While the contemporary "civil society revival" is not without flaw, many of the criticisms leveled against it are exaggerated and rest on misunderstandings of the claims being advanced. Contrary to critics' charges, a renewed focus on civil society is compatible with appropriate attention to the significance of economic trends and the public sector. In turn, however, we cannot fully understand the changes in the economy and the public sector without considering the independent causal role of trends in the family, culture, and public opinion. In assessing these trends, qualitative historicocultural analysis is not enough; quantitative social science data play an essential role.

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