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From new political organizations to changing moral geographies: Unpacking global civil society

Volker Heins
GeoJournal
Vol. 52, No. 1, Crossing Boundaries to Organize Resistance: Environmental NGOs as Agents of Social Change (2000), pp. 37-44
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41124847
Page Count: 8
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From new political organizations to changing moral geographies: Unpacking global civil society
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Abstract

The discourse of globalization suggests that territorial and cultural boundaries are increasingly insignificant or even disappearing in today's 'world of flows'. More recently, this notion of borderlessness has also suffused broad reaches of the imagination of policy-makers and social scientists in the Western world. Thus, the term 'global civil society' was coined to capture the experience and impact of transnational environmental and human rights activism. In this paper, however, it is argued that the concept remains both undertheorized and empirically dubious. In order to analytically 'unpack' the concept, I provide a brief summary of an empirical research project on networks of new political organizations in South Asia and the West. The evidence assembled suggests the need to reconceptualize the geographies of transborder solidarity and concern beyond the rhetoric of global civil society.

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