The Concept of Community from a Global Perspective


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This volume presents essays analysing the ambivalent history of the globally influential political and social concept of community and the paradigms it has engendered in academia and politics. While the term ‘community’ often evokes positive sentiments, it is also linked to oppressive regimes and exclusion.

A survey of the term’s use is followed by studies of the sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies and of the use of the term in disciplines such as politics, applied linguistics, anthropology, literary theory, philosophy, and intellectual history. The volume concludes with an analysis of the application of the concept in politics in the UK, debates between liberals and communitarianists, utopianism, and African philosophy.

Contributors are: Niall Bond, Christopher Adair-Toteff, Daniel Alvaro, Alexander Wierzock, Sebastian Klauke, Antonin Cohen, Jan Buts, Stéphane Vibert, Rémi Astruc, Elisabeth Bouzonviller, Françoise Orazi, Andrew Vincent, Astrid von Busekist, Robert Kramm, and Thaddeus Metz.

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Niall Bond, Ph.D. (1991), Albrecht-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Habilitation (2010), Ecole d'hautes études en sciences sociales, is an associate professor at University Lyon 2, where he is a historian of social and political thought at IHRIM and a research fellow at the Department of Sociology of the University of Johannesburg.

Notes on Contributors

  Niall Bond

1 Community The Career of a Concept between Compassion and Tribalism
  Niall Bond

Part 1
Classical Formulations of Community and Ferdinand Tönnies
2 Tönnies and Hegel on the Ethical State
  Christopher Adair-Toteff

3 Notes on Community and the Common in Marx
  Daniel Alvaro

4 Ferdinand Tönnies’ Emerging School Academic Sociability and the Awakening of Gemeinschaft
  Alexander Wierzock

5 Günther Rudolph – A Sketch of the Life and Work of a Tönnies Scholar in East Germany On the Reception of Tönnies’ Work by the Left
  Sebastian Klauke

6 Ferdinand Tönnies and the French-Speaking World
  Niall Bond

7 When the Dream (Almost) Came True European Community from Ideology to Institutions
  Antonin Cohen

Part 2
Disciplinary, Literary, and Artistic Expressions of Community
8 Community between Horde and Herd A Corpus Study
  Jan Buts

9 Community as a “Near-Concept” Essay on Socio-anthropological Typology
  Stéphane Vibert

10 What Does a Constitution Look Like? Community and the Powerful Narrative of Myth
  Rémi Astruc

11 Laughing Together as a Strategy of Survivance for Native American Communities
  Elisabeth Bouzonviller

12 Community and Music
  Niall Bond

Part 3
The Trajectory of the Notion of Community across the World
13 Community and the (Liberal) Individual
  Françoise Orazi

14 The Anatomy of the People
  Andrew Vincent

15 The Boundaries of Faith How Religious Communities Negotiate Space
  Astrid von Busekist

16 Communal Life beyond the State Radical Utopianism in South Africa, Japan, and Jamaica (1900–1950)
  Robert Kramm

17 Community in African Moral-Political Philosophy
  Thaddeus Metz


This book is especially relevant for specialists and students of sociology, history, philosophy, anthropology, political science, and economics.
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