The term Civil Society is used to collectively refer to the voluntary organizations corporate bodies, socially active groups, and firms working in each society.
“Civil Society is the set of intermediate associations which is neither the state nor the family, but which plays an active and positive role in social, economic, and cultural activities.”
Civil Society includes all private organizations of the people. Press, professional associations of the people, Human Right Groups and Organizations of the people, voluntary social service organizations, and in fact, all NGOs constitute the Civil Society,
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Civil Society works for discharging several economic, social, cultural, moral and other responsibilities which fall in the domain of private activities. It, however, serves the public purpose of securing general welfare and development.
The concept of Civil Society derives strength from the logic that .a welfare state or a nation-state makes people dependent. It practises virtual authoritarianism in the name of welfarism. As such what is a need to a roll back of the state, the securing of a minimal state and a well developed active and determined civil society.
Initially, Civil Society used to be defined as a political community Le. a society governed by the government, law and authority. In contemporary times, however, Civil Society is distinguished from the state and political community. It means nongovernmental, private, voluntarily organized associations or institutions of the people, through which they try to secure their needs, desires and objectives. Such associations and organisations work independently of the government.
Civil Society even opposes the wrong politics, decisions and projects of the government. In doing so the civil society depends upon constitutional, peaceful and legal method of action.
In other words, Civil Society refers to the effective presence of autonomous groups and associations, business groups, interest groups, trade unions, voluntary social service organizations and clubs, in fact, all non-governmental organizations, clubs and groups working for securing their interests by their own efforts.