Engaging Civil Society

Emerging Trends in Democratic Governance

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The rapid pace of globalization has led to the increasing interdependence of member states of the United Nations to achieve sustainable development objectives, including the eradication of extreme poverty, environmental protection, access to basic services and livelihoods and the promotion of economic growth and opportunities. The book attempts to examine the changing roles of civil society in global and national governance. It identifies factors that influence the effectiveness of civil society in promoting democratic governance by addressing how the rapid pace of globalization has increased the interdependence of governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations.




Democratic governance is a concept comprising the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their differences. Governance becomes democratic when it is infused with such principles as participation, rule of law, transparency, accountability and subsidiarity. Three sets of actors are engaged in the democratic governance process – those from the state, who are primarily responsible for creating an “enabling” political and legal environment; those from the private sector, who create jobs, income, goods and services; and the civil society that facilitates political and social interaction. Roles, capacities, relationships and fostering of interaction among the three sets of actors have been changing over the past few years. This has led to a “paradigm shift” from government to democratic governance corresponding with an evolving role of the state and expanding engagement of civil society.


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