A shrinking space for civil society?

New T20 report with Helmut K. Anheier offers ways to support better state-civil society relations.

In a new report published by the Think 20 (T20) advisory group, Hertie School Professor of Sociology Helmut K. Anheier and co-authors Markus Lang and Charlotte Koyro offer recommendations for improving the relationship between governments and civil society at both the national and multilateral levels.

The T20 brings leading research institutes and think tanks together to advise G20 countries on public policy issues.  This paper was written as part of the Task Force on Social Cohesion, Global Governance and the Future of Politics, of which Anheier is co-chair.

Civil society in times of change: Shrinking, changing and expanding spaces was published just ahead of the T20 Summit on 17 September in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It 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.  

Download the policy brief here.

Find out more about the T20 here


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