Civil society in the shadow of the state (CISTAS)


Civil Society (CS) in the Shadow of the State (CISTAS) is an interdisciplinary project, which analyses the Danish CS, historically, sociologically and politically, raising these questions: what role has civil society had in the development of the modern state and the welfare state? What role does civil society play today, and what role will it play in the future? The project is based on four theses:1. The state is not the opposite of the civil society. It provides the conditions for the existence of a civil society.2. CS is a politically contested concept, which changes over time and is ascribed different characteristics and roles. 3. CS can contribute to both social cohesion and social disintegration of society through CS´s organisational forms and democratic practices 4. The emergence, use and practices of the Danish CS represent particular social, historical and political characteristics. The theses constitute the framework for six subprojects1. CS and associative democracy 2. CS and philanthropy 3. CS and voluntariness4. Danish CS in a comparative perspective 5. CS, trust, social capital and cohesion 6. CS’s forms of ownership and organisational structure


Private (National)




Department of Business and Politics

Collaborative partners:

University of Copenhagen




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End Date:


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