The concept of civil society as a conglomeration of institutions which mediate between the individual and the state has become popular and influential. The free associations of civil society offer men and women both a moral training and an experience of democracy at grass-roots level. They play a vital part in sustaining a free and open society. Civil society has been embraced by politicians and social commentators, but it is, as Frank Prochaska says, "among the most fertile, if amorphous, concepts in history". It has come to mean different things to different people. In this book, the author traces the emergence of civil society as a clearly defined space between the government and the citizenry.