Discussing Civil Society: Theory, background & Practice

Civil Society part 1


In the first edition of the Resources for Democracy podcast we examine the question ‘what is civil society’.

In recent years, civil society, has attained greater respect and an enhanced role in multiple areas of the local and international state of affairs, but if you ask a cross-section of people to define what it is, not one answer will be the same.

Thus in an effort to explore and obtain a clearer understanding of the notion, we tune in to a discussion between three men whose lives and careers have been shaped by their work in civil society.

In the first part of the discussion on civil society, David Officer, Christopher Louise, and Norman Gillespie outlined the background, the role and the principles that underpin civil society.

In the second part, Christopher and Norman outline the differing experiences of civil society involvement in the peacebuilding processes in Cyprus and Northern Ireland; two very different yet tangible examples from which important conclusions can be drawn on the effectiveness of civic participation.

Supplementary Material:

Part 1

FutureChallenges – Interview with Helmut Anheier about Global Civil Society (vid)

University of Cambridge – Citizenship and Civil Society (audio)

When is civil society a force for social transformation? MICHAEL EDWARDS 30 May

Dissecting global civil society: values, actors, organisational forms. MARLIES GLASIUS 2 November 2010

Part 2

YaleUniversity. Governance, Leadership, Civil Society and the Private Sector: An African Perspective (audio)

LSE Podcasts. The Syrian Civil War: The Resilience of Civil Society (audio)

The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding (vid)

LSE Podcasts. Conflicts, Civil Society, and Democratic Development in Burma (audio)

State crime, civil society and resistance: lessons from Tunisia. PENNY GREEN 15 December 2014

Global Civil Society. Dimension of the Non Profit Sector

The State of Global Civil Society and Volunteering

Mahallae’s Civi mapping

Civil society in reconciliation: beyond the ‘Cyprus problem’

Civil society leaders and Northern Ireland’s peace process: hopes and fears for the future.

The Institute of World Politics. Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process ( vid)

Policy Paper on the Empowerment of Civil Society in Cyprus