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Submitted by Richard Holloway on
What is most interesting is the way that the envelope of what is normally thought of as 'civil society' has been damtically stretched through local events. Alan Fowler has long proclaimed that the dividing lines between the State, Busines, and Civil Society were "fuzzy", and recent events have underlined that. According to articles in the IHT, civil society groups in Tahrir Square were, inter alia, football fan clubs, the muslim brotherhood, spontaneous groups formed through facebook, flash mobs generated through twitter, groups of people whose families had been hurt by the existing regime, youth groups, neighbourhod groups - and probably many others as yet undocumented, often energized by people who came from a business background (the guy from Google). A very important issue is to support and promote civil society groups which are participatory and emocratic, and watch out for those which are authoritarian and despotic. It is the former features, together with private energy, which make civil society an important force for good.