Since its publication in 2004, Civil Society has become a standard work of reference for all those who seek to understand the role of voluntary citizen action in the contemporary world. In this thoroughly-revised edition, Michael Edwards updates the arguments and evidence presented in the original and adds major new material on issues such as civil society in Africa and the Middle East, global civil society, information technology and new forms of citizen organizing. He explains how in the future the pressures of state encroachment, resurgent individualism, and old and familiar forces of nationalism and fundamentalism in new clothes will test and re-shape the practice of citizen action in both positive and negative ways. Civil Society will help readers of all persuasions to navigate these choppy waters with greater understanding, insight and success. Colleges and universities, foundations and NGOs, public policy-makers, journalists and commissions of inquiry - all have used Edwards's book to understand and strengthen the vital role that civil society can play in deepening democracy, re-building community, and addressing poverty, inequality and injustice. This new edition will be required reading for anyone who is interested in creating a better world through citizen action.