In region-building, placing emphasis upon the many business and societal actors rather than state elites and states-led regional organizations is a recent tendency. As this chapter shows, civil society has emerged as a dynamic force in the re-spatialization of contemporary social life. The analysis is structured in two parts. First is a section based on the notion that the first step towards a better understanding of the regionalization of civil society is to focus the theoretical and conceptual lenses through which it is viewed. To a large extent, the general neglect of civil society in the literature is a conceptual, theoretical and methodological problem. There is a risk of misunderstanding the diversity and many roles of regional civil societies around the world if the theories and conceptualizations of civil society are rooted solely in Western or European experience.
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