Civil Society Unbound
MOSCOW – The challenges facing civil-society organizations are greater in Russia than in many parts of the world, but the challenges facing civil society itself are similar everywhere. Indeed, around the world there is a gap between civil-society organizations and the societies they profess to serve.
Civil-society organizations do not gain power through elections (legitimate or otherwise), but through reaching the broader world. In short, their goal is to build civil society itself.
They are most successful when people behave as part of civil society without necessarily being “civil-society” professionals. That is, they will do such things as take care of their own health, engage in public discussions or blog about safety conditions in their community, rate school performance, organize weekly runs for dog owners, care for their local forests or rivers- as part of their lives, not as part of their jobs.