The Cement of Civil Society by Mario Diani


Civil society is frequently conceived as a field of multiple organizations, committed to highly diverse causes and interests. When studied empirically, however, its properties are often reduced to the sum of the traits and attitudes of the individuals or groups that are populating it. This book shows how to move from an “aggregative” to a relational view of civil society. Drawing upon field work on citizens’ organizations in two British cities, this book combines network analysis and social movement theories to show how to represent civil society as a system of relations between multiple actors. “Modes of coordination” enables us to identify different logics of collective action within the same local settings. The book exposes the weakness of rigid dichotomies, separating the voluntary sector from social movements, “civic” activism oriented to service delivery from “un-civic” protest, grassroots activism external to institutions from formal, professionalized organizations integrated within the “system.”

The book can be bought here.


ECPR General Conference Oslo (Sep 2017) – SG on Political Networks Call for Panels

The Standing Group on Political Networks of the European Consortium for Political Research – ECPR – invites proposals for full panels to be included in the program of the 11th ECPR General Conference, to be hosted on 6-9 September 2017 at the University of Oslo, Norway.


The section aims to bring together methodological, theoretical or empirical papers investigating the role of networks in political and policy processes.

If you are interested in proposing a full panel, please do so until November 10th, 2016 by sending proposal(s) to Panel proposals must include the Panel title, an abstract (max. 150 words) and author(s) bio (max. 50 words). The Standing Group (SG) convenors will inform you about a final decision on your proposal.

Please feel free to contact the SG at ( for further information.

Political Networks ECPR Standing group
Mailing list:
Twitter: @politicalnets
Communication Committee: