Across the globe ,1990 have witnessed the rise of a movement called civil society which has profoundly affected social , political and economic dimensions of states all over. Civil society in 1990s has been reinvented primarily as a reaction to the disillusionment with state led development. Civil society is a component of society separate from state and market.
Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organisations and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society as opposed to the force backed structures of a state( regardless of that state’s political system) and commercial institutions of the market. As rightly defined by Diamond that Civil society is the realm of organised social life that is voluntary, self generating, largely self supporting and bound by a legal order or a set of shared values.
Also Read : Duping people online
Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. Civil societies are often populated by organizations such as community groups, NGOs, women organizations, registered charities, trade unions Self help groups, social movement, bussiness associations, coalitions and advocacy group.
Role of Civil society
The role of civil society in governance and development of a country can’t be overstated. This fact has been well brought by Robert putnam in his ” Social capital Approach”. His idea is that Society based on labour and capital determine the success and failure of the governance. To him, social capital refers to level of community awareness and other socio cultural linkages to identify various unsolved social problems. Thus civil society represents the general conscience of the population and acts as a bastion of good governance and development.
Civil society Role in good governance.
- It promotes democracy by checking the power of state ,ensuring that power is not held captive by a few and resists authoritarianism.
- Improves the quality of livelihood of poor and downtrodden.
- Promotes sustainable development ,transparency and accountability.
- Brings marginalised sections into mainstream.
- Enhances civic competence and social capital.
- Replaces rigid bureaucracies by mission oriented organizations.
- Increases role of Non Governmental organizations.
- Promotes peoples participation and administrative reforms.
- Sustains democratic decentralization.
- Promotes equity and Human rights.
Civil society role in Development Administration
It ensures role in agenda setting, recognition generation, plan formulation, Vplan implementation, review and evaluation and sharing benefits. Thus one concludes that Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors ,institutional forms varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power.
Author is a research scholar of Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected]