An analysis of the role of the civil society in modern democratic countries
According to liberal democratic theorists, the state should provide a government that is accountable and subject to free and fair elections, while civil society should be able to enjoy civil and political rights and associational autonomy.
Types of civil society
Urbanized elites monopolize both political and economic power, leading to a decreasing equity and transparency in the allocation of national resources. This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. In the post-Cold War era, in which many countries have embarked on various forms of democratization, civil society has come to be seen as one of the main indicators of that process, as well as an appealing way to frame such research. Research Questions In trying to determine the contribution of civil society in promoting democratic governance, this study will be guided by some questions that are pertinent in finding out the how they contribute to a more democratic society and state. Civil society as an object of study has experienced a veritable explosion, and today, it is commonly applied to very different contexts and continents throughout the world. These questions will largely pay attention to the main activities NGOs carry and how they affect the basic conditions necessary for a democracy to thrive. CSOs and NGOs in particular, are also seen as the institutional vehicles for effective democratic transformations of the developing societies into modern, liberal and politically open societies. But it is also important to note that where civil society is weak, the pace and depth of democratic reforms have been slow or nonexistent mainly because the state has suffocated civil society. Among these could be high levels of income, equality, good governance and a good human rights record, economic and social development among others. Hypothesis Civil society and NGOs in developing countries, Kenya included, have played an important role in the transit from the authoritarian regimes through a democratization process and promotion of democratic governance by agitating for democratic place and keeping the government on check on governance, accountability, transparency and human rights related issues among others, which is the scenario that is on the ground today with more than ever seen before number of civil society registered. In this vision, civil society exists only in its relationship to the state: it is not envisaged as a potentially democratic sphere in its own right through which alternative visions of democracy might be pursued Baker, This study is a qualitative study and literature review and documentation was the main technique employed for collecting data about democracy, civil society and NGOs in developing countries, Kenya and also KHRC. A vision grounded in the belief that it is possible to realize a new Kenyan society based on a human rights culture that upholds the dignity of all its members equally and without discrimination. In doing this, the study will show that civil society in developing countries have had a significant impact on democratic governance 1. Relations with the Government 6.
Limitations of the Study To maintain a narrow scope on the field of research, this study will mainly be limited to one Non-Governmental Organization, the Kenya Human Rights Commission which will serve to represent CSOs as well as NGOs on their roles and influence in the democratic governance processes in Kenya.
This study also has what Bryman has referred to as epistemological position that is interpretive in nature as opposed to the adoption of a natural scientific model that is evident in quantitative research. Research Methodology and research design Research Methodology in this study represents the principles, procedures, and strategies of research used in a study for gathering information, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.
Relations with other organizations 6. Making democracy work: Civic traditions in modern Italy. In doing this, the study will show that civil society in developing countries have had a significant impact on democratic governance 1.
The post-colonial period has continued to see a growth in both local and foreign NGOs in all African countries, with a marked mushrooming during the s.
Popular freedom of expression and articulation of interests are blatantly or subtly curtailed. From the above, it is clear that qualitative research methods are the best suited for the current analysis based on their flexibility and given most of the data available is in words rather than numbers and also due to the fact that the study aims at analysing the already available data about the topic of the study as opposed to carrying out a data collection exercise.
This led to either collapse of the states or those that survived becoming deeply dysfunctional with no capacity to carry out any of the roles attributed to a modern state.
Role of civil society organizations in developing countries
World Politics, 49 3 , — Today, it is a term that floods academic, journalistic, and everyday discourse. Data will also be limited to secondary this is explained in the next chapter , and the timeline will be from the onset of multiparty politics in early up to the current scenario. The research strategy to be utilized in this thesis is a case study research. Therefore, the rights and the possessors of these rights vary from one society to another, observes Mungle, Looking at the various activities that they carry will assist in determining whether they have been contributing to the ongoing democratization. Research Methodology and research design Research Methodology in this study represents the principles, procedures, and strategies of research used in a study for gathering information, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions. Among these could be high levels of income, equality, good governance and a good human rights record, economic and social development among others. The choice of this source of data was informed by the limited time available to arrange for a data collection trip given the distance and logistics needed to travel to Kenya and arrange this. At the same time, NGOs strengthen civil society through protests, where they serve to aggregate and moderate political demands and also provide channels distinct from the state mechanisms through which disputes can be negotiated and dissipated There has been three interconnected themes that emerged from much of the literature on third world politics and all suggest that expectations of civil society playing a major role in the democratic process need to be handled with caution since a growing sector of the civil society is occupied by groups with ethnic and religious bases and much of the civil society remains increasingly detached from concerns with democracy. Mercer notes that there is a recurring theme in the literature about the important role played by the NGO sector in democratic transitions and democratic consolidation in a number of countries, particularly across Latin America, and specifically in Chile and Brazil. Most of the states in developing countries and especially in the post colonial Africa do not have this attribute that entails high per capita wealth, industrialization, urbanization and high levels of education. Like in most post-colonial states elsewhere in the developing world, the African postcolonial state failed to establish enduring democracies with the liberal constitutions that had been imposed by the departing colonial hegemons soon unraveling and consequently resulting to the colonial state reasserting itself under the pretense of a modern state but characterized by undemocratic principles, says Mutua Conceptual Clarifications Before ploughing deep into the topic of study, it is important to define some concepts that will be repeatedly used in this study and thus this section will attempt to provide possible definitions and a clear understanding of these concepts that inform this study.
African governments have seen them as being used to as the medium through which the West controls policies and governance in the less developed world.
based on 29 review