Role of the Government
> The Government should be responsive to the needs
of both the nation as a whole and the people as
> If necessary, it should take a gradual and pragmatic
manner of action in responding to such needs.
(Pragmatic means relating to matters of fact or
practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual
or artistic matters : practical as opposed to
> It embraces the totality of all institutions through
which the state carries out its will.
[suh-sahy-i-tee] , plural so·ci·e·ties, adjective
an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent,
cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes.
a body of individuals living as members of a community.
the body of human beings generally, associated or viewed as members of a
a highly structured system of human organization for large-scale community
living that normally furnishes protection, continuity, security, and a national
identity for its members.
such a system characterized by its dominant economic class or form: middle-
class society; industrial society.
It is the part of society that consists of organizations
and institutions that help and look after people, their
health, and their rights. It does not include the
government or the family.
It is an intermediary between the private sector and
As Larry Diamond defines it, is “the realm of organized
social life that is open, voluntary, bound by a legal
order or set of shared rules.”
It involves private citizens acting collectively to make
demands to the state or to express in the public sphere
their interests, preferences and ideas or to check the
authority of the state and make it accountable.
They include civic, issue-oriented, religious, and
educational interest groups and associations. Some are
known as nongovernmental organizations or NGOs;
some are informal and loosely structured.
Role of the Civil
> It act as an important additional watch-
dog over the relationships between public
and private, state and society.
> It can play a vital role in making the elites
and the mass public more committed to
democracy by disseminating democratic
principles and ideas.
> It can train future political leaders.
> It can stimulate political participation.
THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN DEMOCRATIC
CONSOLIDATION IN ASIA
In the Philippines, democratization occurred without economic
growth. The strength of civil society and the democratic
consciousness that had been firmly ingrained in the Philippine public
helped bring down the dictatorial rule of Ferdinand Marcos.
The mobilization of hundreds of thousands of citizens to reclaim the
stolen 1986 election through the National Citizens Movement for Free
Elections (NAMFREL)—set up to monitor the election—forced Marcos
out of power.
Without NAMFREL’s strength, Marcos' massive election fraud would
not have been documented and publicized and the mobilization would
not have been possible.
In addition, the strength of civil society helped maintain democratic
rule throughout the term of President Corazon Aquino, who survived
several coup attempts. Civil society flexed its muscles again in the
successful campaign to oust Joseph Estrada for corruption.
Philippines civil society showed it was strong enough to force
Estrada to step down, another example of the active monitoring
of the performance of state and political leaders by Philippine
However, the Philippine state is still weak and unable to assert
its autonomy from powerful business and societal groups. The
commitment to democracy by Philippine elites and the mass
public is unquestioned.
But Philippine democracy cannot truly become entrenched until
a viable and vibrant civil society develops that can
counterbalance the state, as well as influential business and
societal groups that want to dominate the state.
Reference: THE NEXUS BETWEEN CIVIL
SOCIETY AND DEMOCRACY
by Joerg Forbrig (Florence,Warsaw)
"Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what
you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy
"Public administration calls for not only the active
participation of the politicians but also of all sectors
of society if it is to succeed in overcoming the many
administrative and socio-economic problems of the
nation. The total involvement of all sectors of the
society in the life of the nation is an imperative
requirement for national survival, as well as for the
attainment of national greatness.
Jose P. Leveriza, Public Administration The Business of
Government Second Edition
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