Concerning the triad of state, market, and society, it is the latter having received both increasing attention and favorable support from the part of international organizations such as the World Bank, the OECD, the UNDP and, not least, the European Union. At the same
time, national authorities seem to be more skeptical when it comes to accept civil society organizations as partners in policy-making. This may have to do with the meaning the notion of civil society assumes in different political contexts. Is it just NGOs, charities, and aid
organizations, or is it reasonable to include all kinds of social and protest movements as equal partners expressing and promoting the legitimate concerns of the people? These are the guiding questions addressed by leading specialists in
Section 1: Civil Society and the State – Partners or Competitors?
Section 2: Civil Society and Protest in the Digital Age
Among the questions to be addressed:
- How do governments respond to newly emerging civil society initiatives driven by identity politics, driven by nationalistic movements?
- Is shrinking space primarily market-driven (commodification), or caused by state agencies?
- Which have been key factors for policies, legislation, and regulation resulting in shrinking spaces for civil society in a number of countries?
- Which types of civil society organisations were mostly affected by such restrictions?
- How to protect societies in developing countries from digital colonization by major world powers?
- Will quickly evolving mass movements based on social media manage to have a lasting impact or will they tend to be short-lived?
- Will social media movements turn to become dominant form of organization of social movements in the future?
- How does the use of social media change the demands and structures of civil society and social movements?