Power, Politics, and the Civil Sphere

  • Jeffrey C. Alexander
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

The state is the source of coercion in modern societies, but politics and power are about much more than states. The state provides an umbrella for modern politics, but so does the civil sphere. Politics originates in the civil sphere; it aims to push state power in a certain direction, making it work on behalf of this end rather than another. These ends are set by communicative conflicts in the civil sphere. To articulate these ends with state power — that is the aim and reward of modern politics.


Civil Society Social Movement Political Power Public Sphere Civil Liberty 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey C. Alexander
    • 1
  1. 1.The Center for Cultural SociologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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