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Environment and the Global Civil Society

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This paper examines the role of civil society in environmental movements in the context of globalization. Exploring the various meanings of civil society, it argues that to understand civil society as a politically meaningful concept, due consideration should be given to social movements, which recharge civil society. At the same time, the efficacy of social movements rests on the vibrancy of civil society. In the present day world, civil society has become quite active in a large number of public interest issues of which environment has become quite central. This paper explores the conditions of the environmental movement as a truly global phenomenon and its role in the rise of a global civil society. The paper also reflects on the implications of the emergence of a global civil society for the protection of the environment. Drawing upon the cases of the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Narmada Dam in India the paper examines the role of an incipient global civil society. We must keep on striving to make the world a better place for all of mankind - each one contributing his bit, in his or her own way. - Ken Saro-Wiwa The Environment is humanity's first right. - Ken Saro-Wiwa

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology National University of Singapore


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