Government and civil society at a crossroads

Civil society research by Helmut K. Anheier published in the e-journal Economics.

New research on the role of civil society in times of upheaval by Hertie School Professor of Sociology Helmut K. Anheier and co-authors Markus Lang and Stefan Toepler has been published in the e-journal Economics. The authors offer recommendations for improving the relationship between governments and civil society at both the national and multilateral levels.

Civil society in times of change: Shrinking, changing and expanding spaces uses quantitative profiling and expert surveys to explore how the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) has become more complex amid changing relationships with nation states and the international community.

The authors say state and civil society relations have in some cases worsened in recent years. They look into how widespread the phenomenon is and ask whether these are isolated occurrences or part of a more general development. They also examine how countries can create an enabling environment for civil society to contribute to social cohesion, to enhance political participation and processes, to encourage social innovations, and to serve as a vehicle for philanthropic impulses. 

The paper is part of the Global Solutions series and a shorter version was previously published as a policy brief by the T20 group of  leading research institutes on the occasion of the Argentina G20 Summit in 2018. It was written as part of the Task Force on Social Cohesion, Global Governance and the Future of Politics, of which Anheier is co-chair. 

Find the full paper hereDownload the T20 policy brief here.

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