuresoftheenvironmentwerereproducedwithinthepoliticalsystem,orevendirectlylinkedas
constituenciestothesubsystemsofthepolity."Ifallsubsystemswouldhavetheirlegitimatespokesmeninthepoliticalsystem,politicswouldbecontinuallyconfronted
withanoverproductionofthepossible."
51
ThisisLuhmann'sshorthandfortheSchmittiantoposofadecisionless,ungovernableformofdemocracy.Inhisconception,
however,thisisnotnecessarilytheimplicationofcontemporarypoliticalpartyandparliamentaryinstitutions.Onthecontrary,whentheyfunctionproperly,they
operateneitherintermsofthetraditionalbridgingfunctionbetweensocietyandstatenorintermsofthefusionofthesetwodomains,butasautonomousformswithina
politicalsystemuncoupledfromjustthosetypesofinputsthatleadtoproblemsofgovernability.
Theautonomyofthepoliticalsystemalsodependsonits"acceptance"byitsvariousenvironments.Thisacceptance,however,is

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favoredbythedifferentiationoftheenvironment,whichfragmentsthevariouspossiblesourcesofdemands.Therefore,itcanbeafunctionprimarilyoftheinternal
processesofthepoliticalsystem,andonlysecondarilyofexchangeswiththevariousenvironments.Indeed,theinternaldifferentiationofthepoliticalsystemintopublic,
politics,andadministrationfavorsthecrystallizationofcertainroleswhosefunctionistolinktheenvironmentsinadesirablewaybutalsotolimitthislinkagetoforms
thatareseparatedfromotherrolesandareinternallyfragmented.Thus,theclient,thevoter,andtheparticipantofthepublicaredivorcedfromthefamilymember,the
worker,andtheprofessional,ontheoneside,anddonotadduptoacomprehensivecitizenrole,ontheother.Itisaboveallthisspecializationintoseparatepolitical
rolesthatproducesaformofacceptanceofpoliticaldecisionsthatLuhmannrepeatedlydescribesasquasiautomaticandalmostwithoutmotivation.Thisthesis
requiresaredefinitionofthemeaningsofpublicity,partypolitics,elections,andparliamentaryrepresentation(hereapartofadministration),allofwhichwereonce
linkedtothecategoryofcivilsocietybutarenowplacedwithinthepoliticalsystem.Isthisaredifferentiationwithoutadifference?Luhmann'sredefinitionof
democracyisourfirstsignthatitisnot.
AccordingtoLuhmann(heresquarelyinthetraditionofSchumpeter),anynormativedefinitionofdemocracywhetherbasedonparticipation,representation,or
pluralisticcompetitionshouldbeabandoned.Onereasonisthateachoneseekstomakesenseoftheideaofpopularselfgovernmentorselfrule,whichisinfact
incompatiblewiththelogicofanautonomouspoliticalsystemdifferentiatedfromtheotherspheresofsociety.Moreover,anyschemetoextendparticipationinthe
businessofrule,intermsofeitheradirectroleintheproductionofdecisionsoracontrolandmonitoringofthosewhoactuallydecide,canonlyraiseperpetual
frustrationtoaprinciplebecauseofthescarcityoftimetoparticipateinrelationtothequantityandcomplexityofwhatmustbedecided.
52
Thesecondreasonisevenmorerevealing.Anynormativedefinitionthreatenstoprejudiceone'sownpoliticalsystem(inthiscase,Westernmultipartysystems)against
"functionalequivalents"(inparticular,singlepartyregimesoftheSoviettype).ForLuhmann,

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eventheSchumpeterianresidueofdemocratictheorynamely,theexistenceofcompetitivepartiesandcontestedelectionsrepresentsamerelysecondary
considerationinanalyzingthedemocraticcharacterofasociety.Oneought,instead,toturntomoreabstractmattersanddevelopaconceptofdemocracythatcan
applytoavarietyofsystems,aslongastheyaresufficientlycomplex.
53
Luhmannproducessuchadefinition.Asprocessesofdecisionimplythereductionof
complexity,aselectionofarelativelysmallsegmentfromtherealmofpossibleeventsandtheeliminationoftherest,"democracymeansthemaintenanceofcomplexity
inspiteoftheongoingworkofdecision,themaintenanceagainandagainofasphereofselectivityaswideaspossibleforfutureanddifferentdecisions."
54
Luhmannrealizesthatthisdefinitionassociatesdemocracywithhisdifferentiaspecificaofsocialsystemsassuch,namely,"meaning"itself,understoodasaformof
reductionofcomplexitythatmaintainstheeliminatedoptionswithinthehorizonofpossibilities.
55
Hedoesnotnotice,however,thatthismovetendstowardthe
definitionofallsocietiesasdemocraticatmost,therecanbedifferencesofdegreethatseemtocorrespondprimarilytothelevelofcomplexity.Indeed,Soviettype
singleparty,ideologicallysteeredsocietiesarerepeatedlypronounceddemocratic,indeedasdemocraticasmultipartysystemsaslongasideologyis"preservedfrom
dogmatismandispracticedopportunistically,"whichmeansthecontinualpossibilityofchangingrelationsofpriorityamongahighnumberofcorevalues.
56
Luhmann
doesrecognizethatsinglepartyrulethreatenstorestrictconsequentialsocialcommunicationtoasmallpolitocraticgroupandtoturnotherspheresofsocietyto
secondaryfunctionsofthepoliticalsystemthatinstrumentalizethem.Thistrendisoneofdedifferentiationandiscontrarytotheincreaseofcomplexity.
Characteristicallyforthattime(1968),Luhmannproposesthattherecoveryoftheprimacyofadifferentiatedeconomyrepresents,incontextofasinglepartyregime,
themajordimensionoftheworkofdemocratization.
57
Indeed,heconsidersthefreeingofsocialexpectationsanddemandsaswellas"publicopinion"fromideology
andtheradicalexpansionofelementsofdependentpluralismincompatiblewiththenatureofsuchasystem.
58
Whilerepresentingsomeideallimitonthelevelof

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attainablecomplexity,theserestrictionsarenotsuchastoplaceSoviettypesocietiesoutoftherangethatdefinesthemasdemocratic.Itisinthissense,too,thatthey
arethefunctionalequivalentsoftoday'sliberaldemocracies.ThereaderhasahardtimeavoidingthesuspicionthatthisisthecaseonlybecauseLuhmannhasadopted
themost"disenchanted"and"realistic"viewpossibleofWesternmultipartydemocracies.
59
Luhmann'srealismisinmanyrespectswelcome.Itishelpful,forexample,toseethat,fromthepointofviewofmaintainingstructurallypermissiblecomplexity,the
assimilationofpartyprogramstooneanotherandthesystematiceliminationofmanyintelligentoptionsfrompoliticaldiscussiondiminishtherangeofdemocratic
options.Itisevenmoreimportanttoadmitthetensionbetweentheopenhorizonsofpossibilityforactionandexperienceandtherealisticrecognitionbyindividuals
thattheycanactually"changenothing."
60
Itis,however,bothprematureanddogmatictodefinethisparadoxasdemocracyandtodeclarethegoalofinstitutionalizing
theabilitytochangesomethingasbydefinitionirrelevantandobsolete.Itis,moreover,unconvincingtodismissallreformattemptsbasedontheextensionofpolitically
consequentialcommunicationwithasimplereferencetothescarcityoftime.Oncethisisdone,onegetsthestrongestimpressionthat,inLuhmann'sview,bothSoviet
typesocieties,atleastthosewithreformedeconomies,andWesternmultipartyregimesintheirpresentformsareinprincipleimpervioustoattemptsatstructural
transformationoftheirpoliticalsystems,inthesenseofdemocratization.
61
Thus,inthecaseofWesternsocieties,formsofsocialpoliticalinteractionthatothershave
stronglycriticizedinparticular,apublicsphereassimilatedtomassculture,depoliticizedparties,plebiscitaryelections,andparliamentarytheatricsturnouttobe
elementsofthematureorganizationofagenuinelyautonomous,differentiatedpoliticalsystem.
Luhmann,likeHabermas,presentstheliberalmodelofthepublicsphereashistoricallyconfinedtoasingleepoch,asindicatedbyitslinkagetothepolemical,
enlightenmentnotionof"society"yetanotherversionofthepresystemstheoreticfallacyofparsprototo.Allpublicsancient,liberal,andmodernrepresent,
accordingtoLuhmann,aneutralizationofroledemands

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fromdifferentiatedsocialspheres.Theliberalversioninvolvedthedifferentiationofasphereofsmallcirclesofcommunicationintegratedthroughpublicdiscussion
fromalreadymodern,functionallydifferentiatedsubsystemsofsociety:economics,politics,science,religion,family.Theinternaldifferentiationofthisnewpublic
spherewasanachronisticallysegmentalexternally,itwasadifferentiatedspherewithoutaspecificfunction.Withoutafunction,thenewpublic(apart)could(mis)
understanditselfassociety(thewhole),butonlyforatransitionalmomentbecauseofitsbuiltininstability.Itsrolestructurenotonlywasnotinapositiontocontrol
theotherspheresofsociety,butwascompletelyatthemercyoffunctionalroles,withtheiraccesstomoney,power,etc.
62
AgainstHabermas,Luhmanntherefore
deniesthatastructureofrationalcommunication,inheritedfromafunctionallyundifferentiatedpublic,couldtodayberevived(aspartofaprogramofdemocratization)
withinfunctionallydifferentiatedorganizationsthemselvesnecessarilybasedonthe"parcelizationofconsciousness."Thus,heassertsnotonlythestructural
transformationofthepublicspherebuttheobsolescenceofitsnormativeassumptionsaswell.
Luhmanndoesseektosavesomethingoftheliberalnotion,butonlyinthecontextoftransposingthepublicsphereintothepoliticalsystemasoneofitssubsystems.
Nowneutralizationbecomesthespecificintegrationfunctionofthepoliticalsystemasawholeitsroleistoestablishaformofcommunicationnotdeterminedbythe
nonpoliticalrolesofsociety(familial,commercial,scientific,religious)orevenbypartialpoliticalinterests(partypoliticalorbureaucratic).
63
Thismaysoundlikea
repackagingoftheliberalnorminafunctionalistwrapping,buttherearetwomajordifferences.First,thepurposeofneutralizationisnowtheuncouplingofpolitics,
andinparticulartheprocessesofdecision,fromsociety,notthecreationofanewformofsocialcontroloverthestate.Second,theprocessofneutralizationliesnot
ontheleveloftheopeninteractionofparticipantsbutonthatoftheformationoftheimplicitthemesoftheirvariousformsofpoliticalcommunication.
Indeed,publicopinionisheredefinednotintermsofthe"unattainablepublicity"ofallpoliticalcommunicationbutasthestructuringofevennonpubliccommunication
byinstitutionalized

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themes.Itisthethemes,definedphenomenologicallyas"preunderstandingshardenedduringthecourseofcommunicationintomoreorlessfirmsystemicboundaries
inacommonlyacceptedlifeworld,presupposedinaninarticulatemanner"thatstructurepoliticalcommunication,nottheopinionsarticulatedandexpressed.
64
Public
opinionthusnotonlyreferstobutalsoderivesitsrelativeunityfrominstitutionalizedthemes,thatis,subtextsofcommunication,ratherthanfromthegeneralizationof
articulatedopinions.Thesethemescontributetodecisionmakingbylimitingthearbitrarynatureofwhatispoliticallypossible.Buttheyalsocontributetodemocracyas
definedherebykeepingalivepossibilitiesaccordingtoadifferentlogicthanthatofdecisionmakingitself.Theyarenotpartsofthemechanismofdemocracyinany
otherdefinition,howeverpublicopinion"takesoverthefunctionofasteeringmechanismthat,whilenotdeterminingtheexerciseofruleandthegenerationofopinion,
laysdowntheboundariesofthepossibleatanygiventime."
65
Referringtosuchsubjectsasprioritiesamongvariousvalues,themeaningandperceptionofcrisis,thestatusofvariousindividualswhoplayimportantcommunication
roles,the(relative)newnessofevents,andthedefinitionofsociallyrelevantpainorpainsubstitutes(threat,stress,loss),thekeythemesofpublicopinionareultimately
understoodasrulesthatdetermine,inthecontextofthescarcityoftheresourcesofattention,thattowhichattentioncanandevenmustbepaidatagiventime.These
themesorattentionrulesareseenascontingentandvariable,inlinewiththesteeringrequirementsofcomplexsystems.Theiroriginandlogicofdevelopmentareleftin
somedoubt.Ontheoneside,theinstitutionalizationofthemesissaidtodependonthestructureofthepoliticalsystem,whichregulatespublicopinionwithoutrigidly
determiningit.
66
Thisview,consistentwiththeaimofpresentingthepoliticalsystemasfullyautonomous,seemstoimplymainlythatthestructureofthepoliticalsystem
determineswhichinstitutionalizationofthemesispossible,notwhatisactuallyinstitutionalized.Giventhestatedfunctionofpublicopinion,however,thisultimately
meansthatthestructureofthepoliticalsystemdetermineswhatthemesarepossible,whichinturndetermineswhatdecisionsarepossible.Ineffect,then,thestructure
ofthepoliticalsystemdetermineswhat

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ispoliticallypossible,withpublicopinionrepresentingonlythedependentprocessbywhichthisisaccomplished.
Ontheotherhand,Luhmannalsowantstosuggestthatpublicopinionhasimportantreciprocaleffectsorfeedbacks(Rckwirkungen)onthestructureofthepolitical
system.Butthistakestheparticularformofdevelopingmodesoforganizationandprocessesthatwouldnotbeaffectedbythevariabilityofthemesinparticular,
proceduralismandneutralitytowardvalues.Inotherwords,theresponsetopublicopinionistogenerateandmaintainformsthatallowthepoliticalsystemnotto
respondtopublicopinion.
Sucharevealingwayofspeakingisalsoimportantinthepresentcontext,becauseitimpliesthatshieldingthepoliticalsystemfrompublicityispartofpreservingits
autonomy,asifpublicopinionhad,afterall,somethingtodowiththenonpoliticalenvironmentofthepolitical.AndLuhmanndoesinfactcallitanoverhastyjudgment
thatpublicopinionhasnowbeenreducedtotheinnermediumofthepoliticalsystemwithoutanyoverallsocialfunction,thelanguageonlyoftheinteractionof
politicianswithinapoliticalsystemtotallydifferentiatedfromthesocial,everyday,diffuselifeworld.
67
Inthiscontext,heisforcedtorestateand,ineffect,partially
abandonhishypothesisonneutralization.Ifitisstilltruethatunpoliticalrolesareneutralizedinthepoliticalsystembythepublicsphere,thesameisnottrueforpolitical
communicationoutsidethepoliticalsystem.
68
Butcantherebepoliticalcommunicationatalloutsidethepoliticalsystem,whichisitselfdefinedintermsofspecificcommunicationprocesses?Luhmanninsiststhat
differentiationdoesnotrepresentatearingoutofthesocialfabricofcommunicationandtheestablishmentofselfreferentiallyclosedsubsystems.Thus,the
communicationofpublicopinioncannotbeexclusivelyassignedtothepoliticalsubsystemitsthemeshavearelativelycontextfreecharacterthatcanstructure
communicationincontextswhosenonpoliticalnatureisselfconscious.
69
Butnowneutralizationofnonpoliticalinputscannotbedefinedasthefunctionofthepublic
sphere.Instead,andrathersurprisingly,Luhmannreturnstotheclassicalfunctionof"mediation"(Vermittlung),definedintermsofbothdifferentiationandintegration
betweenpoliticalandunpoliticalcontexts.Thepresentationofmediationis,however,

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astonishinglyimpoverished:Thepossibilityoftransposingthemesfromapoliticaltoanonpoliticalcontextandtheactivationofdifferentrolesofthesameperson,
politicalandnonpolitical,aresaidtohelpstabilizethedifferencebetweenthepoliticalandthenonpolitical.Theaimremainsthedifferentiationandautonomyofthe
politicalsystemmediationaccomplishesthisnotbyneutralizationbutbyforcingtheprocessesofintersystemiccommunicationintonarrowandpoliticallymanageable
channels.
70
Despitetheseefforts,Luhmanndoesnotmanagetopresentaconceptofthepublicspherethatcompletelyshieldsthepoliticalfromthenonpolitical.Hissecond,life
cycle,modeloftheoriginandlogicofpublicopinionisacluetothisfailure.Accordingtothelifecyclemodel,themesthatcanbearticulatedintheir''latentphase"by
anyonebecomepoliticalthemesonlywhentheygetintothehandsofthosewhomakepoliticswithchangingthemes,namely,thepoliticians.Butwhethertheydoso
(andwithwhatforce)dependsontheenergyoftheirgenerallynonpoliticalsuppliersandonthesuccessofthesesuppliersinmakingatheme"popular"and
"fashionable."Afterthishappens,powerholdersarenolongerinapositiontocensorthemes.Now,politicianscancompeteonlyingettingthemesintothedecision
processesoftheadministrationorindelayingthisaslongaspossible.Eitherway,theimportanceofthemestiedtotheirnoveltywilldiminish,andnewoneswilltake
theirplace.
71
ThiswholetrainofargumentindicatesthatLuhmann'slinkageofthemodelofpublicopiniontoaprepoliticalsettingdoesnotrestoretheliberalmeaning
behindwhatisineffecta"liberal"topos,butrathertiesthenonpoliticaldimensionsofpublicitytothemechanismsofcommercial,indeedmanipulated,communication.
Here,too,heisintheSchumpeteriantradition.
Luhmannseemstodenythenecessaryroleofmanipulation,definedincontrasttointeractionasaformofunanswerablecommunication.
72
Butwhenadmittingthe
possibilityofgoingaroundpublicopinionorusingittactically,hisanalysisisfarmoredetailedandconvincingthanthatof"mediation."
73
Technically,onlymethodsof
goingaroundpublicopinionaremanipulativeaccordingtohisdefinition.Moreover,boththeseformsandthoseofinstrumentalizingpublicopinionarepresentedas
waysofregulatingtheinternalprocessesofthepoliticalsystem.Neverthe

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less,thetechniqueshementions,suchastheproductionofpseudocrises,pseudonovelties,orpseudoexpressionsofthewilloftheelectorate,representdirect
utilizationsinthepoliticalsystemofmethodsofmanipulative,commercialadvertisementthat,ineffect,dedifferentiatethepoliticalsystembyturningoneofits
subsystemsintocommercializedentertainment.
74
Undoubtedly,Luhmanndoesnotbelievethatmanipulativemechanismsofeithertypeexhaustthepossibilitiesofpublicopinionformation.Nevertheless,itisprecisely
inthiscontextthathedrawsthefollowingconclusion:"Underthedescribedconditions,intherealmofpoliticswecancountonthemultiplicationofthepossibilitiesof
behaviorandatthesametimeontherestrictionofthepossibilitiesofactiveparticipation."Becauseofthespecializedtechnicalskillsrequiredforthetacticaluseof
publicopinion,whatstartsoutas"managementbyparticipation"invariablywindsupas"participationbymanagement.''
75
ThemodelofdifferentiationandmanipulativelinkagerunsthroughLuhmann'sdiscussionofelectionsandlegislatures,movingtheanalysistotheinteriorofthepolitical
system,whoserelationtoitspublicsubsystemduplicatesthelatter'srelationtothenonpoliticalspheresofsociety.Moreexactly,electoralpoliticsandpoliticalparty
structuresareunderstoodtoconstitutethe"political"subsystemproperofthepoliticalsystem,whilelegislaturesareputwithintheadministrativesubsystem.The
functionoftheformeristobuildpoliticalsupport,toprovideamechanismforrecruitingofficials,andtomanageandabsorbconflictandprotest.Onlythelatteristo
haveanyroleindecisionmaking,whichisunderstoodasaparticularcombination,uncoupling,andreconnectingofactualprocessesofdecisionmakingwiththatofthe
"presentation"ofitsproduction.Byputtingthelegislatureintotherealmofadministration"broadlyunderstood,"Luhmannmakesashiftwithinthepoliticalsystemthat
parallelshisshiftingthepublicintothepoliticalsystem.Ineachcase,hemovesastructureclassicallyunderstoodasanelementofthepublicmediationbetweensociety
andstateclosertotheinteriorofthepoliticalsystemitself,understoodasadministrativedecisionmaking.
ItisstrikingthatintheseshiftsLuhmanncannotfullyeliminatetheelementofpublicnessthatseemstobeattachedtoelectionsandparliaments.Thespecificallypolitical
roleofthevoterislinked

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toparticipationinthepublic
76
uptothepointofactuallyvotingtheworkingoutofthemescapableofconsensusissaidtobeamongthetasksofpartypolitics
77
the
maintenanceoftheimageofpoliticiansisamongthetasksofparliamentandfinally,thepublicpresentationofgroundsandargumentsinparliamentarysessionsissaid
toseriouslyreducethechoiceofrepresentablepositions.
78
Inallthis,moreseemstobeinvolvedthanmerelytheusefulnessofbeingabletorepresenttheprocessof
decisionmakingbytwostories:an"official,"civicstextbookstorythatisimportantforbuildingsupportandshieldingtheactual,nonpublicprocessofdecisionmaking,
anda"realistic"story(Luhmann'sown)thatisimportantfortheselfreflection(oratleasttheproperscientificunderstanding)ofthepoliticalsystem.Characteristically,
thedemocraticfunctionofmaintainingreducedcomplexityintherealmofthepossibleisassignednotonlytothepublicbuttopolitics
79
andparliament
80
aswell,
linkedinparticulartotheinstitutionoftheopposition,whosealternativessurviveevenelectoralorparliamentarydefeat.
Withthissaid,theessentialfunctionofbothpoliticsandlegislatureremains,fromthepointofviewofthesocialsystemasawhole,differentiatingthepoliticalsystem
andensuringitsautonomybyuncouplingpoliticaldecisionmakingfromsocialinputs.Thisproblemissolvednotthroughtotalseparationbutbyprocessesoffiltering
andselectionthatmanagesocietyandbuildpoliticalsupport(a"permanentproblem"withthepassingofpremodernformsoflegitimation)atthesametime.Electoral
proceduresconverttheproblemofsupportfromrelyingonthenonpoliticalrolesofthe(premodern)rulertodrawingonthestrictlydifferentiatedpoliticalrolesof
voters.
81
Intheirrolesasvoters,individualsareguaranteedaccesstothepoliticalsystemindependentlyofothersocialrolesorstatuses(universalsuffrage,equalityof
votes),andtheinfluenceofsocialtiesandpressuresisminimized(secretballot).
82
Indeedtheparticular,atomizedchoiceofthevoter,havingalmostnoconsequences
forotheraspectsoftheindividual'slife,includingotherpoliticallyrelevantroles,involvesnosocialresponsibilityandcannotbethesourceofanysocialconflicts.
83
This
pointhasseveralconsequences,allstrengtheningtheautonomyofthepoliticalsystem.Notbeingopento"social"influence,thevoterisallthemoreexposedto
immanentpolitical

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influence,presumablybythemechanismsofpublicopinion.Inseekingtoinfluencepoliticalprocesses,thevoterhasachoiceofasmalldegreeofinfluenceatminimum
cost(voting)ormoreinfluenceatgreatcost(voluntaryassociations,petitions,letterstonewspapers,etc.).Giventheseparationofeitherformofinfluencefrom
decisionmaking,Luhmannhasnodoubtthatthefirstoptionwillbechosen,althoughthecontinuedpresenceofthesecondcontributestodemocracy,atleastinthe
senseof"everythingispossible,butIcandonothing."Buteventherestrictedandminimizedinfluenceofthevoterroledistinguishestheindividualfromasubject
(Untertan)ofrulewhoreceivesbutneversendspoliticalcommunications,therebycontributingtolegitimationthroughprocedure.
84
Thesituationisanalogousforconflictorientedcollectiveactorswithspecificinterests.Luhmannadherestotheviewthatelectionsarenotsuitedtotheexpressionof
particularinterests.Becausethoseelectedreceivegeneralizedsupportandarenotboundtoanyconstellationofinterests,electoralprocessescannoteasilyproduce
decisionsforconcreteconflicts.Nevertheless,theydoallowthepoliticalsystemnottosuppressconflictsbuttochannelthem,includingevenradicalprotests,intothe
interiorofthepoliticalpartysubsysteminamanageableform.Heretheadvantageofcompetitiveelectionsoversinglepartyuncontestedelectionsshowsitself.
Unfortunately,multipartysystemswithconflictinglistsdonotsolvetheproblemautomaticallybecauseofthetendencytoundifferentiatedprograms.Thecontinuing
dilemmaofpoliticalpartysubsystemsistoavoidbothreproducingtoomuchsocialconflict(whichwouldthreatenthedifferentiationandstabilityofthepoliticalsystem)
andabsorbingtoomuchconflict(whichcouldmeanthereappearanceofunmanageableconflictoutsidethepoliticalsystem).
85
Characteristically,Luhmanntellsusnexttonothingaboutwhathappensinthecontextofbeingcaughtoneitherofthehornsofthedilemmaoftoomuchortoolittle
conflictinthepoliticalsystem.Itwouldappearthatthelegislatureplaysaroleintheresolutionoftoomuchpoliticalconflict.Here,LuhmannrunsintoCarlSchmitt's
thesisofthefragmentationofsovereigntyandthereductionofparliamenttomereshow.ToLuhmann,thethesisisbasedonthe

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falseassumptionthatopensessionsofparliamenteverwereorshouldbeatthecenterofactualdecisionmaking.Parliament,especiallyitsplenarysession,isand
shouldbe"mereshow,"inthesenseofsymbolicallypresentingtheproductionofdecisionsinaccordancewithourofficialscriptofpolitics.Suchashow(withits
importantfunctionsfordemocracy,inLuhmann'ssense)canhaverelativelylargeroomforpluralinterests,openconflict,andtheselfpresentationofpolitical
personalities.
86
Itis,however,theinformalmechanisms,shieldedandveiledbytheformalprocedure,thatarethestuffoftherealisticscriptofdecisionmaking.While
theparliamentaryprocessasawhole,aseventheclassicaltheoryoffreerepresentationrealized,shouldnotmirrorsocialconflicts,theappearanceofthepartysystem,
atleastintheversionanalyzedbySchmitt,threatenstodojustthis.Luhmannimplicitlyacceptsherethedeclineoftheclassicalprincipleofrepresentation,andhe
admitssomedangersfortheautonomyoftheprocessofdecisionmaking.Inhisownterms,thereisadangerofabottleneckbetweenthepoliticalandthe
administrativesubsystemsofpolitics.
87
Modelsofendlessdiscussionorconflictindicateonlytheproblemratherthanthesolutioninthiscontext.Instead,the
separationofdecisionmakingfromformalparliamentaryprocedureimpliedbyrelianceoninformalandevendeviantmechanisms
88
clearsthepotentialbottleneckand
reducestheinfluenceofpoliticstoitspropermeasure.Therealdecisionmakingoccurselsewherethaninparliamentaryprocedure,althoughtheconversionofpolitical
powerintoazerosumgamebytheformalmechanismsofmajorityruleconsiderablysimplifiestheinteractionsandbargainingprocessesofthosewhoactuallydecide.
Thus,theoldthesisconcerningthecrisisofparliamentarismisresolvedbyLuhmanninawaythatpointstosomethingliketheneocorporatistdualitybetweenpublic
andsecret,formalandinformal,parliamentaryandfunctionalistprocessesofinterestaggregation.Heis,however,perceptiveenoughtorealizethattodaythereisa
newthreattoparliamentarism.Acrisisofparliamentarylegitimacycanresultnotonlyfromtoomanysocietalinputsandtoomuchpartyconflict,butalsofromtoo
muchsocialapathyandtoomuchabsorptionofconflict.Themethodofshieldingthemechanismsofdecisionmakingcanbeoverlysuc

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cessfulthenumberoflogicallypossiblesocialalternativeslosesitslinktotheactuallypossibleifthefeelingthat"Icandonothing"becomesgenerallyandpublicly
thematized.
Inthiscontext,Luhmannpassesupthechancetobuildontheoneelementofgenuinedemocraticlegitimacythatappearsinhispresentation.Inhisconception,itis
aboveallthedramaturgicalelementsofelectionsandparliamentsthathavethefunctionof"informing"theuninformed,ofenergizingtheapathetic,ofsymbolizing
democracyasanopenhorizonofpossibilitysomehowpresentandchargedwithmeaning,evenifdetachedfromthepossibilitiesofaction.Butthisargument,ashe
elsewherenotes,threatenstodedifferentiatepolitics,thistimeinrelationtoartormasscultureandentertainment.Thecitizenissaidtoparticipateinpoliticstothe
extentofbeingabletoidentifywithsomeoftheactorsofthedrama,becomingpartofthepublicinthesenseofaudience(Publikum).
89
Itishard,though,tokeep
theshowgoodorevenentertainingwhenpeoplebegintonoticethatthereisnothingatstake.ThistrainofargumentsoonleadsusbacktowardLuhmann'sconceptof
publicopinion,involvingthecompulsiontoproducenoveltyinthefaceofthepredictableobsolescenceoffashionablethemesandeventhemanipulativeuseofthis
opiniontoproducepseudoevents,pseudocrises,andpseudopersonalities.
Atonepoint,however,Luhmannpointstoanothertypeofphenomenon,andimplicitlytoamodelofthepublicelsewheredenouncedasobsolete.Duringplenary
sessionsofparliament,"one'sgrounds,unlikemotivationsandbackers,havetobepubliclypresentedandexposedtothecriticismofopponents.Thisrestrictsthe
choiceofrepresentablepositions."
90
Luhmanndoesnot,andwebelievecannot,telluswherethiscompulsiontodefendpositions"withthehelpofargumentsand
reasonsfordecisions(ArgumentenundEntscheidungsgrnden)"originates.Somecandidatesforapossibleanswer,suchasapoliticalculturewithbuiltin
standardsofrationality,oralifeworldthathasundergonenormativeaswellascognitivelearning,orapublicsphereorganizedaccordingtothepossibilityofrational
discourseratherthanmerelydramaturgicallyorasanorganofmassculture,areinprincipleexcludedfromhistheory.

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OurpointisnottodenytheempiricalimportanceofLuhmann'sdescriptionofthepoliticalsystem,basedontheprimacyofacoreadministrativesystemcapableof
shieldingitsautonomyandinternalselectionprocessesbytheouterringsofpoliticsandpublics.Rather,itistoregisteranuneasyrelationshipbetweenthetwo
scenariosLuhmannassociateswiththepoliticalsystem,the"realistic"oneandthe"official"one.Thelatter,inordertoplayitsrole,cannotconfineitselftoa
dramaturgicalstatus.Buttoeliminateitsdiscursiveorrationalcomponents,whichrepresent,inLuhmann'softstatedopinion,undesirable(societal)restrictionsonthe
freedom,variability,andpragmaticcasebycasenatureofdecisions,wouldputtheprocedurallegitimacyofthepoliticalorderintojeopardy.
91
2.Luhmannisfullyawarethatanoverextensionofthelogicofthepoliticalsystemwouldbeharmfulforthissystemitself.Histheoryoftheautonomyofthepolitical
systemfromsocietalinputsisnotautomaticallyatheoryofthefreedomofthevarioussocialspheresfrompoliticalpenetration.Adifferentiatedpoliticalsystemis
indeedfarmorepowerfulthanitspredecessorsandhasbothgreaterpossibilitiesandgreaterinterestinintervention.LuhmannundoubtedlyacceptsSchumpeter's
insightthatiftherealisticmodelofdemocracyistoworkatall,caremustbetakenthatpoliticalmechanismsnotbeextendedtotoomuchofsociety.
92
Healsoagrees
thatsuchlimitationmustbeprimarilyaselflimitationofthepoliticalsystem.IncontrasttoSchumpeter'sversionoflegalpositivism,however,heclaimsthatthe
mechanismcanbethatoflegalenactment,whichisnecessarilytheproductofpoliticaldecision.Infact,hedevelopsafunctionaltheoryoffundamentalrightsasforms
ofprotectionagainsttheoverextensionofthepolitical.Suchamove,ifjustifiable,couldhelptodiminishqualmssuchasSchumpeter'sthatpositiveenactmentisnotin
itselfsufficienttolimitpoliticalpower.UnlikeParsons,however,Luhmanndoesnotlocateasocietalcenterofnormativeintegrationandassociationallifeasthecoreof
whatistobeprotectedbytheselflimitationofthepoliticalsystem.
ItisinstructivetocomparetheconceptionsoffundamentalrightsinParsonsandLuhmann.Derivedfromequality,oneofthe

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corevaluesofthe"democraticrevolution,"rightsinParsons'stheoryseemtohavemoretodowiththeinternalstructureofthe"societalcommunity"thanwithits
differentiationfrompolity,economy,orculture.FollowingafamousandinfluentialtextofT.H.Marshall,
93
Parsonsdecomposescitizenshipintocivilandpolitical
rightsandtheirsocialprerequisites.
94
Equalparticipationinthesethreecomponentsdefinesfulladmissiontoormembershipinthatis,citizenshipinthemodern,
democraticsocietalcommunity.
95
Ofcourse,Parsonsunderstandsthedemocraticrevolutionandespeciallyitsothercorevalues,libertyandfraternity,intermsofa
largescaleprocessofdifferentiationbetweensocietalcommunityandpolity.Moreover,theprehistoryofthedemocraticrevolution,especiallyEnglishlegal
developments,alreadyinvolvedatransformationoflawfroman''instrumentofgovernment"toa"mediatinginterface"betweenstateandsociety.Inparticular,the
establishmentof"therightsofEnglishmen"(suchashabeascorpus,fairtrial,andprotectionagainstarbitrarysearches)issaidtoplayanimportantroleinthis
development.
96
Thus,whileParsonsneverbroughttogetherthestrandsofhisargumentaboutrights,itisfairtosaythat,asidefromthefundamentalproblemof
inclusiontowhichhelinkshiswholecitizenshipcomplex,hisconceptionstressesbothdifferentiationandintegration,withcivilrightsplayingamoreobviousrolein
differentiationandpoliticalrightsprovidingfornewformsofintegration("mediation")betweenthespheresofstateandsociety(polityandsocietalcommunity).
ItisstrikingthatLuhmannmakesadeterminedattempttoreducethefunctionoffundamentalrightstothesingledimensionofdifferentiation.
97
Hisstark,"realistic"
conceptionofthemodernpoliticalsystemandofpoliticalpoweraspotentially"totalitarian,"aimingatthepoliticizationofallspheresoflife,underliesthisthesis.
98
And
yetthemodernpoliticalsystemisbornofsocialdifferentiation.Itsmodernitypresupposesdifferentiation,anditsperformanceforothersocietalsubsystemsrequires
economyofpowerresources.
99
Theestablishmentandselfestablishmentoflimitstostatepoweristhusapositivesumgame.Whatevertheactualhistoricaloriginsof
basicrights,
100
neitherthestatenorapurelysocialsphereproducesthemalonetheyrepresentgainsintheautonomyofthenonpoliticalandthepowerofthe
political.
101


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Thelogicalparadoxoflegalpositivismwithrespecttorightsthesupposedimpossibilityoftheselflimitationofpoliticalpowerthroughpoliticalenactmentisthus
sociologicallyresolvable.Fundamentalorconstitutionalrightsarenotrootedinanextrapoliticalorextralegalorderbutarepresuppositionsandproductsofthe
differentiationofsociety.Whiletheyarenottheonlyinstitutionsthatstabilizethisdifferentiation,todayatleasttheyareindispensableforthispurpose.
102
Accordingly,thestructureofrightscannotbededucedfromasingleprinciplesuchas"individualfreedom"or"societyagainstthestate."Norcantheybearranged
accordingtoahierarchy.
103
Thereasonisthatfundamentalrightsconsistofseveralcomplexes,eachofwhichregulatestherelationshipofthepoliticalsystemtoone
oranothersubsystemaccordingtodifferentanduniquestructuralrequirements.Tobeginwith,libertiesorfreedoms(Freiheitsrechte)havetodonotwiththe
autonomyoftheindividualinthestrongsense,butwiththeprotectionoftheindividualpersonality(itselfasubsystempresupposedbytheothersubsystems),whichin
turnishighlydependentonthemaintenanceofconditionsforadequateselfpresentation.Thesedependonthefreedomoftheactorfromvisibleandopenconstraint,in
particularfrombindingdecisions,andonabasicconsistencyofselfpresentation,heredefinedastheessenceofdignity.Withinwhatareordinarilyconsidered
freedoms,Luhmanndistinguishesbetweenrightsoffreedomandofdignity,respectivelyrelatedtotheexternalandinternalpreconditionsofthepresentationofthe
self.
104
Asgoodsthatexistpriortothestate,theyarenotproductsofrightsandareonlyprotectedbythemwithrespecttothepoliticalsystem.Rightsoffreedom,
strictlyspeaking,protectthespaceofindividualactionandexpressionfreedomofspeechinallitsformsseemscentralinthiscontext.Luhmannconsidersthe"rightsof
dignity"tobemoredifficulttodefineandtoestablish,andhenotesacertaintendencyinmany(especiallyliberal)legalsystemstosubsumethemunder
Freiheitsrechte.Nevertheless,heconsiderstheminprinciplequitedistinct,tobeconnectedwiththeprotectionofanintimatespherethatshouldbeseparatedfrom
thatofpublicaction.
105
Socalledfreedomofconscienceisthebestcontemporaryillustrationofthisrequirement.
106
Withoutit,theindi

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viduallosestheresponsibilitytoworkoutforherselfaconsistentandconvincingselfpresentation.
Asinthecaseoffreedom,Luhmannconsiderstheprotectionofdignitybyfundamentalrightstoberelevantonlywhenthethreatcomesfromthestate.
107
Yethe
believesthatthefalsedichotomizationofstateandsocietyleadsonlytothemistakenliberalattempttoderiveallfundamentalrightsfromfreedoms.
108
Henevertheless
feelscompelledtonotetheimportanceofFreiheitsrechteinstabilizingtheothercomplexesofrights,relevanttootherspheresofsociety,allofwhichpresupposethe
possibilityofthefreeselfpresentationofindividualpersonality.Thisseemstobethecaseespeciallyforthesocalledfreedomsofcommunication.Letusnote,in
passing,thatLuhmannalsoconsiderstherightsofpersonalitytobelinkedtoatypeofcommunication,namely,selfexpressioninaformrecognizabletoothersasfree
anddignified.
Inthecaseoftherightsofassembly,association,press,andopinion,however,thecontextchangesfrompersonalitytoculture,fromsubjectivitytointersubjectivity
anditspresuppositions.Asbefore,Luhmannconsidersfundamentalrightstoberelevantprotectionsofcommunicationonlyaslongthesearepotentiallythreatenedby
thestate.
109
Heisnotparticularlysuccessfulinconnectinginaclearcutwayasetofcommunicationfunctions(cultureanditsinternalization,thespecificationofthe
needforconsensus,themobilityofcontacts,andthedeterminationofthethemesofpublicopinion)withaseriesofrights(ofreligionandbelief,ofassociationand
assembly,ofthepress,ofart,ofscientificresearchandteaching,andmanyothersinaneclecticlist).Thepointisneverthelessclearenough:Indifferentways,the
modernstateneeds,yetpotentiallythreatens,amanyleveledframeworkofsocietalcommunicationthatcanbestabilized,inpart,throughfundamentalrights.
Thethreatisstatizationandnotpoliticizationassuch.ForLuhmann,thestate/societydichotomyisamisleadingbasisonwhichtoconstruetherightsofcommunication,
becauseitsupposedlyimpliesthepoliticalneutralizationofnonstatespheres.Politicalproblemsandpoliticalpowerarisenotonlyinthepoliticalsystembutalsoin
frameworksofprotectedsocialcommunication.Thissocietalpowershouldbeabsorbedandprocessedbythe

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politicalsystemratherthaneliminatedthroughstatization.Theunburdeningofthestateisessential,evenatthecostofpoliticalthreatsarisingfromothersocialspheres.
110
Asinthecaseofrightsrelevanttopersonality,here,too,Luhmannclaimsapreeminentstatusforrightsofcommunication.Allsocialsystemsandidentities,including
personality,presupposeprocessesofsocialcommunicationandrequiretheirprotectionvisvisadynamicmodernpoliticalsystem.Economicrightsdonotseemto
havethesamefundamentalimportanceinthispresentation.Whiletheythemselvespresupposefreepersonalityandcommunication,thereverseisnotargued(in
contradistinctiontoliberalandneoliberalclaims).Tobesure,Luhmanndoesalsoopposethederivationoftherightofpropertyandthe"freedom"ofprofessionfrom
Freiheitsrechte.
111
Itisnotpersonsbutrolesandfunctionsthatmustbeprotectedinthecaseoftheeconomy.Onceagain,despitethepossibilityofothersocial
spheres(family,religion,science,etc.)inhibitingeconomicprocesses,Luhmannmaintainsthatfundamentalrightsarerelevantonlywhenthestateisthesourceofthe
threat.Whilethemodernstateandadifferentiatedeconomicorderhavelongbeenpresuppositionsforeachother,
112
thestateasthesourceofbindingdecisions
neverthelesshasatendencytointervenedirectlyineconomicprocesses.Rightsofpropertyandthefreedomsofcontractandprofessionprotectthedifferentiationof
economicprocessesandroles.Theyblocksomeinterventionsnotinthenameofjusticeandinjusticebutinordertoprotecttheeconomyfromuncertaintyand
disorganization.
113
Forthisreason,theserightscanbeandaregenerallymadecompatiblewithformsofinterventionthatincreaseinterdependencewithout
dedifferentiationandwithinterventionsthatincreaseeconomicefficiency.
114
Luhmannstandsapartfromtheclassicalliberalandneoliberalnotionofrights,basedonapolemicalrejectionofstateinterventioninsociety,yethestayswithinthis
traditiontotheextentthatherepeatedlyclaimsthatfundamentalrightsbytheirnature,andnotonlyhistorically,representformsofprotectioninthefaceofthestateor,
inotherwords,formsofselflimitationofthestate.Onereasonforthispreferenceliesinhisdefinitionofrightsasformsofselflimitationbymeansoflegalenactment.
Forthelegalpositivist,

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theonlysourceofsuchenactmentisthestate.Inthepresentcontext,however,thispositionleadstotheparadoxicalconsequencethat,althoughtheprimacyofthe
economyhasreplacedthatofthepoliticalsystem,
115
andinprinciplethehighlyprecariouseconomizationofotherspheresofsociety,includingpolitics,isseenasa
genuinedanger,
116
selflimitationintheformofeconomic"constitutionalism"cannotandshouldnotbeintroduced.
117
InLuhmann'sframework,therearenorights
againsttheeconomy.Thisprejudiceleadshimtorelyevenmoreoninterventionsfromthepoliticalsystemtomanagetherisksofahighlydynamiceconomic
subsystem,apositionnotreallycompatiblewithhisintentiontolimitpoliticalinterventiontoactsdesignedtoimproveinternalfunctioning.Indeed,aswenowknow,
politicalinterventionsofthetypehereadilyaffirmedaslateastheearly1970scouldbecomedysfunctionalfromthelongtermeconomicpointofview,intheprocess
producingadditionalnegativesideeffects.
ThispartiallyselfcontradictoryoutcomeisallthemoreparadoxicalbecauseLuhmanncannotconsistentlyrestrictthenotionoffundamentalrightstoselflimitationsof
thestateincontextswherethepoliticalsystemrepresentsthemajorsourceofrisksforothersubsystems.Acaseinpointispoliticalrights,whichforParsons
representedmediatingandintegratingprinciplesprimarily.Eschewingthisinterpretation,Luhmannsaveshisgeneralconceptionbasedondifferentiationbyreversinghis
perspective.Politicalrightssuchassuffrage,thesecretballot,aswellastherightsofpoliticalassociations(parties)andofelectedofficialsrepresentforLuhmann,
howeverparadoxically,formsofprotectionofthepoliticalsubsystemagainstexternal(includingeconomic!)pressures.Theyareultimatelymechanismsofselectivity
uncouplingandinsulatingthehighestinstanceofproducingbindingdecisions,namely,theadministration.
118
WehavealreadyseenthistrainofthoughtinLuhmann's
politicalsociology.Hisstressisonpreservingelectionsasthenarrowestpossiblechannelthroughwhichsocietalconflict,communication,andinfluencecanenterthe
politicalsystemfromoutsideandentertheadministrativesubsystemfromthepublicandpoliticalsubsystemsofthepoliticalsystem.While,incomparisontoSoviet
typesystems,
119
heseemstonotetheroleofpoliticalrightsinprotectingsocietyfromover

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politicizationandthepoliticalsubsystemfromoverbureaucratization,hisemphasisinrelationtotheWesternliberaldemocraciesisentirelyonshieldingthepoliticaland
theadministrative.Indeed,inthiscontexttheprotectionofelectoralandpublicpoliticalprocedurehasitspointonlyinthelegitimationofthedecisionsofan
administration,whicharearrivedatthroughwhollyinternalanduncontrolledprocedures.
120
Luhmann'saffirmationofpoliticalrightsastheselfprotectionofthepoliticalsphereratherthanitsselflimitationwithrespecttoothersocialspheresisnotonly
inconsistentwithhisconceptionasawholebutalsoastatistaspectofhisdoctrineofrights.Thisstressisonlypartiallyexplainedbythelegalpositivistsearchtofind
adequatepoliticalmotivationfortheselflimitationofthepoliticalsystemthroughlegal(includingconstitutional)enactments.Theideathatpoliticalrightsaretheself
protectionofthepoliticalonceagainhelpsLuhmanndemonstratetheinadequacyofamodelofrightsderivedfromtheideaofdefendingsocietyagainstthestate.For
eachcomplexofrights,hehasusedboththeideaofthedifferentiationofthespherestobeprotectedandtheideaof"interdependentindependence"tocriticizethe
rigidlydualisticmodelofsocietyandstate.Differentiationinhismodelofrightsworksinitiallythroughpoliticallegalenactment,itselfaformofinterdependence.Nor
doesdifferentiation,aswehaveseeninthecaseofeconomicrights,excludethepossibilityofnewinterrelationships.Here,however,theseconsiderationsdonotlead
Luhmanntoclaimthecompleteobsolescenceofthestate/societydichotomy.Instead,hearguesforitspreservationthroughgeneralizationinaconceptionofsystems
communicatingwithoneanother.
121
Thisnewmodelisnotdesignedtosavetheconceptionofcivilsociety.Onthecontrary.Luhmannseeksinparticulartodecomposetheideaofasphereinwhich
mutuallyreinforcingandstabilizingnormativestructures,formsofassociation,andpubliccommunicationconfrontthemodernstateandthemoderneconomy.Tobe
sure,hishintthattherightsofpersonalityandofcommunicationrepresenteachother'spresuppositionsonthedeepestlevelcutsthroughhisframeworkofrigid
differentiation.Personalityandcommunicationarepresentedinsomecontexts(evenifvaguely)aseachother'sfoundation,notaslogically

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separatealbeitinterdependentsystems.ButLuhmanndoesnotdevelopthisinsight,althoughitcouldhaveservedasthefoundationforadeepertheoryofrights.For
him,fundamentalrightsdifferentiateandprotectdifferentiatedsystemstheydonothavetheirgroundandjustificationinasingleunifiedframeworkthat,together,they
helptoestablishaswellasdifferentiate.
Anexception,perhaps,isthelegalsystemitself.Whateverelserightshelptodifferentiate,theirabilitytofunctionatallseemstodependonthedifferentiationofa
systemofproceduresinwhichtheycanbeautonomouslyinterpretedandapplied,andperhapsevenenacted.
122
Ifrightsaretodefenddifferentiationfromthe
politicalsystem,itwouldseemthattheythemselvesmustbedifferentiatedfromthissystem.AndLuhmanndoesinfactattempttotreat(increasingly,ashislegal
sociologyisdeveloped)thelegalsystemasadifferentiatedsubsystemofsociety.Rights,whichforhimarelegalinstitutionslikeanyother,albeitwithspecificfunctions,
belongtothissubsystem.SinceLuhmannconsiderslawtobefundamentallylinkedtoanormativestyleofexpectation,wemightassumethatthelegalsubsystemitself
representsadifferentiatedresidueoftheconceptionofcivilsocietyconstructedinpartaroundsharedfundamentalnormativestructures.Inourview,however,and
probablyinhisown,Luhmann'sintendedbreakwiththeconceptofcivilsocietyistooradicaltoallowsuchaninterpretation.Thequestioniswhetherhecanworkout
anadequateandconsistenttheoryofthelegalsystem,asdifferentiatedfromthepolitical,inthecontextofhisradicalcampaignagainstcivilsociety.
ThereevaluationoftheproblemofnormsinLuhmann'slegalsociology,andtherestorationofacentralplacefornormsinhissociologicalanalysis,isstriking,givenhis
previouspolemicagainstthetheoryofnormativeintegrationinDurkheimandParsons.Thispolemicisnowonlypartiallymitigated.Hearguesthatnormsareimportant
inthesocialstructure,buttoconstruethemasidenticaltothatstructureistomisunderstandtheirplace.
123
Norshouldnormandinstitutionbeconsideredsynonymous:
Notallinstitutionsembodynorms,andnotallnormsareinstitutionalized.Finally,itiswrongtoassumethatthenormativeintegrationofsocietyisbasedoncommon
andsharednorms.Inalldifferentiatedsocieties,normsarecontestedandrepresentimportantstakesof

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conflict.
124
Inthistheory,legalnorms,representingonlyasmallportionofnormativephenomena,
125
playacrucialroleinmanagingandstabilizingnormativeconflict
ratherthanexpressing,symbolizing,andreaffirmingnormativeorder.
AccordingtoLuhmann,normsare"counterfactuallystabilizedbehavioralexpectations."
126
Lawsareinstitutionalizednorms,stabilizedintermsofprocedures,
whosestructureofexpectationsisguardedfromandrestoredafterdisappointmentsbysanctions.
127
Thesedefinitionsrestondetailedtheoreticalconsiderationsthat
canonlybeoutlinedhere.Inthecontextofcomplexityandcontingency,socialactioncanbecoordinatedonlythroughstructuresofcomplementaryexpectationsand
mechanismscapableofdealingwithdisappointment.
128
ForLuhmann,"internal"expectationsbyindividualsabouttheactionsofothersgenerallyreplacecoordination
throughactualcommunication,whichisunderstoodasatimeintensiveandthereforescarceresource,onebestreservedforafewopen,unsettledcontexts,generally
conflicts.
129
Expectation,however,asaresponsetothecontingencyoftheother'sactions,isputatriskbythefactthattheotheristhesameastheselfandhasits
ownexpectations.Thisleadspotentiallytodoublecontingency:Eachcanbedisappointedbytheother.Thecoordinationofsocialactionisthereforepossibleonlyif
theexpectationsofexpectationsarestabilized.
130
InLuhmann'slargelysilentsociety,therearetwoandonlytwobasicstylesofexpectation:thecognitivestyle,whichiscapableoflearningandalteringexpectationsin
thefaceofdisappointments,andthenormativestyle,whichinvolvesinabilityor,rather,unwillingnesstolearn.Whatistypicallyconsideredtobeanecessaryyetvery
precariousformforprojectingselfidentityinthecaseoftheindividualpsyche(notlearningasinvolvingimmunereactionsborderingonthepathological)becomes,in
thecaseofnormativeexpectations,asociallystabilizedandguaranteedstructure.
131
Forbothpsychologicalprojectionandsocialnorm,themaingoalistostabilizean
identityrelatedstructureofexpectationratherthantosecureempiricalcompliance.Butwhiletheoriginandoperationofpsychicalprojectioncanbeentirelyinternalto
theindividual,Luhmannisabletopointtogenuinelyexternal,socialmechanismsforstabilizingandreproducingnorms.

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Luhmann'streatmentoftheproblemoforiginsisinadequate.Theonlysocialprocessofnormcreationtowhichhecanpointactualcommunicationandcomingtoan
understandingtocreateoralterrulesanddefinedevianceheconsidersexceptional,characteristiconlyofsmallscalesocialsystems.Indeed,thevalidityofnorms
supposedlydependsontheimpossibilityofactualcommunicationconcerningthem,oratleastconcerningallofthemwithinthesametimehorizon.
132
Thedifferentiationofsocietyinvolvesanincreasingdifferentiationofthenormativeandcognitivestylesofexpectation.Intheirpureform,eachisopentonewrisks:the
riskofahardeningofsocialidentitiesinonecase,thoseofacompletelycontingent,andthereforeunbearable,futureintheother.Themainresponseinmodernsociety
isnotdedifferentiationbutcombinationsinvolving"contraryordering,"asallowedbythereflexivestructureoftheexpectationofexpectations.Inparticular,onecan
cognitivelyexpectanormativeexpectationandnormativelyexpectacognitiveexpectation.
133
Theformercombination,thecognitiveexpectationofthenormative,has
keyimportanceforLuhmann'slegaltheory.
Normsbecomelawsonlyifinstitutionalizedintermsofsanctionsandprocedures.Institutionbuildingplaysacrucialroleinmanagingnormativeconflict.Luhmann
definesinstitutionalizationbythepossibilityofbasingexpectationson"thepresupposedexpectationsofexpectationsonthepartofathirdparty."
134
Differentfrom
externalobservers,thirdpartiesarepotentiallycoexperiencingandcoexpecting,albeitunknownandanonymous,membersofthesamefabricofinteraction.Therole
ofthejudgecrystallizeshistoricallyaroundthefigureofthethirdparty.ForLuhmann,institutions,likenorms,donotdependonactualcommunicationorconsensus.
Actualconsensusbeingscarce,institutionalizationusesiteconomically.Insteadofcreatingorpresupposingconsensus,institutionsinvolveabetteruseofthesmall
amountavailable,distributingittorelevantareas.Fortheirownfunctioning,institutionsonlyneedananticipationofconsensus,withrelevantthirdparties,inthe
expectationofexpectations,apresumptionthatisrarelytested.
135
Whileempiricallythereislittletoobjecttointhisconception,weagainnoteLuhmann'srepeated
inabilitytolinkthemechanismsofrealcommunicationandconsensusbuilding,which

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hecannottotallyneglect,tohisothermechanismsofstabilization,oreventoassignanyotherreasonfortheirexistencethantheimplicitonethatsomeactualconsensus
isneededtomakeplausibletheanticipation,or"successfuloverestimation,"ofconsensus.
Inthecaseoflegalnormsasinstitutions,theactualmechanismsneededtostabilizeexpectationsaresanctionsandprocedures.Theimportanceofsanctionsliesnotin
theirsecondarytaskofmotivatingcompliancebutinthepossibilityofrelieffromdisappointmentthroughasymbolicrestitutionofthenorm.Indevelopedsocieties,
accordingtoLuhmann,sanctionsaretheonlywayofdemonstrating"thepresumedconsensusofthirdparties."Occasionalcoercionthussymbolizesanticipated
consensusandcanthereforereplacefactualconsensusinLuhmann'smodeloflaw.Inthismodel,though,thecontinuousfunctioningoflawisnotbasedprimarilyon
coercion,aninstrumentthatwouldbecomebluntedbyitsveryuse.Thereisaneedtorepresentcontinuitythroughamechanismthatisentirelypresentandyetcanbe
presumedtoexistbeyondthecurrentcommunityofparticipants.Differentiatedproceduresplaythisroleandthushavepriorityintheinstitutionalizationoflaw.
136

Proceduresarebetterthansanctionsforsymbolizingcontinuitybecausetheycanrefocusconcernfrom(increasinglylesslikely)agreementsaboutoutcomestomutual,
ifonlyimplicit,acceptanceofanabstractframeworkfordeterminingpossibleoutcomes.
137
Proceduresarethecentralpresuppositionfortheemergenceofpositivelaw.Notonlyaretheytheonlymechanismavailablefortheoperationofthenewlevelof
reflexivityinvolvedinthe"normativeregulationofthecreationofnorms,"
138
theyarethe(quasi)medium
139
aroundwhichthedifferentiationoflawfromreligion,
morality,andscientifictruthbecomespossible.AccordingtoLuhmann,thecentralpremiseofpositivelawisproductionandalterabilitythroughenactment,thatis,
throughprocedurallycorrectdecision.Thiscanbeputtwowaysonelegal,theotherpoliticalthatindicatereflexivity:Normsregulatethemakingofnorms,and
decisionsregulatethemakingofdecisions.Thenormsthatguidethemakingofnorms,suchastheconstitution,areasetofnormslikeanyother.Soarethedecisions
thatregulatedecisionmaking.Positivelawmeansrejectingthepossibilityofextralegal

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sourcesoflawandevenofahierarchyoflegallevels.Nevertheless,itwouldbeamistaketointerpretthepositivityoflawasmeaningthatnormativelyvaliddecisions
aretheonlysourceoflaw.Norms,evenpotentiallylegalnorms,emergefromallspheresofsociety.Legislationinvolvesaprocessofmakingaselectionfromwhatis
projectedfromelsewhereaspotentiallawandthenvalidatingthatselectionaslaw.Onlywhatpassesthroughtheproceduralfilteroflegislationbecomesvalidlawin
thismodel.
140
Luhmann'streatment,unlikesomeotherversionsoflegalpositivism,leavesroomforsourcesoflawcreationotherthanlegislativeenactment.Whilehethereby
preparesthewayforreconcilinghistoricalandpositivejurisprudence,hedoessoinanundifferentiatedwayatbothpoles.First,hedoesnotdistinguishbetweenactive
andpassivesocietalsourcesoflawcreation.Thisisconnectedwithhisfocusonisolatedsubsystemsandatheoreticallyanchorless,nondescripteverydayliferather
than,inthemannerofParsons,anorganizedsocialsphereinwhichcultureandassociationsintersect.Whilehenotesthatpatternsorinstitutionsinanysphereof
societycanbeturnedintolegalnorms,hedoesnotnotethedifferencebetweensocialnormsandsocialfactsraisedtotheleveloflegalvalidity.Thus,hebypassesthe
questionofwhethernormativeasagainstlegalvaliditycanbeproducedapartfromlegislationandwhether,therefore,thelegislativeprocessinthecaseofvalidnorms
isasourceofahighervalidityoronlyofaformofbindingandpossiblyuniversalization.Mostimportantly,hedoesnotraisethequestionofwhetherornotaspecial
roleisplayed,asasourceofnormsforthelegalsystem,bytheprocessesofnormcreationthroughcomingtoanunderstandingthathehasdescribed.
Second,hisframeworkexpressesuncertainty,similartothatofthetraditionoflegalpositivismtakenasawhole,concerningthelegalasagainstthepoliticalcharacter
ofpositivelaw.Theissueiswhetherornotthemakingandoperationofpositivelawarefunctionsofthepoliticalsubsystem,inawayrecallingtheincorporationof
otherdimensionsandmediationsofcivilsocietyintothissubsystem.Inearlywritingsonthistopic(1967),Luhmanntendedsimplytoaffirmthatthepoliticalsubsystem
supportsandadministersthemechanismsofpositivelaw.
141
Later(1976),withthedifferentiationandautonomyofthelegalsubsystemalready

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affirmed,Luhmannwasstillconstrainedtopointtotheoverlapoftheinstitutionsandeventsofthetwosubsystemsandtonotethedifficultiesforlawmakinginherentin
legislationbyapoliticalbody,theparliament.
142
Indeed,thisoverlapgoessofarthattheinstitutionsofmaking,applying,andexecutinglawturnouttobethethree
branches(legislative,executive,andjudicial)ofthecentral,administrative,decisionmakingsubsystemofpolitics.
143
Thus,hisassertionoftheautonomyofthelegal
systemhassomedifficultyinovercominghisother,earlierdepictionaccordingtowhichpositivelawis''state"lawwhose"destinyisboundupwiththatofthepolitical
systemofsociety."
144
Luhmanndoesspeakofdifferentselectivity
145
and,later,ofdifferentconnections,linkages,andexclusions
146
ofthetwosystems,legalandpolitical,eveninthecase
ofsharedinstitutionsandevents.Onemightargue,althoughhedoesnot,thatlegislativedecisionmakingselectsnormsforlegalization,whereaslegislativeprocedures
endowlawswiththestructureofvalidity.Finally,asinLuhmann'srecentconceptionoflawasanautopoieticsystem,onemightconsiderlawtobenormativelyclosed
whilecognitivelyopen.Thefirstofthesedimensionswouldyieldlegalautonomyandselfreproduction,whilethesecondwouldprovideforopennesstothepolitical
systeminwhichlearningtakesplace.
147
Thereasonwhynoneofthesestrategieswillsucceedinprovidingforthedifferentiationandautonomyofthelegalsystemlies
deepinLuhmann'sconceptionofpositivelawandtheshiftcontainedthereintowardacognitivestyleofexpectation.
Positivelawishereunderstoodasasystemofnormsthatcomesintobeingthroughdecisionandcanbechangedthroughdecision.Wefindintheprocessesoflawpositing
decisionsprimarilyacognitivelearning,determinedbygoals,onehardlystructuredbynorms....Correspondinglythoseaffectedbylawmustconstantlylearnthechangesinthe
law,whetherornottheyaredisappointed.Theywillhavetotakeaprimarilycognitiveattitudetolaw.
148
Whatisinvolvedhereisnotasimpleshiftfromanormativetoacognitivestyleofexpectationbutashifttoacombination("contraryordering")inwhichwecognitively
expectanormativestyleofexpectation.Positivelawcanadoptthisstructurebecauseofthedifferentiationoflegalproceduresandroles.Inthecontextofthe

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generalalterabilityofalllegalnorms,includingconstitutionalones,thenaturalattitudeisthatoflearning.Butpositivelaw,inordertoremainlawatall,mustpreserveits
normativefunctionwithinalterability.Inprinciple,thisispossibleaslongasstructuresarenotproblematizedinthesituationstheystructureandaslongasthese
situationsaredifferentiatedfromothersinwhichthesamestructuresarequestionedandperhapschanged.
149
Itisjudicialprocedureandtheroleofthejudgethat
institutionalizesanormativeattitudetostructureswithinasystemofpositivelaw.Ofcourse,giventheobviousalterabilityoflaw,evenjudgesmust"learnnottolearn."
Whileitisthetaskofthelegislatortoprocessdisappointments,tocorrectexpectations,andtotakeresponsibilityforfailuretolearn,thejudgeisordinarilydetermined
nottolearnfromthelawbreakerandlearnshownottolearninthefaceofinfringednorms.
150
Onemechanismforthisinthecourtroom,paradoxically,isthe
techniqueofconvertingconflictsaboutnormsintoconflictsaboutfacts,normativestakesintocognitiveones.Inthisway,judgesneedneverexposetheirownnormsto
criticalquestioningandneednotlearnfromthosewhohavedisappointedtheirexpectationsbecauseofalternativenormativeexpectations.
151
Canasystemthatcombinesnormativeandcognitiveexpectationsstillbedescribedasprimarilynormative?Luhmanndoesnotaskthisquestion,buthedoesindirectly
answerit.Heintroducestheproblemoflegitimacyasawayofdealingwiththebindingcharacterofthelegalsystemasawhole.Here,too,theissueisthecombination
oflearningandnonlearning,ofcognitiveandnormativeexpectation.Boththosewhomakeandthosewhoareaffectedbydecisionsavoidlearninginthecontextof
legalcontingencyonlyattheirperil.Legitimacyinthiscontextisdefinedbythepossibilityofassuming"thatanythirdpartiesexpectnormativelythatthedirectly
affectedpersonscognitivelypreparethemselvesforwhatthedecisionmakerscommunicateasnormativeexpectations."
152
Anassumptionisacognitiveexpectation.
Legitimacyisacircleofcognitiveexpectationsinwhichonlythirdpartiesjudgesareexpectedtoexpectnormatively,andeventheirnormativeexpectationof
othersisonlythattheywillcognitivelyadapttothejudges'normativeexpectation.NowonderthatLuhmann,almostuniquelyinthesociologicalliterature,considers
physicalforcetobean

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essentiallegitimatingfactor,
153
mostlikelybecauseitisthebasisofthejudges'oftenmistakenbutnotthereforeabandonedexpectationthatpotentiallawbreakerswill
cognitivelyadapt.Thestructureofthelawinthisconceptionrestsonlyonattitudesofcognitiveexpectationandthelearnedfalseconsciousnessofjudges.
Withallthissaid,theideaoflawasanautopoietic,normativelyclosed,andcognitivelyopensystemseemstobemerelyaverbalsolutiontotheproblem,oratbesta
normativedesideratumforthereconstructionoflaw.ItishardtoseehowLuhmannactuallyconjoinsthetwopremisesthat"theremaybepoliticalcontrolof
legislation,butonlythelawcanchangelaw."
154
Evenifitisinsertionintothelegalsystem,withitsowninternalrequirements,thatturnslegislationintolaw,anormative
attitudeofexpectationwouldbesavedonlyasacharacteristicofapurelyintellectualsystemincapableofperformingfunctionsfortherestofsociety,asidefrom
motivatingthefunctionallynecessaryfalseconsciousnessofjudges.Becausehehasneverfoundanintegratingmediumforlawcomparabletomoneyorpower,
Luhmann'sclaimsforboundarymaintaining,selfproductiveautonomysoundratherhollow.Thus,whilethecognitivelyopendimensionoflawwouldremainrootedin
thepoliticalsystem,whichinturnisnotopeneduptothenormativeinputsoflaw,itsnormativelycloseddimensionwouldbesuspendedwithoutsocialfoundations,or
atbestbecomeoneoftheclosedrulesystemsestablishedandinstitutionalizedintheculturalspherealone.Sucharetheconsequencesofabandoningtheconstitutive
linksoflawtoaframeworkofsocietalaction,association,andcommunicationandoftheonesidedacceptanceoftheprivilegedrelationoflawtothepoliticalsystem,
adeficiencybalancedonlypartiallybytheaffirmationoftheheterogeneoussocietalsourcesofnormcreation.
DespiteLuhmann'sselfunderstanding,theideaoflawasanautopoieticsystemmaybeanormativedesideratumborninacontextcharacterizedbyincreasingdoubts
aboutwelfarestateinterventionsintosociety,whichseemstoinvolvealossoflegalformalityandautonomy.Butevenasaprojectofreconstruction,theideaofthe
autonomyoflawfrompoliticsrequiresanindependentinstitutionalcontextonwhichlawcanrely,withoutthedangersofanalternative(e.g.,economic)
instrumentalization.

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ThisinsightcallsnotonlyforanotionofcivilsocietybutalsoforitsreconstructionintermsotherthanthatofasubsystemofsocietyinthemanneroftheParsonian
societalcommunity.ItisinthecontextofsuchareconstructionthatLuhmann'snotionofautopoiesisfirstbecomesserviceableforapostinterventionistmodelofthe
relationsofthepoliticalsystemtotheotherspheresofsociety.

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III
THERECONSTRUCTIONOFCIVILSOCIETY

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8
DiscourseEthicsandCivilSociety
Wehavebeforeustwotheoreticaltopoi:moderncivilsocietyanddiscourseethics.Thefirstevokesthethemeofclassicalliberalism:Theterm"civilsociety"today
callstomindrightstoprivacy,property,publicity(freespeechandassociation),andequalitybeforethelaw.Thesecond,withitsemphasisontheequalparticipation
ofeveryoneconcernedinpublicdiscussionsofcontestedpoliticalnorms,obviouslyreferstotheprinciplesofdemocracy.Thecurrentvogueinpoliticaltheoryis(once
again)toviewliberalismanddemocracyasfundamentallyantithetical.Defendersofthecoretenetsofclassicalliberalismtendtoseedemocracy,withitsemphasison
majorityruleandparticipation,aseitherillusoryor,evenworse,dangeroustoexistingliberties,unlesssuitablycontrolledorrestricted.
1
Advocatesofdirectorradical
democracy,ontheotherhand,havecometostigmatizetheliberaltraditionitselfasthemainimpedimenttoachievingaparticipatorydemocraticsociety.
2

Nevertheless,wecontendthattheplausibilityofeachdependsonitsintimateconceptualandnormativerelationwiththeother.Evenmore,weassumethatthedefense
andexpansionofacquiredlibertiesrestsonthefurtherdemocratizationoftheinstitutionsofmoderncivilsocietyandontheirachievementofgreaterinfluenceoverthe
polity.Weshalldemonstratethisthesisbyexploringtheconceptsofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightsintheframeworkofthetheoryofdiscourseethicsandby
establishingtheconnectionofbothtoacoherentconceptionofamodern,andpotentiallydemocratic,civilsociety.

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Fortunately,wearenotspeakinginavoid.TheconnectionbetweenthetwoprincipleshasbeenmadebymanycontemporarycollectiveactorsintheWestandinthe
Eastwhohaveputtheprojectofthedefenseand/ordemocratizationofcivilsocietyontheirpoliticalagendas.
3
By"civilsociety,"theseactorshaveinminda
normativemodelofasocietalrealmdifferentfromthestateandtheeconomyandhavingthefollowingcomponents:(1)Plurality:families,informalgroups,and
voluntaryassociationswhosepluralityandautonomyallowforavarietyofformsoflife(2)Publicity:institutionsofcultureandcommunication(3)Privacy:adomain
ofindividualselfdevelopmentandmoralchoiceand(4)Legality:structuresofgenerallawsandbasicrightsneededtodemarcateplurality,privacy,andpublicity
fromatleastthestateand,tendentially,theeconomy.Together,thesestructuressecuretheinstitutionalexistenceofamoderndifferentiatedcivilsociety.
Therediscoveryofthekeycomponentsofcivilsocietybycontemporarycollectiveactors,however,doesnotinitselfimplyitsnormativejustification.Theprojectsof
socialmovementsarehardlyselfvalidating.Furthermore,thenormativeidealsofcivilsocietyarenotwithouttheircritics.Aswehaveseen,HannahArendtand
MichelFoucaulthaveeachmadepowerfulargumentsattackingtheseclaims.
4
ForArendt,thedifferentiationofasocialrealmdistinctfromthestatewasthebeginning
ofafatefuldepoliticizationofsociety,leadingtothecollapseoftheboundarybetweenpublicandprivateandtheemergenceofbothmasssocietyandtotalitarianism.
ForFoucault,theverynormsofcivilsocietyconstitutedonlythevisiblesupportoflessobvioussocialdisciplinesandmicrotechnologiesthatcombineintoanewand
seamlesssystemofbondage.Weshouldremember,too,thattheyoungMarx,theforerunneroftheseviews,producedpowerfulargumentsforequatingcivilwith
bourgeoissocietyandtheseparationofstateandsocietywithpoliticalalienation.
5
Iftheseandothercriticsofthenormsofcivilsocietyaretobeanswered,itmustbe
onthebasisofanew,comprehensive,andjustifiablepracticalpoliticalphilosophy.Itisourcontentionthatdiscourseethics,suitablyreinterpreted,isthebestcandidate
toaccomplishthistask.
Admittedly,thetheoryofdiscourseethicsalsohasitsdifficulties.First,thereissomequestionwhetheritsdomainofapplicationis

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morality,politics,orboth.Second,ithasbeenarguedthatthetheoryhasauthoritarianimplications.Third,itisuncertainwhetherdiscourseethicscanmakegenuine
universalclaimswithoutprescribingaparticularformoflife.Finally,therelationofdiscourseethicstodemocraticandliberalinstitutionshasneverbeensatisfactorily
elaborated.
Wehopetoshowthatitispossibletoarticulateplausibleresponsestoalloftheseissues.Weshalldosoinfivesteps.BeginningwithadiscussionofHabermas'smost
detailedversionofdiscourseethics,wefirstconsidertheproperobjectdomainofthetheory.Wethenarguethat,whensuitablyreinterpreted,discourseethicsavoids
authoritarianimplications.Inordertomakethispoint,wereplace"generalizableinterests"with"rationalcollectiveidentity"asthelegitimatesubstantivereferentof
formaldiscursiveprocedures.Next,wefocusontherelationshipofdiscourseethicstoconcreteformsoflife(Sittlichkeit).Wegoontoarguethatwhilenosingle
modelofthegoodlifefollowsfromdiscourseethics,thisneednotmeananinsolubleinstitutionaldefectforthetheory.Itisinthiscontextthatthecategoryofcivil
societyallowsustobringtogetherapluralityofformsoflifewithapoliticalmodelthatimpliestheinstitutionalizationofdiscourses.Specifically,welinkdiscourseethics
andmoderncivilsocietythroughthecategoriesofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrights.Finally,weshalltrytoshowthatourreinterpretationofdiscourseethicshas
theutopianhorizonofwhatweshallcalla"pluralityofdemocracies."
TheObjectDomainofDiscourseEthics
Thebasicframeworkofdiscourseethicsconsistsoftwodimensions.
6
Thefirstspecifiestheconditionsofpossibilityforcomingtolegitimaterationalagreementthe
secondspecifiesthepossiblecontents(onaformallevel)ofsuchanagreement.
7
Alegitimateorrationalprocedureforcomingtoanagreementhasbeendefinedby
Habermasasthemetanormthatprescribestheonlyvalidprocedureforgroundingorjustifyingnormsofaction.
8
Nonormisassumedfromtheoutsettobevalid
onlytheprocedureforvalidatingnormscanmakesuchaclaimlegitimate.AccordingtoHabermas,anormofactionhasvalidityonlyifallthosepossiblyaffectedbyit

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(andbythesideeffectsofitsapplication)would,asparticipantsinapracticaldiscourse,arriveata(rationallymotivated)agreementthatsuchanormshouldcomeinto
orremaininforce.
9
Whatistobeunderstoodasrationallymotivatedagreement,however,hasratherdemandingpreconditions.Inorderthatallthoseaffectedhave
an"effectiveequalityofchancestoassumedialogueroles,"theremustbeamutualandreciprocalrecognition,withoutconstraint,ofeachbyallasautonomous,rational
subjectswhoseclaimswillbeacknowledgedifsupportedbyvalidarguments.
10
But,inorderthatthedialoguebecapableofproducingvalidresults,itmustbeafully
publiccommunicativeprocessunconstrainedbypoliticaloreconomicforce.Itmustalsobepublicintermsofaccess:Anyonecapableofspeechandaction,whois
potentiallyaffectedbythenormsunderdispute,mustbeabletoparticipateinthediscussiononequalterms.Furthermore,theparticipantsmustbecapableofaltering
thelevelofdiscourseinordertobeinapositiontochallengetraditionalnormsthatmaybetacitlypresupposed.
11
Inotherwords,nothingcanorshouldbetaboofor
rationaldiscoursenotthepreservesofpower,wealth,tradition,orauthority.Inshort,theproceduralprinciplesunderlyingthepossibilityofarrivingatarational
consensusonthevalidityofanorminvolvesymmetry,reciprocity,andeflexivity.
12
Thesefeaturesconstitutean"idealspeechsituation,"inwhichthevalidityclaimsimplicitlyraisedinanyactofcommunicationcanbediscursivelyredeemed.Itshould
bestatedattheoutset,however,thatatheoryoflegitimacyshouldnotbeconfusedwithatheoryoforganization.Ifweviewthemuchdisputedconceptof"ideal
speechsituation"asasetofcriteria(metanorms)thatenableonetodistinguishbetweenlegitimateandillegitimatenorms,wecanavoidtheconfusioncausedby
interpretationsthatidentifytheformalrulesofargumentivespeechordiscourseasaconcreteutopia.The"idealspeechsituation"referssolelytotherulesparticipants
wouldhavetofollowiftheyweretostriveforanagreementmotivatedbytheforceofthebetterargumentalone.Iftheseconditionsarenotmetif,forexample,
actorsinadebatedonothaveequalchancestospeakortochallengeassumptionsiftheyaresubjecttoforceormanipulationthenparticipantsarenottakingall
otherargumentsseriouslyasargumentsandhencetheyarenotreallyengaginginargumentativespeech.

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Clearly,notallprocessesofcomingtoanagreementsatisfysuchconditions.Habermas(andKarlOttoApel)repeatedlydistinguishbetween"rational"and"empirical"
consensus.Mostprocessesofconsensusformationare"onlyempirical."
13
Thenormsofdiscoursethatarethesourceofvalidityarenotproducedbyagreements
rather,theyaretheconditionsofpossibilityofvalidagreements.Theresultsofactualagreementscarrynormativevalidityonlytotheextentthattheyareconsistentwith
themetanorms.Ontheotherhand,andsomethinkparadoxically,Habermasinsistsonanactualratherthanavirtualdialoguebecauseonlyanactuallycarriedout
discourseallowsanexchangeofrolesofeachwitheveryactorandhenceagenuineuniversalizationofperspectivethatexcludesnoone.
14
Hetherebydistinguishes
himselffromallapproachesthatassumeagreementtofollowfrommonologicallyattainabletruthaswellasfrommosttraditionsofcontracttheory(whichpostulatea
discursivemodelonlyintermsofamythoforigins).Onlyanactual,practicaldiscoursecooperativelyengagedinbyallparticipantspotentiallyaffectedbythenorm
underdiscussioncanleadtoarationalconsensusonitsvalidity,foronlyundersuchconditionscanweknowthatwe,together,andnotprivately,areconvincedabout
something.Themetanormsofdiscourseethicsarethuspeculiarinthesensethattheirnormativeimplicationsareavailableonlyincontextsofactualdialogue.
Accordingly,HabermashasreformulatedtheKantiancategoricalimperativealonglinescompatiblewiththeproceduralrulesofargument:"Insteadofprescribingtoall
othersasvalidamaximthatIwilltobegenerallaw,Ihavetooffermymaximtoeveryonewiththeaimofdiscursivelytestingitsclaimtouniversalizability.The
emphasisshiftsfromwhateachcanwillwithoutcontradictiontobeagenerallaw,towhatallcanwillinagreementtobeauniversalnorm."
15
Theideaofarationalconsensus,however,involvesmorethantheactualparticipationofeveryaffectedpersonintherelevantdiscussion.Inadditiontoaprocessof
consensualwillformation,ourassertionthatanormislegitimatemeansthatweholdittoberightandnotmerelyconformabletoourcollectivewill.Habermasinsists
thatdiscourseethics,likeallcognitivistethics,assumesthatclaimstonormativevalidityhavecognitivemeaningandcanbehandled,

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withcertainadjustments,likecognitivetruthclaims.
16
Thefactualrecognitionofanormbyacommunitymerelyindicatesthatthenormcouldbevalid.Itsvaliditycan
beascertainedonlyifwemakeuseofa''bridgeprinciple"thatestablishesaconnectionbetweentheprocessofwillformationandthecriteriaforjudgingthe
acceptabilityofaparticularnorm.TheUnparteilichkeitofjudgmentmustcomplementtheUnbeinflussbarkeitofcollectivewillformation.
17
Inelaboratingthissecondaspectofdiscourseethics,Habermasaddressesthedimensionofcontentalludedtoabove.Thisbringsustothesecondaspectofdiscourse
ethics:theformalcontentofagreements.Habermasmaintainsthatinordertobeobjective(unparteilich),rational,andlegitimate,normsofactionuponwhichwe
agreemustexpressageneralizableinterest:
18
Everyvalidnormmustsatisfythefollowingcondition"Allaffectedcanaccepttheconsequencesandthesideeffectsthat
itsgeneralobservancecanbeanticipatedtohaveforthesatisfactionofeveryone'sinterests(andtheseconsequencesarepreferredtothoseofalternativepossibilities
forregulation)."
19
This"principleofuniversalization"requiresactualdiscoursesifthoseaffectedaretobeabletodiscernwhatallcanagreetorecognizeasauniversal
norm.
ThusfarwehavesimplysummarizedHabermas'sformulationofdiscourseethics.Asseveralcriticshaverecentlypointedout,however,thestatusorobjectdomainof
thetheoryisunclear.
20
Ontheonehand,HabermasclearlyconsidersittobeauniversalisticmoraltheoryintheKantiantradition.Ontheotherhand,healsopresents
discourseethicsastheheartofatheoryofdemocraticlegitimacyandthecoreofauniversalistconceptionofhumanrightsthatprovidealternativestotraditionaland
neocontractariantheories.Tomakemattersevenmorecomplicated,Habermashasarguedthat,asaprincipleoflegitimacy,discourseethicscanresolvetheapparent
riftbetweenlegalityandmoralitybyrevealingthepoliticalethicunderlyinglaw.
21
Hispurposeistoaccountforthelinkbetweenmoralityandlegalityinawaythat
unlikeMarxistapproaches,whichseektoabolishthedistinctionbetweenthetwopresupposestheirdifferencebutneverthelessadjustsformallawtomoral
principles.Thefirstquestiontoaddress,then,iswhatexactlyistheobjectdomainofdiscourseethics?Isitatheoryofmorality,oratheoryofpoliticallegitimacy?Can
itbeboth?

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Weintendtodefenddiscourseethicsasapoliticalethicsandasatheoryofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrights.Weholdthatitprovidesastandardwith
whichwecantestthelegitimacyofsociopoliticalnorms.Termssuchas"publicdialogue,""generalinterests,"''allthoseaffected,"and"socialnorms"doinfactevoke
thecategoriesofpoliticalphilosophy.Thetheorybecomesunnecessarilyoverburdenedwhenpresentedasmorethanthis.Indeed,thetwomostsignificantobjections
thathavebeenraisedagainsttheabilityofdiscourseethicstoserveasamoraltheoryfocusonthosedimensionsthatmakeitaplausiblecandidateforatheoryof
democraticlegitimacy,namely,thereformulatedprincipleofuniversalizationandtherequirementofanactualdialogue.
22
Wewanttobracketthequestionofwhich
generaltheoryworksbestintherealmofautonomousmoraljudgment.Webelieveitisnonethelesspossibletodefenddiscourseethicsasapoliticalethicwithout
committingoneselftoaspecificmoralphilosophy.
Thismeansthatweconstruetheprojectofdiscourseethicsasanattempttoemploytheinsightsofdeontologicalethicaltheoryprimarilyagainstlegalpositivismand
legalrealismaswellasagainstsystemstheoryoftheLuhmanntype.Thetask,inshort,istoshowthatthereisanormativeandrationallydefensiblecomponentof
legalityandpoliticsthat,independentofsanctionsorempiricalmotives,accountsfortheobligatorydimensionoflegalnormsandthelegitimacyofasociopolitical
system.
Differentiatingbetweenageneralmoraltheoryandatheoryofpoliticallegitimacy,however,leavesuswithakeyquestion:Howdoesonedrawtheboundarybetween
thetwo?Itisnotsufficienttostatethatmoralityentailstheindividualreflectionsofamoralconsciencewhereasjusticeconcernssocialnormsandrequiresareal
dialogue,forbothmoralityandlegalityrelatetosocietalnorms,andtheissueathandispreciselythereachoflawwithrespecttothesenorms.Norarethoseattempts
convincingthattrytodrawtheboundarybetweenthetwobydesignatingcertainspheresoflifeasprivatebydefinitionandofflimitstolawandothersaspublicand
thusopentolegalnormativeregulation.Inourview,thisapproachcannotwork,forasociety'sunderstandingoftheinstitutionalarrangementsandrelationsthatshould
besetbeyondjusticeandlefttoindividualjudgmentchangesovertime.Moreover,thedesignation"private"withregardtoinstitutionsand

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relationsdoesnotexemptthemfromsatisfyingthedemandsofjusticebut,rather,impliesadifferentformoflegalnormativeregulation.
23
Onecannotreasonfroma
spatialmetaphorordivisionamonginstitutionstodesignatetheboundarybetweenprivateandpublic,betweenwhatshouldbelefttothemoralchoiceorpersonal
judgmentofindividualsandwhatshouldbelegallyregulated.Instead,wemuststartfromtheassumptionthatprivacyattachestotheindividualincertaincapacities(as
anautonomousmoralsubject),regardingcertainchoices(thoseimpingingonidentityneeds),andwithintheframeworkofcertainrelations(friendship,intimacy)that
wemustbereadytoanalyzeandgiveargumentsfor.Indeed,theprivateandeventheintimate"spheres"havealwaysbeenconstitutedandregulatedbylaw,evenif
whatisconstitutedincludesadomainofautonomousjudgmentthatcancomeintoconflictwithlaw.Thus,weinsistonretainingtheanalyticdistinctionbetween
betweenadomainofautonomousmoralreflectionorjudgmentandadomainoflegalnorms,butwerejectanyattempttosetupaonetoonecorrespondence
betweenthisdistinctionandspheresoflifeorsetsofinstitutions.Rather,lawmustbeselflimitingwithrespecttotheautonomousjudgmentofindividuals,providedthat
thisdoesnotentailtheviolationofbasicprinciplesofjustice.Privacyrightsoperatepreciselyinthismanner,althoughjustwhatcontentfallswithintheprotectionofa
righttoprivacyis,ofcourse,opentodebateandrevision.
Fromtheotherside,ourinterpretationofdiscourseethicsasatheoryofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightspresupposesthesociologicalinsightconcerningthe
positivizationoflawandthecorrespondingseparationbetweenthespheresoflegalityandmorality.Yetourversionofthetheoryrejectstheviewthatthetotal
denormatizationofpoliticsorlawandthedepoliticizationofmoralityaretheinevitableconsequencesofthisprocess.Howcanthisapparentparadoxberesolved?
ItisclearlyHabermas'sview(andours)thatthedevelopmentofautonomousuniversalistmoralityaswellastheemergenceofaformal,differentiatedsystemof
positivelawmustbeseenasimmensehistoricalachievements.Thesedevelopments,moreover,arelinkedtotheemergenceofspecificallymodernconceptionsof
democracyandrights,representingtheconstitutiveconditionsof

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amodernversionofcivilsociety.Thereis,however,anothersidetothisprocess:Theuncouplingofpositivelegalnormsfromthebodyofprivatemoralitybasedon
principlesthataccompaniedtheemergenceofconstitutionalstatesandcapitalistmarketeconomiesentailsapotentialconflictbetweentheloyaltyofthecitizentothe
abstractrulesofthelegalsystem(whicharevalidonlyforthearea"pacified"byaparticularstate)andthe"cosmopolitanismofthehumanbeing"whosepersonal
moralitymakesgeneralclaims.
24
Evenmoreimportant,eversincethedeclineofmodernnaturallawtheoriesandtheriseoflegalpositivism,theclaimthatlawshave
normativecontentbeyondthecorrectnessoftheappropriatelegislativeandlegalprocedures,thattheyarebindingindependentlyofrelevantsanctions,hasbeen
repeatedlydisputed.Thedifferentiationbetweenlegalityandmoralityhasinvolvedboththeseparationofpoliticsfromtheeverydaylifeofcitizensandthe
denormatizationoflegalityitself,atleastaccordingtoagooddealoflegaltheorysincethenineteenthcentury.
25
Moreover,whenlawisunderstoodasthewillorcommandofthesovereign(Hobbes,Austin),andwhenconstitutionsandfundamentalrightsaredeclaredtobeonly
specialinstancesofpositivelaw,theresultsgobeyondtheseparationofmoralityandlaw.Ineffect,legalpositivismannouncesthedenormatizationoflaw,its
transformationintoaclassofempiricalfacts.Obligationisturnedintoprudentbehaviorinthefaceofpossiblesanctions.Evenwithinlegalpositivism(H.L.A.Hart),
suchextremeresultsareoftenrejectedandtheideasoflawascommandandobligationascalculationhavebeendecisivelyrefuted.Nevertheless,itishardtoseehow
aconceptionoflawasasystemwhosepurelylegaltermsneedberelatedonlytooneanotherandsatisfyonlydemandsofconsistency(Kelsen)orvalidityintermsof
a"secondary"legalorder(Hart)canleadtoanythinglikeagenuinepoliticalethicscapableofgroundinglegalorpoliticallegitimacy.Thisisevenhardertoseeinthe
caseoftheviewthatreduceslawtosociologicalpredictionsaboutwhatcourts,legislatures,communities,andpoliticalofficialsorotherholdersofpowerwillwishto
enforcewithsanctions(legalrealismsomeversionsofcriticallegalstudies).
InhisdebatewithWeberandLuhmannconcerningthefoundationoflegalrationaldomination,Habermashasrepeatedly

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pointedtotheimpossibilityofderivingthelegitimacyofamodernlegalsystemasawholesolelyfromtheformalityandsystematicnatureoflegalprocedures.
26
Law
aslegitimateauthorityrestsonextralegalsourcesofjustification.Referencestoconstitutionsastheultimatesourceofauthority,atleastonthepartofformally
democraticstates,impliesthatthelegitimacyoflawisultimatelyparasiticontheprinciplesofdemocracyandbasicrightsembodiedinconstitutionsandinthe
democraticprocessallegedlybehindthedevelopmentofconstitutions.Theprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightsunderlietheauthorityoflaw.These
principles,however,cannolongerbedefendedassacred,"selfevidenttruths,"astheywerebothintheoriesofnaturallawandinrepublicantheoriesofcivicvirtue.
Thetaskofdiscourseethicsistoprovideacontemporaryequivalentofsuchtheorieswhileavoidingtheirpresuppositions.Thus,theprinciplesofdemocracyitjustifies
mustnotbeseenasgiven,onceandforall,butastheoutcomesofanoriginalandrepeatablecommunicativeprocessthatascertainsthegeneralityofadmissiblenorms
andthediscursiveredeemabilityofthevalidityclaimswithwhichtheyappear.
Weproposetodefinelegalityintermsoftheoldreferencetoformalsanctionsthatpotentiallyinvoketheexecutiveandjudicialpowersofthemodernstateonbehalf
ofvalidnorms.Moralrulescannotcalluponsuchenforcement.Accordingly,discourseethicsasweseeitwouldapplytothelegalandpoliticalsystemasawhole,as
wellastoparticularcomplexesoflegalnormsthatdependbothonsanctionsandontheinterpretationandcomplianceofthoseconcerned.Inthefirstinstance,we
reinterpretdiscourseethicsasaprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacyinthesecond,aspartofatheoryofbasicrightsthatcanbeinstitutionalized.Asweshallshow,
thesetwodimensionsofdiscourseethicsimplyaprovinceofautonomousmoraljudgmentthatisbeyonditsreachbutnonethelessisitspresuppositionandmustbe
guaranteedbybasicrights.Letusfirstaddressthislatterissue.
Weareassumingthatdiscourseethicspertainstothesphereoflegalityintwointerdependentyetdistinctdimensions:democraticlegitimacyandbasicrights.Eachof
thesedimensionstouchesonmorality.However,evenifwecansayempiricallywherelegalitybeginsandautonomousjudgmentendsbyreferringtoformal

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sanctions,wehavenotyettouchedonthenormativequestionofwheretheseboundariesoughttobe.Ofcourse,allmoderncivilsocietiesdrawaboundarybetweena
realmofautonomousjudgmentandwhatcanbelegallyregulated,buttheydrawtheseboundariesatdifferentplaces.Incaseofdisputes,theissueisinevitablywhether
theboundariesshouldbedrawnfromthepointofviewoflegalityorindividualjudgment,publicdiscourseorprivatemoralreflection.Inouropinion,insuchcases
discourseethicsmustbeconsideredsuperiortoanymonologicallyattainedmoralstandpoint,atleastinthefirstinstance.Thisissobecauseonlyinanactualdiscussion
witheveryonepotentiallyaffectedbyalegalnormcanwefindoutwhat,ifanything,iscommontousall,whatshouldbethedomainoflegalregulation,whatformsof
politicaldecisionmakingarelegitimate,whatshouldbelefttotheautonomoussubject'spersonaljudgment,andwhatmustbecompromisedwith.Inotherwords,itis
onlyafterdebatableissueshavebeenpubliclydiscussedthatwecandecidewhichmustbeconsidered"private,"thatis,lefttotheautonomousjudgmentofthe
individualtodeterminewithrespecttoapersonalidealofthegoodlife.
27
Discourseethicsthushasadoublestatus:Itsspecificobjectdomaincomprisesinstitutionalizedsocialrelations,thelegalandpoliticalsystemasawhole,andparticular
lawsandrights.Italsoprovidesawaytodecidetheboundaryquestionbetweenautonomousindividualjudgmentandjustice.Tobesure,theboundariesdrawnfrom
thepointofviewofactualdiscursiveprocessesmaynotbeacceptablefromthestandpointofthemoralconvictionsoridentityneedsofindividualsorgroups.A
majoritymightseektolegallyregulateareasofdecisionmakingthathavepreviouslybeenconstruedasprivateandthataminoritydoesnotwanttodelivertosuch
regulation.Conscientiousobjectionandcivildisobediencearelegitimateoptionsfromthemoralpointofview.Theyshouldberespectedaseffortstoacknowledge
publiclydrawnboundarieswhileattemptingtocircumventorchangethemfromthepointofviewofanunusuallyintenseconcern.However,inthesecases,theclaims
ofjusticehavepriorityinthefollowingsense:Onecannotbecompelledtorenounceone'swayoflife,identity,ormoralconvictions,andyetthemoralconsciousness
thatdoesn'twanttobe

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unjustmustbeselflimitinginthatitmustaccepttheprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightsprovidedthattheseareselflimitinginturn.Inotherwords,they
mustprotectthespaceforarticulatingdifference.Thismeansthat,inthecaseofconflictbetweenconceptionsofthegoodlifeandlegality,itshouldnotbedeemed
unethicalfortheindividualtofollowhisorhermoralconscienceorjudgmentandtoactaccordingly.Butonemust,nonetheless,actunderthedictatesofselflimitation.
Withintheframeworkofademocraticconstitutionalpolity,amorallylegitimateviolationoflawpresupposestheacknowledgmentofconstitutionalprinciples,
acceptanceofthedemocraticorder,andasymbolicorientationoftheactiontowardinfluencingpublicopinionanddevelopinganewnormativeconsensus.
28
The
legalresponsetosuchactionoughttobeabletodistinguishitfromcommoncriminalityandthusavoidbeingoverlyharsh.
29
Allprincipledactsofdisobedience,from
individualactsofconsciencetotacticsofsocialmovements,restontheseideas.
Thus,ourinterpretationdoesnotcollapsetheboundarybetweenmoralityandlegality.Onthecontrary,itpreservesarealmofautonomousjudgmentfortheindividual.
Atthesametime,itprotectspositivelawfromthepotentiallyincapacitatinginterferenceofabsolutemoraljudgmentswithouttherebydeliveringitintothehandsoflegal
positivists.Indeed,oncewerestricttherelevanceofdiscourseethicstoquestionsofdemocraticlegitimacyandrights,itleavesroomforavarietyofmoralprinciples,
culturalvalues,andwaysoflife.Withouthavingtojudgetheinternaladequacyofanyofthese,discourseethicsadjudicatesbetweenthemonlyincasesofconflictover
generalsocietalnorms.Thus,theautonomyofconscienceandthepluralityofwaysoflifearerespectedbytheprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrights,
eventhoughthelatterbringprinciplestobearonthedomainsoflawandpolitics.Althoughinthiscase,too,processesofdiscursivewillformationdecidetheboundary
between"private"and"public,"theycannotentirelyabolishtheprivate(understoodhereasthedomainofautonomousindividualmoralchoiceorjudgment).
Themetanormsofdiscoursethemselvespresuppose,eveniftheycannotground,theautonomyoftheindividualmoralconscience.

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Ifallpersonsaffectedhavethechancetoassumedialogueroles,ifthedialoguemustbeunconstrained,ifeachindividualcanshiftthelevelofdiscourse,andif
everyonecanarticulatetheirneedinterpretations,thenpracticaldiscoursepresupposesautonomousindividualswiththecapacitynotonlytobeselfreflectiveregarding
theirownvaluesbutalsotochallengeanygivennormfromaprincipledstandpoint.Theprocessesnecessaryfortherequisitesocializationofindividualswouldbe
impossiblewithoutinstitutionalizingmoralautonomyandthemutualrecognitionofdifferencesecuredbyrights.
Thus,theveryrulesthatunderlieargumentandthecooperativesearchforconsensusimplythedistinctionbetweenmoralityandlegality.Byarticulatingthemetanorms
oftheprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacyandsomekeyrights,discourseethicspresupposesthejustificationfortheautonomyofthemoralsphereand,asitwere,its
ownselflimitation.Thereisyetanotherreasonforthis.Noconsensus,nomatterhowunanimousorlonglasting,canknowitselftobepermanent,forthereisno
automaticcoincidencebetweenthejustandthemoral,betweenwhatisdeemednormativelyrightatanygiventimeforasolidarycommunityandwhatisalways
morallyacceptabletoeachindividual.Evenifthelegalnormhassurvivedthemostidealprocessofdiscursivetesting,itmayyetconflictwiththeparticularvaluesor
identityrequirementsofanindividual.Neithermoralautonomynorindividualidentitycanbesacrificedtothecollectiveidentityorconsensusofagroup,becausethis
wouldviolatetheveryraisond'treofdiscourseethics:toprovideaformalprincipleforthelegitimacyofnormsinasocietythatispluralandcomposedofindividuals
withdistinctanddifferentconceptionsofthegoodlife.Eveninasituationthatcloselyapproximatestherequirementsofsymmetricreciprocity,thereisnobasisfor
assumingeithertheabsenceofdifferenceortheabsenceofchange.Everyconsensusis,afterall,onlyempiricalandmustbeopentochallengeandrevision.
30
From
thestandpointofjustice,wecannotknowthattoday'svaluechangeonthepartofaminorityofindividualsmightnotbecometomorrow'sgeneralwill.Thus,individual
judgment,differingwaysoflife,andexperimentswithnewwaysmustbegrantedautonomyfromthecurrentconsensusonwhatisjust.

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Onemightnonethelessobject,fromthepointofviewofamoralconsciousness,thataseparatetheoryofethicsfortherealmoflawandpoliticsisunnecessary.Asa
moralsubject,Iobeythelawbecauseitisright,andwhenitbecomesmorallywrongtodoso,Iwouldhavetodisobeythelaw,whatevertheconsequencestomyself.
Moralityiscertainlywiderthanlegalityfrombothobjectiveandsubjectivepointsofview.Formallawcannotregulateeverydomainofaction,whereas,fromthe
subjectivepointofview,moralityoughtto.Themoralconsciousnesscouldgrantthenecessityoflawandsanctionsbecausewearenotgods,notalwaysmoral,and
thusneedexternalconstraintincertaincases.Butifthemoralcomponentoflawisequivalenttowhatthemoralreflectionsofanindividualactorcouldarriveat,then
thereisnoneedforaseparateethicaltheoryforpolitics.Whydevelopadiscourseethicsatall?
Thereare,inthemoderncontext,tworeasonswhywecannotmovedirectlyfrommoralitytolegalityorresynthesizethem,asitwere.First,asiswellknown,we
modernsliveinapluralmoraluniversethepluralityofvaluesystems,modesoflife,andidentitieswouldbeviolatediflawsorpoliticaldecisionsweremadefromthe
pointofviewofanyofthem.Everygoodliberalthuscanargueagainstmakinganysinglemoralstandpointabsoluteforthewholeofsociety.Todosowouldlead
eithertosubjugatingindividualdignityandrightstotheconcernsofgeneralwelfareortoviolatingtheintegrityofthosewhodonotsharetheparticularconceptofthe
goodlifethathasbecomedominant.Notallaction,notevenallmoralaction,canoroughttobeinstitutionallyregulated.
Thesecondandmorecompellingreasonwhywecannotequatetheobligatorydimensionofsocial/politicalnormswithwhatmotivateseventhepostconventionalmoral
actoristhatthegenesisoflegality,unlikemorality,canandmustinvolveinprincipleactualdiscourse.Tobesure,Habermashimselftendstoconflatemoralityand
legalitybecauseherightlyseesthatmoraltestinginvolvesaninnerdialoguetowhichtherulesofargumentapply.
31
Itwouldthusseempossible,ifonefollowedthese
rulesandconsideredthepotentialsideeffectsofamaximonallothers,thatonecouldarriveatthesamejudgmentthatanactualdiscoursewouldyield.Thecore
differencebetweenvirtualandactualdialoguewould,nonetheless,remain:Onlyanactualdialogueinwhichallconcernedcan

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participateonequaltermsofmutualrecognitionwouldinvolveareversalofperspectivesandyieldorreaffirmawe,asolidarycollectivity,havingacollectiveidentity
andthecapacityforarticulatingageneralorcommoninterest.AsHannahArendtpointedoutlongago,onlyinapublicspacecanapublicopinionmerge.Evenifone
imaginedanidealmoralsubject,abletoconsiderallthepossibleargumentsofeveryoneinvolved,theoutcomewouldnotautomaticallyconvergewiththepolitical
judgmentofadulyconstitutedpublic,becausetherelevant,emergentcollectiveidentitywouldbemissing.Atbest,anidealized,selfreflectivemoraljudgmentcould
implytoleranceofothersandofdifferentarguments,butitcouldnotyieldorreaffirmthesolidarityofacollectivityoranunderstandingofwhatourcollectiveidentityis
and,flowingfromthis,whatourgeneralinterestsmightbe.This,however,istheobjectdomainofinstitutionalizednorms.Norwouldityieldinsightintoperspectives
entirelydifferentfromourown,andthusthepossibilityofsolidaritywithdifferenceandthelimitsthisimpliesonnormativeregulationwouldbemissing.Indeed,itis
quitepossiblethatajudgmentcouldbemoralandyetnotbejust.Onourinterpretation,discourseethicsimpliesthatthejusticeofjustice,thelegitimacyandnormative
forceoflaw,derivesinprinciplefromdemocraticwillformationandthearticulationofageneralinterestinthenorm.Fromthepointofviewofmorality,alawimposed
byanenlighteneddespotmightbemoralaccordingtoeveryone'spersonalpointofview,anditmightevenarticulateageneralinterest(thecommongood).Yetand
thisisthelimittothestandpointofthemoralconsciousnessevenifitweremoral,evenifitweretocoincidewithwhatacommunitywouldhaveagreeduponasits
interest,itwouldnotbejust,forjusticerequiresthatthoseaffecteddeterminethisforthemselves,inadiscursiveprocessofcollectivewillformation.
Letussummarizetheargumentthusfar.(1)Thedivisionbetweenmoralityandlegalityisamajorandcharacteristicachievementofmodernity.(2)Discourseethics
providesthecoreofanormativetheoryofpoliticallegitimacyandofatheoryofrights,butitcannotserveasamoraltheoryinformingthechoicesofindividualsinall
areasoflife.(3)Weinterpretthemeaningofjusticealongthelinesofaconceptofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrights.Accordingly,

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theobjectdomainofdiscourseethicscomprisesinstitutionalizednormswithlegalsanctionsattached.(4)Discourseethicsgrantsautonomytoothermodesofmoral
reasoning.(5)Basedonthetheoryofcommunicativeaction,discourseethicsisabletoaccountfortheobligatoryaspectofsocialnormsthatisdistinctfromthe
attachedsanctions.(6)Politicalandlegalinstitutionscanbemaderesponsibletomoralinsightwithoutinvolvingthecollapseoflegalityandmorality.Indeed,in
constitutionaldemocracieswithcivilsocieties,theprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightsalreadyaretheultimatesourceforjustifyingpoliticalnormsand
processes.
TheChargeofAuthoritarianism
Thechargeofauthoritarianism,leveledspecificallyagainstHabermas'sversionofdiscourseethics,contendsthatthefocusonrationalconsensusimpliesaJacobin
Bolsheviksuppressionofindependentwaysoflifeand,hence,ofcivilsociety.Weshallstartbyrefutingthischargeanddevelopingaversionofdiscourseethics
immunetoit.OurnextstepwillbetodenyanintrinsicconnectionbetweendiscourseethicsandanyspecificconcreteethosorSittlichkeit,whiledemonstratingthat
thisdoesnotleaveitmerelyformalisticorempty.Indeed,weshallarguethatdiscourseethicshasanelectiveaffinityforasocietalarrangementthatpermitsaplurality
ofwaysoflifetocoexist.Inthiswaywehopetoshowthat,amongtheversionsofcivilsociety,onlythemodernonesarerelevanttodiscourseethics.
ItseemsthattwoapparentlycontradictorychargeshavebeenmadeagainstHabermas'sdiscourseethics:authoritarianismontheoneside,andexcessiveformalismon
theother.Presumablythetwochargescouldbecombined:Eitherdiscourseethicsissoformalisticastohavenoinstitutionalconsequences,or,ifithas,theyinevitably
haveauthoritarianimplications.Weprefertodealwiththesechargesseparately,sincetheissuesinvolvedarecompletelydifferent.
Thechargeofauthoritarianismhasseveralvariants.ThefirstinvolvesablanketapplicationofHegel'scritiqueofKant,linkingabstractmoralityandterrortodiscourse
ethicsasawhole.Onthis

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level,theobjectionhasbeensuccessfullydispatchedbyAlbrechtWellmer.
32
Morespecificobjectionsdiscoveranauthoritarianpotentialintwoparticularsetsof
distinctionsmadebyHabermas:(1)between''empirical"and"rational"consensus,and(2)between"particular"and"universal"or"general"interests.Accordingto
RobertSpaeman,forexample,withthesedistinctions"theutopiangoalfortheabolitionofdominationservespreciselythelegitimationofthedominationofself
appointedenlighteners."
33
1.ItiscertainlyverywrongtoapplythisobjectiontoHabermas,asifhemerelybelongedtotheromantic,anticapitalistgenerationofMarxistsoftheearlytwentieth
century.Yetthedistinctionbetween"empirical"and"rational"consensus,ifinterpretedascallingfortheabolitionofoneforthesakeoftheother,indeedrecallsthe
classicalJacobinBolshevikcontemptforthemerelyempiricalpeopleorworkingclass.
Habermas,however,hasbeencarefultoavoidthisimplication.Evenafterrejectingthefullapplicabilityofapsychoanalyticmodelofreflectiontoacritiqueofsociety,
heholdsontotheassumptionthat"onlythetechniquesofdiscourse(shouldbeused)toestablishtheconditionsforbeginningpossiblediscourses."
34
Hegoesbeyond
thatmodelbyinsistingthat,inthediscoursewhosefunctionistoestablishorreestablishdiscourse,"therecanbeonlyparticipants,"becausenoonecanhave"a
privilegedaccesstotruth."
35
TheimplicationofHabermas'sargument,inotherwords,isnottoforciblyreplacetheconditionsofonetypeofdiscoursewiththoseof
anotherbuttoestablishnewformssidebysidewiththeoldonesandperhapstorevitalizeexistingformsofpubliclife.Indeed,Habermasexplicitlydeniesaprivileged
discourseofintellectualsorpoliticalorganizationsthatwouldplaya"leadingrole"withrespecttoempiricalprocessesofcommunication.
36
ItisAlbrechtWellmer,however,whogoesthefurthestinanantiauthoritariandirectionbyfranklyannouncingthatactualconsensusnecessarilymeansfactual
consensus.
37
How,then,canwetellwhenanempiricalconsensusisrational?Todoubttherationalityofanempiricalconsensusmeanseithertoproposespecific
counterargumentsortodoubttherationalityoftheparticipants.Thelatter,however,cannotbegraspedwiththehelpofthestructuralconditionsoftheidealspeech
situation.Thedoubt

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remainsanhypothesisthatcanbesustainedonlybycarryingoutanewdiscourseandarrivingatanewagreement:Theparticipantsmustrecognizetheirprevious
unreason.AsAgnesHelleraptlyputsit,thenormsofargument,togetherwiththeinsistenceonarealdialogueopentoall,implyademocraticprocessofwillformation
suchthatthegeneralwillcan,afterall,onlybethewillofall.
38
Evenifaconsensusistheproductofa"rationallyorganizedsociety"thatallowsforbothdiscourseand
dissentinitspublicspaces,wemaynotassumethattherationalityoftheprocedureguaranteestheabsolutetruthorrightnessoftheresult.Thetruthofnormscannot
beestablishedonceandforall.Thecontentofarationalconsensusisnotnecessarilytrueweconsiderittoberationalbecauseofproceduralnorms,truebecauseof
goodgroundsthatweofferinthediscussionandthatareacceptedassuch.
39
Butwecouldbemistakenor,toputitbetter,thekindsofreasonswearewillingto
acceptcanchangeovertime.Atbest,wecanarriveatarationalgroundingoftheconvictionoftruththatwemusttreatastruebutthatnonethelesswe,asreflective
moderns,mustconsidertobefallibleandopentonewarguments.Thus,theideaofarationalconsensusdoesnotmeantheattainmentofabsolutetruth.Thepossibility
ofagreeingonnormsinvolvesthepossibilityofrationaldisagreement!Inshort,arationalempiricalconsensus,theproductofdiscourse,isopentolearningand,of
course,todissent.
2.Ifthedistinctionbetweenrationalandempiricalconsensus(linkedtotheproceduraldimensionsofcollectivewillformation)canthusbeprotectedagainst
authoritarianimplications,thedistinctionbetweenparticularandgeneralinterests(tiedtotheprincipleofuniversalization)exposesHabermasoncemoretothese
charges,thistimewithregardtoissuesofcontentratherthanform.Asalreadyindicated,discourseethicsteststhevalidityofnormsaccordingtowhetherthey
articulategeneralizableinterests.Inbothearlyandrecentformulations,Habermasmaintainsthatdiscourseethicsbringsneedinterpretationsintodiscussionsofnorms,
sothataconstraintfreeconsensuspermitsonlywhatallcanwant.
40
Onlyifnormsexpressgeneralizableinterests,inadditiontobeingtheproductofageneralwillor
agreement,aretheybasedonarationalandtrueconsensus.However,giventhethesisthat,informallydemocratic,capitalist,classbasedsocieties,theresultsof

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empiricaldiscursiveprocessessuppress"generalizableinterests,"Habermashasrepeatedlyresortedtotheconditionallanguageofascription:"wouldagree""were
[they]toenterintoanunconstraineddiscourse,"etc.
41
Thestatushegivestosuchascriptionisonlythatofasocialscientifichypothesisthatrequirestestingand
confirmationinactualprocessesofpracticaldiscussion.Nevertheless,thetheoryisambiguousatthislevel.While''discursivelyredeemablenorms"oruniversalizable
generalinterestsmustbe"bothformedanddiscoveredinprocessesofpracticaldiscourse,"
42
Habermasalsoseemstoimplythat,strictlyspeaking,onlyfromthe
"perspectiveofthethirdperson,sayofthesocialscientist"couldthemodelofgeneralizableinterestsbeappliedcritically.Inearliertexts,Habermashasspokenof
"suppressedgeneralizableinterests"inordertorelatethetheorycriticallytothosesocialsystemsthatpreventtheconditionsnecessaryforpracticaldiscoursefrom
emerging.Theapparentlyobjectivevantagepointhepostulatesforsocialscience(thatofthenonparticipant"monologically"arrivingattruegeneralinterests)seemsto
correspondtotheoldLeninistorLukcsianpointofviewfordistinguishingbetween"real""universal"vs."false""empirical"particularinterests.Theambiguousstatus
oftheconceptofsuppressedgeneralizableintereststhusopensHabermastothechargeofauthoritarianism.
Onewaytoavoidthischargewouldbetoarguethatthemodelofgeneralizableinterestsisnotascentraltodiscourseethicsassomeinterpreters,includingHabermas
himself,havemaintained.Tobesure,Habermasinsiststhatthesatisfactionofinterestsneednotbeazerosumgame,andthatsomeinterestsinallsocietiesare,infact,
generalizable.Yetonecouldarguethatdiscourseethicscouldsurviveanempiricalsituationlargelytothecontrary.Assumingonlyparticularinterests,thediscourse
thatisneededforagreementontherulesoftheircoordinationcouldstillbeseenasanexpressionofthegeneral.Evenastablecompromiseneedsnormative
groundingandrestsonaconsensusastoitsbindingcharacter,whethertraditionalordiscursive.Habermashashadatendencytointerpretpluralityinindividualistic
terms,groupformsofpluralityasparticularistic,andcompromiseasstrategic.
43
Nevertheless,henowinsistsontheneedtodiscursivelymapouttheboundaries
betweengeneralityandplurality,consensusandcompromise,givingallofthesetermsacommunicativefoundation.
44


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Inhismostrecenttextonthetopic,
45
Habermashascorrectedhisearlierformulationinwhichcompromiseappearedtocorrespondtothefailureofcommunicative
action.Hestilldistinguishesbetweentheattemptbyallconcernedtoclarifywhatisacommoninterestandtheeffortofthoseseekingcompromisetostrikeabalance
betweenparticular,conflictinginterests.Buthehascometoseethatbindingcompromisealsorequiresspecificconditions.Participantsinabindingcompromise
assumethatafairbalancecanbeachievedonlyifallconcernedcanparticipateequally."Buttheseprinciplesofcompromiseformationinturnrequireactualpractical
discoursesforjustification."
46
Anonstrategicrelationtothestructureofcompromisethatinvolvesacceptingitsunderlyingnormativityisthesinequanonforstable
compromisestooccur.Therulesofthegamemustbetakenseriously.Ifthestructureofcompromiseitselfhasthecapacitytoobligate,itisthecommonconcernofall.
Thecommunicativefoundationsofcompromiseamongapluralityofparticularinterestscouldbemadestrongerifthetypicalcaseofa"rationalcomingtoan
agreement"wereinterpretedasthatofarationalargumentforapluralityofpointsofview,formsoflife,orintereststhatcouldleadtocompromise.Accordingto
Wellmer,theindexofparticularitythatattachestoallhumansituationsshouldbethoughtofnotasa"possiblelimitationtorationalselfdeterminationand
communication"butas"momentsofsituatedness"tobebroughtintotheconceptofreason."Exactlywhereunificationcannotbeattained,thereatleastallmusthave
thesamerighttogetahearingfortheirargumentsandtoparticipateindecisions."
47
Thus,generalityisattachednottothecontentofinterestsbuttothestructurethat
allowsalltoarticulatetheirparticularinterests,andthisiswhatleadstovalidandbindingcompromise.
Asseductiveasthissolutiontotheproblemsraisedbytheconceptionofgeneralinterestis,itisnotentirelycompelling.Indeed,Habermashasexplicitlyaddresseda
versionofthisargument,thatofErnstTugendhat,andrejectedit.Tugendhatattemptedtoequateargumentationwithprocessesofcollectivewillformationandto
excisethecognitivedimensionfromthetheoryofcommunicativeethics.
48
Onthebasisofthepositionthatevery

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"rationalagreement"isinfactanempiricalone,hearguesthattheissueissolelyoneofelaboratingprinciplesforequal,symmetricparticipationinactsofcollective
choice.Questionsofjustificationarenotrelevanthereactsofcollectivechoiceareactsofwill,notofreason.
Againstthisposition,Habermaspointsoutthatthepriceofexcisingthecognitivedimensionofdiscourseethicsisthatwearenolongerabletodistinguishthedefacto
socialacceptanceofanormfromitsvalidity.
49
Ifwereplacethe"Unparteilichkeit"ofjudgmentwiththe"Unbeinflussbarkeit"ofwillformation,wecannotsaywhy
eventheproductofaunanimouscollectivechoicewouldbebinding,ifnoprinciplebesidesamomentaryagreementunderliesit.Thisistheclassicobjectionagainst
theoriesofdemocraticwillformationandmajorityrule.Amereempiricalconsensusdoesnotinitselfproducelegitimateobligation.Nor,forthatmatter,isitstable.
Moreover,ithasnoauthoritativecharacterifitcanbechangedatwillandifitdependsonlyonourmomentaryagreement.Habermasthusrepeatshisstressonthe
centralityoftheideaofgeneralinteresttodiscourseethics.
TheinsistenceonthecognitivecomponentofnormsisalsomeantasthebasisforareplytotheinevitabledecisionismthatgenerallyaccompaniestheWeberianthesis
ofthewarofthegods,thatis,oftheirreduciblepluralityandevenirreconcilabilityofvaluesinmodernsocieties.Habermasmaintainsthatwecangiverationalgrounds
fortheintersubjectiverecognitionofvalidityclaimswithoutresortingtometaphysicsordogmatism.Thevalidityclaimsofnormsarenot,accordingly,locatedinthe
irrationalvolitionalactsofthecontractingpartiesbutina"rationallymotivatedrecognitionofnorms,whichcanbequestionedatanytime."
50
Thefactofpluralismneed
notmeanthatitisimpossibletoseparate,byarguments,generalizableinterestsfromthosethatareandremainparticular.Yetheinsiststhat"thecognitivecomponent
ofnormsisnotlimitedtothepropositionalcontentofthenormedbehavioralexpectations.Thenormativevalidityclaimisitselfcognitiveinthesenseofthesupposition,
howevercounterfactual,thatitcouldbediscursivelyredeemedthroughthegivingofreasonsandthegainingofinsightthatis,groundedinconsensusofthe
participantsthroughargumentation."
51


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Habermasconfusesseveraldistinctissues.Toinsistthatthecognitivecharacterofageneralinterestyieldsthevalidityofanormconfusesseveralmeaningsoftheterm
"cognitive."Itisonethingtoarguethattheprinciplesofargumentationcanprovideametanormtowhichparticipantscanappealintestingtheoutcomes(norms)ofan
existingempiricalconsensus.Itisquiteanothertolocatethestandardforthevalidityofnormsinaconceptofgeneralinterestthatis,byitsverynature,ascertainable
fromthesocialscientificorobserver'spointofview.Thelatterstrategyrevivesthenaturalisticfallacythatequatestheobjectivegeneralityofinterestswiththe
universalityofnorms.Indeed,Habermasseemstobeconfusingtwomeaningsof"rationality"thathehaselsewherepainstakinglydifferentiated.Therationalprocessof
comingtoanagreementinvolvesprinciplesofargumentationthatarecognitiveinthesensethatwecantestthemindiscourse.Nevertheless,theprocessesofraising
andarguingvalidityclaimswithrespecttotherightnessofanormisdistinctfromtherationalityorcognitivecharacteroftruthclaimsinvolvedinstatementsoffact.To
treatnormativevalidityclaimslikecognitivetruthclaimswouldbetoconfusetheobjectdomainsexploredbypracticalandbytheoreticaldiscourse,respectively.
Practicaldiscoursereferstoaworld(the"socialworld")experiencedandevenreconstructedintheperformativeattitude,thatis,theattitudeofparticipants.Itis
implicatedinadoublehermeneuticandalwaysdependsonthevalidityclaimsmadebytherelevantsocialactors.Theoreticaldiscourse,evenaboutsociety,requires
objectifyingthesocialactorsandtheiractions.Thelanguageofgeneralorgeneralizableinterestsistheoreticalinthissense.Itreplacestheopinionsofparticipants
aboutwhattheyneed,want,anddesirewithanobjectivejudgment(basedonananalysis)abouttheirinterests.Thus,Habermas'sstressonthecriterionofgeneral
interests,inresponsetoTugendhat'srenunciationoftherationalityclaimsembodiedinthemetanormsofargumentation,reliesonthewrongdiscursivetest.The
generalityoftheinterestsdoesnotyieldthevalidityofthenorm.Indeed,theideathatthelegitimacyofanormrestsonthefactthatitreflectsageneralinterestmakes
consensussuperfluous,foritimpliesthatbecausethenormreflectssuchaninterest(howeverthisisascertained),consensusonitsvalidityshould

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follow.Inshort,consensuswouldfollowvalidityratherthantheotherwayaround.
52
Tugendhat'sdenialthatthemetatheoreticalfoundationsofdiscoursehaveanyrelevanceandHabermas'sinsistenceontheconceptofgeneralinterestasastandardfor
testingthevalidityofnormsrepresenttwomistakensolutionstotheproblemofobligation.Theformerinvolvesarbitrarinessthelatter,objectivism.Tohiscredit,
Habermasisawareoftheembarrassmentfacedbyareflectivemodeofjustificationinthecontextofvaluepluralism,posttraditionallaw,andpostconventionalmoral
reasoning.Theviablepartofhisresponseishisinsistencethattheobjectivity(Unparteilichkeit)ofjudgmentisrootedinthestructureofargumentationitselfitisnot
broughtinasavaluefromtheoutsidebecausewehappentochooseit.
53
Althougheveryconsensuscanbeonlyempirical,thisdoesnotmeanthatweareleftwithan
arbitrarycollectivewill.Rationalgroundscanbegivennotforthetruthofvaluesperse,butfortheirincorporationintosociopoliticalnorms.Theprinciplesof
argumentationcanprovideametanorm(symmetricreciprocity)towhichparticipantscanappealintestingtheoutcomes(norms)ofanempiricaldialogue.The
rationalityofaconsensuscanbetestedbyreferringvalidityclaimsbacktothosemetaprinciplesthatalonecanmakeitvalidandobligatory.Thus,theprinciplesof
discoursethatimplyboththeconsiderationofeveryrationalargumentandtherespectofeveryonecapableofarguingallowustoarriveatwhatisnormativelyright.
ThisistheconvincingpartofHabermas'sposition.
Butthisstillleavesuncleartheroleoftheconceptof"generalinterest"andwhatthe"principleofuniversalization"addstotheprinciplesofargumentativeprocedureof
discourseethics.If"generalizableinterests"refersto"raw"needinterpretations,thentheobjectionfirstarticulatedbyHumeandrepeatedbyAgnesHellerthata
discussionaroundinterestsandneedscanonlybeinconclusivewouldbelegitimate.
54
Ontheotherside,wehavealreadyshownthatiftheconceptofgeneralinterest
referstotheobjectiveinterestsofagroup,thenthiscannotbeusedasthecriterionfortherightnessofnormswithoutauthoritarianimplications.
Nevertheless,theconceptofinterestisimportanttoourinterpretationofdiscourseethics.Wesuggestthattheterm"general

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interest"mustgiveway,orratherpriority,totheideaof"commonidentity."Insocietiescharacterizedbyapluralityofvaluesystems,modesoflife,andindividual
identities,discourseethicsprovidesawayofdiscoveringorreaffirmingwhat,ifanything,wewhocomeintocontactwithoneanotherandwhoareaffectedbythe
samepoliticaldecisionsandlawshaveincommon.Asstatedearlier,weaffirmandinpartconstitutethroughdiscoursewhoweare,andunderwhichruleswewishto
livetogether,apartfromourpersonalorparticularidentitiesanddifferencesthatis,whatourcollectiveidentityasmembersofthesamecivilsocietyis.Interpreted
inthisway,thediscoveryofgeneralizableinterestsindiscussionimpliessomethingprior,namelythat,despiteourdifferences,wehavediscovered,reaffirmed,or
createdsomethingincommonthatcorrespondstoageneralsocialidentity(whichisitselfopentochange).Apublicdiscussioncanshowusthat,afterall,wedohave
somethingincommon,thatweareawe,andthatweagreeonorpresupposecertainprinciplesthatconstituteourcollectiveidentity.Thesebecomedimensionsofthe
contentoflegitimatelegalnormsandthefoundationofsocialsolidarity.Thecollectiveidentityofacommunitycanthenprovidetheminimumcriterion,withrespectto
content,ofthelegitimacyofnormsinthenegativesenseasthatwhichcannotbeviolated.
Inhiswritingsonlegitimationproblems,Habermashasexplicitlystatedthattheclaimtolegitimacyisrelatedtothesocialintegrativepreservationofanormatively
determinedsocialidentity."Legitimationsservetomakegoodthisclaim,thatis,toshowhowandwhyexisting(orrecommended)institutionsarefittoemploy
politicalpowerinsuchawaythatthevaluesconstitutivefortheidentityofasocietywillberealized."
55
Socialintegration,socialsolidarity,andcollectiveidentityare
the"societal"(inHabermas'sterms,thelifeworld)referentsofnormativeclaimstopoliticallegitimacyonthepartofpolities.Whilethepoliticaladministrativesystem
cannotcreateidentity(ormeaning),itsclaimtolegitimacyinvolvesthenonviolationofcollectiveidentityandthereinforcementofsocialsolidarityandsocial
integration.
56
Onecouldobjectthatresortingtotheconceptofcollectiveidentitymerelytransposestoanotherleveltheproblemsmentionedearlierinvolvingtheconceptofgeneral
interests.What

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precludesagivencollectiveidentityfrombeingauthoritarian?Whoseinterpretationofgroupidentityistoprevail?Howcoulditbeanythingotherthanparticular,and
whymakeuniversalistclaimsforitsdefense?Theanswerliesinthepeculiaritiesofacollectiveidentitythathas,asacorecomponent,theprinciplesofdemocratic
legitimacyandrights.Theprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacyimpliesthattheconditionsofjustificationtheproceduresandpresuppositionsofrationalagreement
themselvesobtainlegitimatingforceandbecomethelegitimatinggrounds(metanorms),replacingsuchmaterialprinciplesofjustificationasnatureorgod.
57
The
principleofdemocraticlegitimacyinvolvesalevelofjustificationthathasbecomereflexiveandaproceduralprinciplethatisuniversalizable.Thismeansthatthe
modernproceduralprincipleofdemocraticlegitimacypresupposesapostconventional,posttraditionalorientationtoourowntraditions,oratleasttothoseaspectsof
ourtraditionandcollectiveidentitythathavebecomeproblematic.Moreover,itimpliesthatonlythoseaspectsofourcollectiveidentityandcommontraditionthatare
compatiblewiththeprinciplesofdemocraticlegitimacyandbasicrightscanprovidethecontentofvalidpoliticalnorms.Thefactthatdiscussionanddemocratic
principlesconstituteapartofourtraditionmilitatesagainsttheauthoritarianthrustoftheconceptofcollectiveidentity,becauseitmeansthatwecanacceptasvalid
inputsintosociopoliticalnormsonlythosedimensionsofourpoliticalculturethatdonotviolatethemetanormsofdiscursiveconflictresolution.
Letustrytoclarifyourargumentforreplacing"generalinterest"with"collectiveidentity"asthesubstantivereferentofaprocedurallydefineddiscourseethicsandthen
returntothisissue.Weproposeourinterpretationasanalternativetothreepositionsthatareunacceptablefordifferentreasons.First,thereisHabermas'sown
positionthatmakesgeneralizableintereststhecenterpieceofanewprincipleofuniversalization.Thisnecessarilymakesanobjectivecategoryonethatisopento
analysisfromthethirdpersonpointofviewthecoreofdiscursivewillformation,butithasunavoidableauthoritarianconsequencesthatHabermashimselfdoesnot
want.Second,thereistheoppositepositionthatbypassestheissueofgeneralizableinterestsbyidentifyingallconsensusas

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merelyempiricalandbymakingempiricalagreementitselfthegoalofdiscursiveprocedures.Theresultsofempiricalconsensusthenbecome,bydefinition,justicein
thepoliticalsense.WebelievethatHabermas'sobjectionstothisposition(instabilityandanextremevariabilityofresultsthatcouldleadtomoralskepticismsimilarto
thatoflegalpositivismand,especially,legalrealism)arecorrect.Athirdposition(suchasthatofKarlOttoApel)seekstobypasstheissueofgeneralizableinterests
byinsistingonrational(ratherthanempirical)consensusasanendinitself.Thosewhoengageinargument,accordingtothisinterpretation,mustseektoinstitutionalize
andspreadtheinstitutionalizationofrationaldiscourseinordertoavoidperformativecontradictions.Butthisapproachtendstodevalueallactualorempirical
discourseinthenameofanevervanishingcounterfactual,andthereforeitcannotevenbegintospecifyitsownconditionsofinstitutionalization.
Ourpositioninvolvestwointerrelatedsteps.First,westartwithempiricalnorms,traditions,andconsensusesthatclaimtobedemocratic,butweholdthattheycanbe
evaluated(byparticipants)intermsoftheirpossibledegreeofrationalityanddemocratization,thatis,inlightofthemetanormsprovidedbydiscourseethics.Second,
weremain,nonetheless,awareoftheinstabilityoftheresultsofevenrationallydebatedempiricalconsensus,andweseektoremedythisbyanargumentbasedon
collectiveidentityinthefirstinstance,andongeneralinterestsandsocialsolidarityinthesecond.Wefocusonactualprocessesofpublicdiscoursethatcan,if
rationalizedordemocratized,constituteorreaffirmarational,democraticcollectiveidentityorpoliticalculture.Insuchcontexts,discourseethicsprovidesthe
standardswithwhichtoselectthoseaspectsofourtradition,collectiveidentity,andpoliticalculturethatwewishtomaintainanddevelopandthatcanprovidethe
contentforlegitimatenorms.Processesofpubliccommunicationconstitutetheweofcollectiveaction,certainlybeforeitcanbeasked(formallyspeaking)whatthe
interestsofasocietyorgroupmaybeandbeforetheconditionsofsolidarityofitsmemberswithoneanothercanbeexplored.
Ofcourse,nocollectiveidentityissimplyorexclusivelyselfreflective,norcananycollectiveidentitybeuniversalinallofitsaspects.Theuniversalizableprin