This volume explores and analyses civil society initiatives which address and impact on issues of good governance. It makes a cogent case for broadening the conceptualisation of governance so as to rescue it from the widely prevalent view that governance is the sole responsibility of the state. The contributors argue that people must be given the space to decide what is good for them and for defining their version of governance.The volume is divided in two sections. The first part deals with conceptual and theoretical issues concerning the interface between civil society and governance. Among the important aspects discussed are: - the concept of civil society as a third sphere - establishing a balance between the state, the market and civil society - the ways in which ordinary citizens can make the state accountableThe second part presents five case studies of assertions in the sphere of civil society which substantiate the theoretical insights presented in the first section. This empirical evidence relates to: - the Chilika Bachao Andolan in Orissa - the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha - dalit assertions in the Meerut region of Uttar Pradesh - the struggle of the pavement dwellers in Mumbai to be accorded a place in civil society - the fight of Kol tribals in Uttar Pradesh to secure the rights provided to them by the state

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