Civil Society as Networks of Issues and Associations: The Case of Food

Mario Diani, Henrik Ernstson, Lorien Jasny

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Scholars usually conceptualize civil society as both a discursive and an associational space. In the former, focus is on communicative practices; in the latter, attention shifts to the actors that cooperate or clash about the identification and production of collective goods. In this chapter, we sketch the contours of an approach to civil society that treats both dimensions in an integrated way. Looking at the role of food issues in urban settings as diverse as Cape Town, Bristol, and Glasgow, we borrow from social network analysis to explore first, how civic organizations combine an interest in food-related issues with attention to other themes, thus defining different, specific agendas; next, we ask if and how interest in food identifies specific clusters of cooperation within broader civil society networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKnowledge and Civil Society
EditorsJohannes Glückler, Heinz-Dieter Meyer, Laura Suarsana
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Cham
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783030711474
ISBN (Print)9783030711467, 9783030711498
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021

Publication series

NameKnowledge and Space
ISSN (Print)1877-9220
ISSN (Electronic)2543-0580


  • civic networks
  • South Africa
  • UK
  • urban collective action
  • food
  • social network analysis
  • Inter-organizational alliances
  • social movements
  • voluntary organizations
  • local civil society


Dive into the research topics of 'Civil Society as Networks of Issues and Associations: The Case of Food'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this