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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.

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Civil society, donor assistance and electoral and parliamentary processes

Democracy promotion has traditionally stressed the positive role of civil society in democratization; thus democracy assistance policies are aimed at strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations (CSOs) in democratic transitions and consolidation processes. Aid agencies have been supporting CSOs on the assumption that a strong and vibrant civil society plays a dual and mutually reinforcing positive role, with respect to democratic transitions and development processes. Most bilateral and multilateral democracy assistance suppliers and donor agencies – including the United Nations, the World Bank and bilateral donors – identify the strengthening of CSOs as a priority area of action within their aid policies aiming at supporting democracy, and also as a key strategy for participatory development.

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