This paper seeks to contextualize Azmi Bishara's Civil Society: A Critical Study within Global South Studies. It argues that the book's added value lies in the criticism of the reductionist approach to civil society and reveals the failure of the reductionist approach to highlight the explanatory power of the civil society concept, its critical effect, and its democratic function as well. The paper examines how the concept has changed from being identical with the state when it was opposite to the natural society; passing through a stage of being opposite to the religious and the military; reaching the stage of being a via–media space between the individual, the state, and the market; and finally settling into being a distorted expression of that which is not a state, and thus identical to what is not political. The paper begins with an examination of the debates on the civil society concept in the Global South Studies literature. Then, it proceeds to highlight the basic conceptual, theoretical, and historical problematic issues of civil society, with which Bishara engages in his book. Finally, the paper attempts to demonstrate how the book's arguments remain very relevant to the challenges that face civil society in the Arab region.