It is a decade since the debut of the landmark Global Civil Society yearbook. During that time, as the yearbook has attempted to debate, map and measure the shifting contours of this contested phenomenon, relationships between state and society have shifted. On both sides promises have been made and broken, expectations raised and shattered, partnerships brokered and roles reversed. Moreover, from the instigation of the International Criminal Court by a coalition of NGOs to the mass protests of civilians across North Africa, the influence of non-state actors has become impossible to discount.
In this anniversary edition, activists and academics look back on ten years of 'politics from below', and ask whether it is merely the critical gaze upon the concept that has changed - or whether there is something genuinely new in kind about the way in which civil society is now operating.