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.



International norm-setting by civil society organizations: Lessons for strengthening norms pertaining to legal empowerment of the poor

In 2008 the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor released a compelling and timely report on the need to make legal protections and access available to the poor (CLEP, 2008).The commission, a civil society entity of highly distinguished members, in alliance with other civil society organizations (CSOs) such as the American Bar Association, has the ambition of establishing an international norm that every government should provide recourse to legal processes and legal protections for lowincome people. In many countries, particularly in the developing world, poverty is exacerbated by the fact that administrative and judicial processes are not affordable, low-income people have only tenuous legal standing and legal processes discriminate against the poor in favour of wealthier, more powerful people. Therefore establishing a structure that contributes to sanctions against neglecting legal protections for the poor is a highly worthwhile effort. In so far as it is the responsibility of governments to “make the law work for the poor”, bringing negative consequences to governments that do not strive to provide these protections is the most feasible path.


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