Civil Society and Democracy: Weimar Reconsidered

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civil society, democracy, Weimar Republic, Nazism

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his article argues that such authors as Sheri Berman and Ariel Armony have overstated the importance of the state when explaining the relationship between civil society and democracy. They have done so because no theoretical framework is currently available to assess civil society's democratic potential, which led them to focus rather on the state as the central explanans. Furthermore, Berman's incorrect interpretation of Weimar's civic organizing led her to draw erroneous conclusions about civil society in general. This article seeks to correct this view on Weimar's civil society and offers a theoretical framework able to capture the relationship between civil society and democracy by focusing on civil society's internal diversity and the quality of democratic representation and procedure.

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Journal of Civil Society, v. 5, issue 1, p. 21-34