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Since the emergence of the dissident "parallel polis" in Eastern Europe, civil society has become a "new superpower," influencing democratic transformations, human rights, and international co-operation; co-designing economic trends, security and defense; reshaping the information society; and generating new ideas on the environment, health, and the "good life." This volume seeks to compare and reassess the role of civil society in the rich West, the poorer South, and the quickly expanding East in the context of the twenty-first century's challenges. It presents a novel perspective on civic movements testing John Keane's notion of "monitory democracy:" an emerging order of public scrutiny and monitoring of power. To what extent does the monitory function of civil society ensure a political, cultural and economic innovation for a more sustainable future? In what ways are the mushrooming civic organizations a secret sharer of the states and industries' machinations?