DEV 9050

Topics: Civil society, Thomas Hobbes, Capitalism Pages: 6 (2267 words) Published: February 14, 2015
Civil society is seen to add significant value to other sectors, whether as an official partner, through informal collaborations or through “spillover” effects. This piece of writing seeks to outline the main factors that have contributed to the resilience of civil society through to the modern time and recognize some of the main underlying thoughts and ideals that have influenced the role and operations of civil society in development. The piece of writing will start by defining the key terminologies. Then, it will go further to outline the main factors that have contributed to the resilience of civil society through to the modern time and recognize some of the main underlying thoughts and ideals that have influenced the role and operation of civil society in development. Finally a conclusion shall be given.

Civil society is about associational life. It is generally taken to refer to those groups (organizations) that exist between the state and the individual (or family) that both enjoy autonomy from the state and seek to have a significant influence on public policy, at any level (national, local or in-between. When defining civil society, emphasis should be put on four aspects as follows: Civil society has a clear objective and intention to contribute to improve the way society functions; they have an organizational structure where people join together and work together systematically to fulfill their objectives; the work civil society organizations do is voluntary, people choose freely to support the organizations; the aim is not for private individual gains but for the benefit of the public (Mumba, 2004). Civil society can be perceived as that part of society distinct from the state and private sectors, formed for the purpose of advancing common interests and facilitating collective action (Ibid). Sometimes it is referred to as the third sector; the state and the private being the first and second sectors respectively. There are generally two types of civil society. The first one includes those organizations concerned with fostering systemic reforms (changing basic rules of the game). Such organizations focus on issues such as human rights, legal systems, division of power between national and local, etc. the second one includes those organizations concerned with changing rules within a particular area of interest (operating rules) that is, sectoral agenda such as women, business, agriculture, environmental issues, etc (Mumba, 2004). There are many factors that can be attributed to the revival of interest in civil society beginning from the late twentieth century. Factors range from local to global socio-economic and political events in the 1990s, to the domestic concerns of individuals. The impasse of development is one factor that has contributed to the resilience of civil society to the modern time. The limitations of state-led, market-led development and conventional capital especially for socially, politically, or spatially marginalized populations. It has become more apparent that there has been a missing dimension to development: its human or social side. This has led to a shift in thinking towards the third sector or civil society to provide the missing link (Whaites and Alan, 1996). The collapse of the Soviet Union and the transition to democracy in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa have also contributed to the resilience of civil society to modern time. This worldwide move has seen the rise of civil society in mobilizing populations towards the democratization process. In this regards, civil society has also emerged as an essential component for the good governance agenda (Alagappa and Muthiah, 2004).

The other important factor that has contributed to the resilience of civil society to modern time is the society’s response to capitalism culture of separation or fragmentation of society. Capitalism has led to the dismantling of welfare state (in developing countries)...
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