Law in Civil Society, Good Society, and the Prescriptive State

25 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2012 Last revised: 19 Feb 2015

See all articles by Amitai Etzioni

Amitai Etzioni

The George Washington University

Date Written: 2000


Two recent reports call attention to the fact that the American society faces two "crises" rather than one. These studies are the National Commission On Civic Renewal's A Nation of Spectators: How Civic Disengagement Weakens America and What We Can Do About It (from here on A Nation of Spectators), and the Institute for American Values' A Call to Civil Society: Why Democracy Needs Moral Truths (from here on A Call to Civil Society). The first malaise results from the deterioration of the civil society reflected in declines in voter turnout, people interested in public affairs, and participation in voluntary associations, among other developments. The second results from the deterioration of society's moral fiber reflected in and further fueled by a decline in focus on the family, high rates of teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births, and a rise in the vile and violent elements of the mass culture, among other developments.

Suggested Citation

Etzioni, Amitai, Law in Civil Society, Good Society, and the Prescriptive State (2000). Chicago Kent Law Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (2000), pp. 355-37. Available at SSRN:

Amitai Etzioni (Contact Author)

The George Washington University ( email )

2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Suite 4058
Washington, DC 20037
United States

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