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Strong and Vigorous Civil Society for Democracy

A strong and vibrant civil society is essential element for thr the smooth functioning of democracy. ‘Democratic governance is strengthened not weakened when it faces a vigorous civil society’[1] It has a responsible role in improving governance and protecting human rights. Civil society can helps to prepare citizens to fulfill their civic obligations as well as to exercise their rights.
It also facilitates two way communications between the state and the people. The civil society has offered its constructive criticisms of the government policies and activities. Diamond (1991) identifies at least six functions of civil societies that are very essential for democracy; i) Civil society is a reservoir of political economic cultural and moral resources to check the process of the state. ii) The diversity of civil society will ensure that a few groups do not hold the state captive. iii) The growth of associational life will supplement the work of political parties in stimulating political participation. iv) Civil society will eventually stabilize the state because citizens will have a deeper stake in social order. Further while civil society may multiply the demands of the state it may also multiply the capacity groups to improve their own welfare. v) civil society is a locus for recruiting new political leadership. vi) civil society resists authoritarianism[2]

[1]  Putnum, Robert, Making Democracy Work, London, 1993,   p. 182.
[2] Diamond, Larry(ed) The Democratic Revolution: Struggles for Freedom and Pluralism in the Developing World, No. 12, Freedom House,1991