Pols241 week 4 readings Chapter 4 in textbook (Military Politics in three polity areas: Civil society,
political society and the state.
3 most important arenas of the polity
o 1) civil society
Arena where manifold social movements and civic organizations from all classes
(Lawyers, trade unions etc) attempt to constitute themselves in an ensemble of
arrangements so that they can express themselves and advance their interests.
o 2) Political society
The arena in which the polity arranges itself for political contestation to gain
control over public power and the state apparatus.
A full democratic transition must involve political society and consolidation of a
democratic polity must involve serious thought about the core institutions of a
democratic political society (i.e political parties, elections, electoral rules etc)
through which civil society can constitute itself politically and monitor
o 3) the state
More than government
The continuous administrative, legal, bureaucratic and coercive system that
attempts to manage the state and to structure the relationship between civil
and public power and to structure many crucial relationships between civil and
The state eliminates any significant autonomy in political or civil society.
Strong authoritarian state
Political society is frequently absorbed by dominant groups into the
state, but civil society characteristically has at least some degree of
autonomy in certain spheres.
Democratizing period in Brazil (1974-1985)
o Popular topics of social science concerned new movements within civil society that
present challenges to the authoritarian state, such as the church, the new unionism,
new entrepreneurs, the press, women’s groups ect.
o Civil society became the political celebrity of the Abertura.
The phrase has to tactical advantages
1) Because it was explicitly meant to entail opposition to the regime
that regime found it difficult to appropriate the meaning to its own