We have to remember that historically, civil society actually meant the private sector, but this was a private sector consisting of propertied individuals and some powerful institutions such as the Church; most people, slaves, women, non-propertied workers and farmers, where not part of civil society. This only changed when, through many decades of popular struggles, active citizenship rights were extended , creating a more vibrant civil society, with many new types of social institutions such as nonprofits, parties, but also many informal associations and relationships, now very evident through peer production. Nevertheless despite these gains in rights which insure formal equality in citizenship, civil society remains a deeply divided reality. In many countries, especially in the South, the very notion of civil society is contested because it still retains powerful exclusionary mechanisms.
I think we can adapt two changes to the concept, so that it retains its value, as I think we need a concept that describes what does not belong neither to the collective state nor to private profit maximisation, but describes activities that directly benefit the common good. The first is to use the concept of civiC, rather than civil society, as this clearly links it with equal citizenship and popular sovereignty.
The second change is that we have to imperatively exclude activities for private gain from the realm of civic society.
This then gives us the triarchy:
1) of the state, as representative institution (at least in democracies), that is formally in charge of the overall collective good, though of course in reality we know that it carries out this function for the benefit of ruling oligarchies, which means this function must be reclaimed (and transformed) in the interest of the citizens.
2) that of the private sector, which contains profit-maximising enterprises only concerned with their own private advancement, and therefore, not acting as citizens; these activities need to be transformed, so that they can no longer ignore positive and negative social externalities
3) civic society then, is reserved for all those individual and collective entities which act directly from a perspective of the common good, through self-action and self-expression instead of representation (which distinguishes it from the state), and this can include market actions, on the very important condition that these are subsumed under the common good, i.e. undertaken by mission-oriented entities, for which the market activity is a means to an end, and not an end in itself or a means for profit maximisation.