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Civil society participation in EU governance
Eva G. Heidbreder
Living Reviews in European Governance , 2012,
Abstract: For the longest time, the participation of civil society has not been an area of interest for neither EU researchers nor political decision-makers. This changed with a rising interest in the democratic credentials of the European Union. With the end of the initial permissive consensus on EU integration, civil society emerged as a possible remedy to bridge the gap between supranational governance and citizens. This Living Review presents the two dominant analytical perspectives on civil society participation: the notion of civil society as organized actors that contribute actively to multilevel governance, and civil society as the mold for an emerging European public sphere. Both these conceptual views are reflected in hands-on initiatives on the EU level. On the one hand, the European Commission in particular promotes the inclusion of organized societal interests in the informal decision-making procedures. On the other hand, various forms of deliberative practices have been introduced that build on the encompassing notion of constituting a trans-European public sphere. The review offers a comprehensive overview on the multiple definitions of civil society and the distinct role attributions these coexisting conceptions imply. The contribution draws a number of critical conclusions on the actual outcomes that the active promotion of civil society participation has thus achieved, and questions whether civil society participation has indeed led to a more grounded legitimacy of EU decisions or a more settled European public sphere.
Civil society participation in EU Governance
Barbara Finke
Living Reviews in European Governance , 2007,
Abstract: The debate on the European Union’s legitimacy crisis led to the discovery of civil society in EU governance. With the waning of the permissive consensus, politicians, bureaucrats, and academics shifted their attention towards the input-oriented dimension of democratic legitimacy which results from authentic participation and governance ‘by the people’. Participatory democracy via civil society involvement came to be considered as a promising supplement to representative democracy and entered EU documents such as the White Paper on European Governance and the draft Constitutional Treaty around the turn of the millennium. However, the origins of the current debate on civil society in EU governance can also be traced back to interest group research which has flourished since the early 1980s and the debate on ‘participatory governance’ that unfolded in the 1990s. These approaches are more concerned with effective political problem-solving and the output-dimension of democratic legitimacy which can, from this point of view, be improved by stakeholder participation and civil society engagement. In fact, two scholars who refer to ‘civil society’ do not necessarily mean the same thing and this is even less obvious if journalists, politicians or public officials allude to civil society. In order to enhance the basis of the discussion, we should seek to identify the conceptions they rely on. This will help us to understand where different arguments come from. Hence, this essay seeks to identify the different layers of the current debate on civil society participation in EU governance by unfolding the traditions of thought academic and political advocates of civil society in EU affairs currently draw on. This essay will basically distinguish between output-oriented approaches which explore the contribution of civil society groups to effective governance and problem-solving on the one hand and research that is interested in input-oriented legitimacy and participatory democracy on the other.
The Role of Global Civil Society in Global Governance  [PDF]
Vivek Kumar Mishra
Beijing Law Review (BLR) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/blr.2012.34026
Abstract: Globalisation is the most defining feature of the twenty first century. The globalised world faces new challenges such as climate change, terrorism, poverty and economic crisis. These challenges having no borders and cannot be solved by any country alone. These can be resolved only by coordinated efforts at the global level. Therefore, the world needs more effective forms of collaboration between international organisations, governments, the private sector and global civil society. The paper is an attempt to elucidate the role of global civil society as a means of global governance for the resolution of many global issues. More particularly, the aim is to understand how global civil society organisations are shaping the processes of global governance, and what their implications might be for the quality of governance at the international level.
Civil Society and Democratic Governance in Nigeria  [PDF]
Ibitoye, M. O.
International Journal of Advanced Legal Studies and Governance , 2012,
Abstract: It is quite intriguing that fifty-two years after Nigeria attained her nominal independence from her colonial masters and twelve years into her democratic dispensation following a protracted and most challenging struggle against a rapacious military hegemony, the dividends of good governance have largely eluded the majority who wallow in abject poverty in the midst of abundant resources. Thus, the current democratic experiment appears to be fraught with similar imperfections that plagued the past democratic attempts thereby making transformation a myth rather than reality in Nigeria. The dire need to institutionalize the culture of good governance in Nigeria so as to improve the quality of life of the Nigerian people informs the position of this study. Hence, civil society has been adopted as a veritable tool for achieving good governance. This paper, therefore, attempts to carry out a thorough exposition of civil society organization vis- a- vis its transformatory role as an arbiter to redeem the Nigeria society from imminent total collapse as the country is yet to arrive at the ultimate destination of democracy as the government of the people, duly elected by the people, in the service of the people.
A Critical Analysis of the Relations between Organized Civil Society and Democratizing of Global Governance  [cached]
Ni Wang
Journal of Politics and Law , 2010, DOI: 10.5539/jpl.v3n2p207
Abstract: In this paper, the author will discuss two popular terms, i.e. organized civil society and global governance and their relations. The paper is mainly about organized civil society (international non-governmental organizations) and democracy in global governance. First, the author will provide a few related definitions. These terms, although are highly contested, need to be identified to avoid confusion and internal coherence. Then the author will critically discuss the relations between organized civil society and the democratizing of global governance. Finally, a conclusion about the role of organized civil society in democratizing global governance will be drawn.
EU AND CIVIL SOCIETY: THE CASE OF NGOS IN PEACE MISSIONS AND HUMANITARIAN INTERVENTION
Daniela Irrera
Romanian Journal of European Affairs (RJEA) , 2010,
Abstract: Social scientists and policy-makers are increasingly concerned with the civil society ability to influence the external policy of EU and the member states. This ability depends to a large extent on the capabilities and instruments of the non-governmental-organizations (NGOs), national and international associations, and lobbies, which represent civil society interests. In order to represent the demands that cut across the borders of states, NGOs are increasingly gaining access to international decision-making institutions. However, this access continues to face with the controversial issue of the NGOs engagement in political participation, representation, and democratization of the decision-making processes of international organizations. This paper aims at analyzing the increasing engagement of NGOs, within and in relation with the EU, in the framework of CFSP/ESDP, and in responding to composite humanitarian emergencies.
Civil Society Action and Governance in Vietnam: Selected Findings from an Empirical Survey
J?rg Wischermann
Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs , 2010,
Abstract: In this article, findings from 300 standardized interviews with representatives of Civic Organizations in Ho Chi Minh-City and Ha Noi are presented. Following a view of civil society as a specific mode of social action and interaction, data analysis unveils the existence of core dimensions of such action (respect, empathy/ sympathy, and the willingness to compromise and stick to agreed-upon rules), though the respective values of those dimensions vary strongly. Inseparably linked with such civil society action of whatever kind is consensus-seeking, an aversion to conflicts, and an affinity to synthesis. These attitudes and practices, dominating various Civic Organizations’ internal decision-making processes, represent elements of authoritarian political thinking in Civic Organizations’ leaders’ mindsets and courses of action. Combined, those characteristics make up civil society action “in Vietnamese colours”.
Victims, civil society and transitional justice in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Humphrey Michael
Temida , 2012, DOI: 10.2298/tem1201059h
Abstract: The role of victim organizations in the transitional justice process is examined in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). These organizations emerged in the context of the top-down accountability agenda driven by the international crisis intervention in the Balkan wars and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). By contrast, in Latin America victim organizations emerged as a self-conscious movements of individuals galvanized by their traumatic experience of state repression and demanding accountability from the bottom-up. In BiH accountability became a condition for re-establishing state political and legal authority but also international financing for reconstruction and progress towards EU accession. Victim organizations were part of the NGO sector which grew rapidly in response to the neoliberal governance model of selforganizing civil society to transform post-socialist and postwar BiH. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), run largely by professional middle class displaced from careers in the downsized state bureaucracy, became intermediaries between external donors and war affected populations. Victim organizations participated in the transitional justice process by supporting victims/witnesses in international and national prosecutions, tracing the missing persons and supporting the right of return of displaced populations. In BiH, victims’ organizations did not emerge as social movements advocating for citizenship and social justice, but became incorporated in the neoliberal governance model, sponsored by international agendas for stabilization, democratization and EU accession.
EU-Centric Governance in Sport? The Slovenian Experience with the White Paper Process
Simona Kustec Lipicer
Journal of Contemporary European Research , 2007,
Abstract: A synthesis of existing academic, expert and everyday practical political literature demonstrates that we can trace many different approaches to the phenomena of governance. Based on the political sciences, particularly policy literature, the governance concept is most frequently connected with an analysis of the relations between actors or institutions of the state and society at different political levels. Use of the governance concept is also becoming increasingly popular when discussing sports issues, especially when the multi-level or global sport perspective is in question. This article aims to confront the national perspectives and understandings of, as well as attempts at, sports governance, in relation to multi-level ones. This refers specifically the EU, because over the last few years, not only have states expanded their traditional concerns with health and social security to encompass leisure and cultural life, including sport, but the EU has also implemented different activities concerning sport issues. This particularly emphasises the extent and importance of the relations that key national policy actors have established with themselves and especially towards supra-national (EU) actors in the processes of creating common EU sports policy directions as part of preparing the White Paper on Sport (2007). It does this by analysing the available official documents, records and statistics relating to the issue, as well as interviews conducted in spring 2007 with representatives of the state and sports-governing bodies in Slovenia. The conclusions of the analysis indicate a predominantly EU-centric type of multi-level governance approach and make some observations about the EU’s future development and how this could impact the development of (sub)national sports policy.
Preconditions for new environmental governance in Serbia  [PDF]
Petrovi? Mina
Sociologija , 2012, DOI: 10.2298/soc1201087p
Abstract: The preconditions for new environmental governance in Serbia, which should be developing with country's accession to EU, are the object of analysis. Relying on regime theory, the paper is focused on the role of state and civil society actors. The analysis is informed by two empirical researches. Firstly, the concept of new governance regime is described as well as different types of civic activism: participative and transactional. Secondly, the legislative and institutional preconditions as well as action capacities of state and civil society actors are analyzed. The concluding part summarizes the basic findings and emphasizes the obstacles to new environmental governance in Serbia: close political opportunities, authoritarian legacy and prevalence of traditional command and control approaches, lacking of important resources for cooperative action, no tradition of institutionalized state-society relations, etc.
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