The Idea of Community: A Historical Review

This essay reviews the idea of community in Western political thought. The classical paradigm is civic republicanism which emphasizes common good. self-rule, and civic virtue as the major characteristics of political life. After the dissolution of the classic theory, there are three paradigms of community in modern political thought—state, civil society, and nation. The modern state is based on the ideal of neutrality with regard to social conflicts. Since its theoretical emphases are on sovereignty and the law, it becomes the dominatnt ruling apparatus of modern political community.

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