Civil Society: Definition and Theory
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Civil society remains hard to define as it is deeply complex. Generally, the term suggests how public life should function within and between societies.
Civil society is mainly composed of organisations not associated with the government, such as professional associations, churches, cultural institutions and businesses. They monitor government policies and actions and try to hold government leaders accountable.
However, some political and social scientists have noted that many civil society groups have now obtained a remarkable amount of political influence without having been directly elected.
Civil society refers to a wide variety of communities and groups.
These groups include non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labour unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations outside of government to support and advocate for specific people or issues in society.
The roots of civil society in the context of political thought date as far back as Ancient Rome. Cicero (106 BCE to 42 BCE) refers to the term “societas civilis” as a political community that consists of more than one city governed by the rule of law and typified by a degree of urban sophistication.
This kind of community is in contrast to uncivilised or barbarian tribal settlements.
ivic organizations can be defined as nonprofit community-based companies, clubs, committees, associations, corporations, or authorized representatives of a governmental entity composed of volunteers and which are established mainly to further educational, charitable, religious, cultural, or local economic development purposes.
It can be hard to distinguish political from nonpolitical civic organizations because many of these groups tend to work in collaboration
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