Includes social groups of a society such as NGOs, women¹s and youth groups, faith based organisations, user and interest groups (e.g. people living with HIV/AIDS, labour groups) and many others
non-corporate, non-governmental organizations that work to promote the public interest
This term has many meanings. Some use it to describe the combination of decency, civility, and manners that are adopted as an antidote to the harsh edge of public debate. Others consider the term to be synonymous with private charity, volunteerism, and service. For most, maintaining a civil society means affirming and strengthening the community-based, voluntary, religious, and civic institutions in our society that sustain our democracy.
"All civic organisations, associations and networks which occupy the 'social space' between the family and the state except firms and political parties; and who come together to advance their common interests through collective action. Includes volunteer and charity groups, parents and teachers associations, senior citizens groups, sports clubs, arts and culture groups, faith-based groups, workers' clubs and trades unions, non-profit think-tanks, and 'issue-based' activist groups. By definition, all such civic groups are non-government organisations (NGOs)." (From a DfID glossary.)
An umbrella term that covers groups in democratic and "semi-democratic" countries that work for non-violent change in areas such as civil rights, social assistance and economic reform. In academic terms, the London School of Economics defines Civil Society as "the set of institutions, organizations and behaviour situated between the state, the business world and the family. Specifically, this includes voluntary and non-profit organizations of many different kinds, philanthropic institutions, social and political movements, other forms of social participation and engagement, and the values and cultural patterns associated with them."
Civil society refers to those groups, organizations, and associations that are neither private (businesses) nor public (government); often called the nonprofit, independent, or voluntary sector.
public forms of organisation or activity within a society, which are not military or ecclesiastical in nature.24
tactic briefly endorsed by the Conservatives in the general election, which in essence proposed that many of the functions of the welfare state would be performed by charities or religious groups. Beneath the veil... John Simpson
a civilized society
a complex system of organizations that must be studied and understood
a reflection of its political leadership The education system is a hotch potch of federal and state political and social engineering ideologies
A 'third sector' of society beside the State and the market, embracing institutions, groups and associations (either structured or informal), which may act as mediator between citizens and public authorities. Source: Cedefop, 2001 in European Commission, communication Making a European area of lifelong learning a reality, doc. COM(2001) 678 final.
Non-governmental, non-profit making organisations, networks and voluntary associations.
This term refers to all of the organizations which are not public or for-profit institutions.
Non-profit, organised groups, clubs and associations in society that operate independently from government and the state. Examples of groups in civil society include universities, non-governmental organisations, environmental movements, indigenous peoples' associations, organised local communities and trade unions. Civil society can be organised at the local, national and international level.
(1) the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and intermidiary institutions that manifest interests and will of the people, (2) individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government. [Note: in the practice of the United States, the concept of "civil society" does not exclude aliens.
the institutions, organizations and behaviour situated between the state, the business world, and the family, including voluntary and non-profit organizations, philanthropic organizations, social and political movements, and so on.
Organised groups of members of society whose interests are defined as being with the people generally rather than a specific sector, eg., business.
Voluntary and community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), trade unions, etc. The EU encourages the input of civil society in the decision-making process.
The London School of Economics Centre for Civil Society suggests: â€˜Civil society refers to the arena of uncoerced collective action around shared interests, purposes and values. In theory, its institutional forms are distinct from those of the state, family and market, though in practice, the boundaries between state, civil society, family and market are often complex, blurred and negotiated. Civil society commonly embraces a diversity of spaces, actors and institutional forms, varying in their degree of formality, autonomy and power. Civil societies are often populated by organisations such as registered charities, development non-governmental organisations, community groups, women's organisations, faith-based organisations, professional associations, trades unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions and advocacy group.â€(tm) Debate surrounding this issue includes whether businesses should be defined as part of civil society. Some commentators even believe that only institutions that are critical of the state are genuinely part of civil society. Also see Wikipedia Definition: Civil Society
top of the page | The web of associations, social norms and practices that comprise activities of a society as separate from its state and market institutions. Civil society includes religious organizations, foundations, guilds, professional associations, labor unions, academic institutions, media, pressure groups and political parties.
Increasingly being used in international discussions in place of NGO, distinguishing society interests from political or business perspectives. Hence Civil Society Organisation (CSO).
Civil society is composed of the totality of voluntary civic and social organizations 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.