As we have seen in previous chapters, the idea of civil society re-emerged initially in the 1970s and 1980s as a way of articulating a form of political action or self-determination located in society rather than the state. In both Eastern Europe and Latin America this new approach to civil society served two interrelated purposes. First, living under an authoritarian state there was a strategic case for the discovery of autonomous associational life as an alternative to statist politics from which the opposition, and popular forces generally, were excluded. However, as we have also seen, the turn to civil society was not merely tactical or instrumental, informed as it was by the attempt to suggest an alternative to statist political philosophy based on the principles of self-limitation and self-organisation. According to this philosophy, the accepted wisdom of the ruling political ideologies of modernity that the state is sovereign undermines the politics of everyday life and replaces the self-determining actions of free citizens with the dead weight of distant and unresponsive institutions organised in the interests of ‘power’. Thus it was from this normative position, and not just out of pragmatism, that flowed the rejection of traditional state-directed oppositional strategies, whether revolutionary or reformist. What was sought after was nothing less than the democracy of civil society.