Taco Brandsen, Willem Trommel, and Bram Verschuere (eds.): Manufacturing Civil Society: Principles, Practices, and Effects
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This edited volume seeks to untangle a complex paradox in modern governance—though government collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) has led to a decline of CSO legitimacy, collaboration with civil society is still a popular government solution for providing public services. Taco Brandsen, Willem Trommel, and Bram Verschuere, professors of public administration, policy, and management in the Netherlands and Belgium, offer a fascinating collection of empirical essays exploring how governments attempt to revitalize, reinvent, and manufacture civil society today.
In chapter one, the editors introduce the volume’s theoretical framework, arguing that the dual trends of (1) pluralistic governance and CSO co-production and (2) the decline of traditional forms of civil society (e.g. churches and community organizations) have enabled states to recreate civil society for their own social purposes. Chapters two and eleven explain this theory’s two conceptual themes. In chapter two,...