Civil Society has become a standard work of reference for those who seek to understand the role of voluntary citizen action. Recent global unrest has shown the importance of social movements and street protests in world politics. However, as this lucid book shows, the power that people have to shape their societies is usually channeled through day-to-day participation in voluntary associations and communities: expressions of "normal" civic life beyond the headlines. This is the underlying story of civil society. This new edition explores issues that have developed rapidly in recent years, including the overlaps between civil society and the market in the form of social enterprises and "venture philanthropy," and the increasing role of social media and information and communication technologies in civic interaction. Different varieties of civil society in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere are investigated in more detail, and case studies, data, and references have been updated throughout. Colleges, foundations and NGOs, 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 inequality and injustice. This new edition will be required reading for anyone who is interested in creating a better world through voluntary citizen action.