Interacting Fruitfully with Un-Civil Society
the dilemma for non-civil society organizations
- / -
Presentation to a World Bank workshop on Civil Society in
the FSU and East/Central Europe (Washington, 16th October 1996)
Published in Transnational Associations, 49, 1997, 3, pp. 124-132 [PDF version]
This paper acknowledges the quantity of research and evaluative studies
that has been done on non-governmental organizations, civil society and
third sector questions over the past decades -- and more recently in relation
to Eastern Europe. However, in an effort to increase the policy relevance
of future studies, it takes a critical stance with regard to the way these
topics have been framed in the past -- and their limited significance for
development policy. Some apology is therefore in order for those who would
expect a different style of paper.
Having worked with and documented "non-governmental organizations" for
several decades, it has been interesting to note how research under headings
such as: NGOs, voluntary associations, community organizations, third sector
organizations, humanitarian organizations, non-profit bodies, and the like
has been continually reframed. Different academic disciplines or approaches
to development seem to have associated themselves with particular takes
on what has only recently acquired a neutral label as "civil society".
This term was seldom used a decade ago by many who choose to use it now.
The blossoming of studies is associated with the transformation of the
U.S.S.R. with few dating prior to 1989.
The debate amongst those influenced by the methodology and political
constraints of the intergovernmental system was severely constrained by
the UN terminology of "nongovernmental organization" as specified in Article
71 of the Charter of the United Nations. It could even be argued that "civil
society" acquired currency as a concept only with the transformation of
With the cessation of the Cold War, the pressures from environmental
groups resulted in major procedural changes with respect to acceptance
of a wide range of bodies at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. These precedents
have encouraged rethinking of the whole question of how non-governmental
bodies relate to the UN system and have raised many questions about how
they may be better associated with official development programmes. This
has become especially acute as a consequence of negative assessments of
the capacity of official programmes to deliver development at the field
The rethinking on all sides may perhaps be distinguished in terms of
the following trends:
erosion of the distinction between "international" NGOs and national or
local bodies (which may be their members) in terms of operational contact
with intergovernmental bodies
challenges to the concept of "consultative status" and the lack of effective
involvement of non-western bodies
challenges to the representativity of traditional world-wide NGOs by those
perceived as being newer grass-roots social and citizens movements unencumbered
by any questionable secretariats or decision-making apparatus
academic research emphasis on community organizations
efforts to define an international legal status for non-profit bodies,
notably within the European region (Council of Europe) or within the European
dramatic media attention on (and by) "humanitarian organizations" in relation
to crises in Somalia and Bosnia that undermined the credibility of intergovernmental
efforts to take account of unenvisaged manifestations of collective organization
characteristic of non-western cultures.
All of these have combined to promote discussion of NGO-related phenomena
whilst at the same time handicapping effective discussion of "civil society",
notably in the FSU. This has been exacerbated by what might be termed definitional
games. Indeed it might be asked whether use of "civil society" is not part
of just such a game.
Definitional games: UNDP
It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that further exploration of civil
society is bedeviled by definitional game-playing by parties with special
interests they are seeking to promote. Any classification of the actors
in civil society has become a political act --whether in relation to inter-organization
competition for resources, academic schools of thought, or in the political
dynamics surrounding nongovernmental cooperation with intergovernmental
bodies. This is best illustrated by the following paragraphs previously
published elsewhere (but adapted for this paper).
In January 1995 the Management Development and Governance Division of
the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published a discussion
paper on Public Sector Management, Governance, and Sustainable Development.
This was the result of several stages of internal and external consultation.
It affirms that the "good management of human affairs by governments, through
public sector organisations and in collaboration with organisations of
civil society, is a sine qua non of sustainable human development."
Its purpose is to define a position within governance for the development
assistance efforts of UNDP as the major coordinating agency for development
funding within the UN system.
This report can be seen as one UN response to other efforts to redefine
the contemporary challenge of governance. The concern here is to highlight
ways in which the report operates out of a framework which has been demonstrated
as inadequate to the challenges of the past and is therefore likely to
be inadequate to those of the future.
One way to formulate this inadequacy is as a marked ability to play
what amounts to definitional games. In practice insightful analysis and
laudable principles are elaborated at one point, only to be effectively
reframed with a far more narrow and questionable interpretation at another.
Whilst this may be good politics and good public relations, it does not
invite confidence. Is it deliberate on the part of some, a manifestation
of sloppy thinking, or a consequence of committee report writing? It is
precisely this tendency which has alienated so many from political processes
in general, and from UN processes in particular.
The report leads off with some fast conceptual foot-work. "Governance
is the exercise of political power to manage a nation's affairs. Public
management...is synonymous with governance." (p. xii) -- implying that
"management of the public" is also synonymous with governance? "Whatever
the nature of society, only governments can set the rules according to
which the system works and take corrective action when it fails" (p. 19).
This reflects profound ignorance of the "rules" established by religious
movements (notably with respect to population non-control), by professional
bodies (with respect to codes of conduct and peer pressure), by multinational
corporations, and by those who engage so effectively in the illegal arms
and drugs trade. The action of NGOs in Somalia, of Amnesty with respect
to human rights abuses, and Greenpeace with respect to government-sanctioned
environmental abuses, can be seen as a non-government "corrective action"
when the system fails. It also reflects ignorance of the widely acknowledged
consequences of globalization of information and decision-making outside
governmental frameworks -- if only with respect to movements of funds.
Later however we read that "Sound governance also calls for cooperation
between governments and civil society organisations. Sound governance is
not simply something that governments do by themselves" (p. 25). This is
a typical example of a later statement reframing the scope of an earlier
one (above). The major emphasis in the report on collaboration with "civil
society" is indeed a striking and welcome breakthrough following decades
of governmental arrogance. It parallels concerns expressed in other reports
on governance. It also arouses the suspicion that, having recognized its
limitations, and the progressive erosion of its credibility and resources,
the intergovernmental system is anxious to associate itself with a system
that is in a healthier state and which is seen to offer more genuine involvement
of the people.
After several development decades "It is now widely accepted that many
organisations in civil society are strongly committed to forms of development
that give prominence to the social and economic needs of people and environmental
protection." (p. 25). Consider the definitional games associated with this
realization. "Such organisations are referred to collectively...as community
organizations. Two broad types are identified: people's organisations and
NGOs...People's organisations represent their members interests, are accountable
to their members, and tend to have participatoryorganisational structures."
(p. 25). This strongly suggests that NGOs have none of these characteristics
in the eyes of those who favour this definition.
Elsewhere we read however that "Civil society organisations are multifarious.
They differ according to their membership, their missions, forms of organisation,
and levels of operation. They include religious-based organisations, cooperatives,
trade unions, academic institutions, and community and youth groups" (p.
110). Elsewhere a distinction is made between "NGOs, community-based organisations,
and other civil society organisations" (p. 99).
What does this imply as to UNDP understanding of NGOs? Only much later
do we read that they can be very broadly defined as "nongovernment organisations
involved in development, staffed by professionals and para-professionals,
which provide services or products that cater to the needs of people at
the grassroots" (p. 86). But we also read that "NGOs constitute a critical
element of the civil society, but have probably received a greater share
of the limelight than other deserving organisations, such as professional
organisations and women's groups" (p. 86).
The definitional game being played here arises from a long-established
tendency of UNDP to ignore the scope of the UN-imposed definition of nongovernmental
organization (under Article 71 of the Charter concerning consultative status
arrangements) in favour of a definition of NGOs as organizations providing
direct development aid, however this happens to be narrowly conceived by
UNDP strategists at a given time. The UN definition (itself currently under
review) allows for a much broader understanding of organizations relevant
to "economic and social development" and includes "professional organizations
and women's groups" and many other categories. The implicit UNDP definition,
reinforced by many national NGOs (until very recently excluded from any
relationship to the UN or to UNDP Resident Representatives, and resentful
of the exclusiveness of the UN definition), is an effort to coopt national
or local groups whilst undermining the international NGOs through which
many of them have long been linked.
Definitional games: UNESCO
"Foundations and similar institutions" are not included within the UNESCO
definition of "nongovernmental organizations" and relationships with them
are governed by separate directives. However responsibility for relationships
with both NGOs and foundations is held by the same department within UNESCO.
According to UNDP figures however, the donations received by UNESCO
from "NGOs" during 1993 (DP/1994/40/Add.1, 28 September 1994) amounted
to $3.20 million dollars (an increase from $2.87 million in 1992), namely
a total of $5.87 million for the 1992-93 biennium. For UNDP, the "NGOs"
are the "foundations", since none of the UNESCO "NGOs" actually donate
funds to UNESCO.
UNESCO maintains relations with some 581 NGOs. The total contractual
and subvention cost of funds distributed by UNESCO to NGOs was $3,265,300
for the 1992-93 biennium.
It would appear that in terms of funds alone, the NGOs (according to
the broader UNDP definition) are far from being a cost to UNESCO, as Member
States are wontto assume. Rather UNESCO effectively redistributes to
"NGOs" about half of what it receives from "NGOs". In this sense NGOs
as a category may be said to be a net financial contributor to UNESCO.
In the light of the new USA aid policies, favouring distribution of
funds through NGOs rather than through intergovernmental bodies, it might
be asked whether such foundations might come to the view that their funds
could be more effectively used by transferring them funds directly to other
NGOs rather than via the general funds of intergovernmental organizations.
Definitional games: the United Nations NGO Review Process
The otherwise excellent General Review of Arrangements for Consultations
with Non-Governmental Organizations by the UN Secretary-General (E/AC.70/1994/5,
26 May 1994) falls victim to confusion by making the unfortunate claim
that "NGOs fall roughly into two categories. The first one is a category
of organizations which by their objectives and methodology are concerned
with supporting social movements and/or initiatives. The second category
includes NGOs which have emerged from social movements and represent their
institutionalized reality. The former category of NGO emphasizes participation
and empowerment and sees its role needing to be focused on capacity-building
for greater self-reliance at the community level. The latter focuses on
advocacy and networking as tools to promote changes in policies and governance."
This simplistic categorization by the United Nations effectively excludes
many scientific, educational and cultural NGOs in official relations with
UNESCO, to say nothing of bodies having official relations with Specialized
Agencies such as ILO, WHO or FAO -- all of which may, in consequence, be
recognized by ECOSOC at the present time. It is therefore not clear what
role these bodies may be recognized as performing, if any, once the UN
review process is completed under the influence of the NGOs privileged
by the biased definitions of the review process.
The report fails to clarify what is effectively excluded from its focus
and especially the basis for doing so. In stressing bodies which have an
obvious relation to development, it fails to recognize the function of
others that have a less obvious relation to development (which might typically
include many of the cultural NGOs in relation with UNESCO).
"Civil society" ?
In an earlier paper (Judge, 1995) the focus was on exploring methods
of moving beyond the limitations of the many particular ways of discussing
"civil society". It endeavoured to identify broader issues of relevance
to public policy formulation in response to the challenge of "civil society"
to governance as indicated by Yehezkel Dror (1995).
As implied above, one of the difficulties is that "civil society" itself
is discussed through a variety of terms whose partial equivalence has not
been effectively explored. These include: nongovernmental organizations
(NGOs), voluntary associations, nonprofit sector, not-for-profit sector,
charitable organizations, benevolent societies and third sector. Depending
on who uses these terms, they may, or may not, includebodies such as labour
unions, trade associations, professional societies, or legally unrecognized
(and even illegal) bodies such as cartels and crime rings. In many cases
it is not what a particular approach includes that is as significant
as what is effectively excluded and why (Judge, 1994, as shown in Table
Many modern protagonists in such debates fail to recognize that the
debate about the nature of "nongovernmental organizations" (NGOs) and civil
society has been in progress since the beginning of the century -- as can
be seen in the publications of the Union of International Associations
in the period 1910-20. Many of the points concerning the relationship between
governmental and nongovernmental organizations have been made many times
over -- some of them over a period of decades.
There is therefore merit in reflecting on the collective ability to
process these questions in new and fruitful ways. There is a sense in which
it is in the interests of many to avoid clarity and conclusion and simply
to perpetuate the discussion. And there is the continuing interest of others
to arrive at simplistic solutions if possible. The debate is complicated
by a degree of unwillingness to recognize some weaknesses in the present
It would appear that fruitful discussion is severely handicapped by
a tendency to selective conceptual omission. A particular concern with
regard to "civil society" is whether those mobilized behind this term are
not misled by an apparent opportunity to impose a definition of the "good
society" from which dubious forms of organization are excluded. Emphasis
would then be placed on "voluntary associations", "charitable bodies",
"citizens movements" and the like, especially when their activities are
in no way controversial. By some, it would be considered inappropriate
to include bodies such as professional organizations, trade associations,
employers organizations, or labour unions.
An important issue here is the extent to which civil society bodies
are to be understood as associated with economic activity and specifically
with wealth generation, especially profit-making. Civil society can be
readily, and conveniently, understood as encompassing all organized activity
not associated with the major institutional systems: government and administration,
education and health delivery, business and industry, security and organized
religion. But this creates many difficulties.
It is therefore useful to distinguish three clusters:
Group A: what is included in over-simplistic understandings of "civil
society" and which will continue to attract supporters of uncritical and
uncontroversial understandings of the "good society".
Group B: what can usefully be understood as "non-civil society",
by opposition to simplistic understandings of "civil society", namely government
and other establishment institutions.
Group C: what then remains to be considered as part of the social
fabric, having taken account of Group A and Group B. This might usefully
be understood asthe "un-civil society".
With apologies to Mahatma Gandhi, it is appropriate to reframe his classic
response to the journalist who enquired, on the occasion of Gandhi's visit
to the UK, what he thought of Western Civilization. Gandhi's response that
"It would be a very good idea" might equally be applied to the concept
of "civil society".
There are numerous features of society, to be understood as clustered
into Group C, which challenge some of the polyanna-ish aspects of Group
A -- for they are distinctly "un-civil" and questionable from one or other
perspective. And yet they are indeed characteristic of a fuller understanding
of "civil society". Depending on the position taken by the Group A advocate,
they will include a greater or lesser portion of the following (Group C.1):
labour unions, professional bodies, employers organizations
not-for-profit research institutes
religious bodies, including ashrams, churches, religious orders
cooperatives and mutual societies
foundations and waqf
heraldic and ceremonial groups
More challenging however are bodies such as the following (Group C.2):
criminal organizations (Mafia, Yakuza, Triads, etc), drug rings
secret societies (including the freemasons), cults
subversive and revolutionary political groups
The first group above are tainted by financial or ideological considerations,
whilst the second tend to be characterized by the illegality of their actions
or their ability to act "above" or "beyond" the law. The situation is further
complicated by Group C.3, namely "front organizations" (whether for government,
ideological, religious, business or criminal groups). Further complications
in understanding "civil society" are introduced when groups have only a
temporary or "electronic" existence -- as with the 15,000 newsgroups on
the Internet (Group C.4).
And of course there are the complications associated with groups more
characteristic of non-western societies -- and often unknown, or of little
significance, to those active in defining "civil society". These include
tribal and kinship groups
name groups (as with the Chinese)
traditional secret societies
But these have their equivalent in heraldic and ceremonial groups, often
of great prestige (such as the Knights of the Garter in the UK).
Policy implications in relation to the FSU
Following the dismemberment of the U.S.S.R. and the transformation of
Eastern Europe, many policy assumptions were made with regard to the economic
transformation and development of those societies. Considerable numbers
suffered in consequence -- especially the vulnerable. There has been much
criticism on both sides of misguided efforts to "export" Western economic
models and political institutions to those countries. This has led, to
the surprise of many, to the re-emergence of former leaders of communist
society, together with political parties reflecting approaches distinctly
unsympathetic to any western understanding of civil society.
In the process of establishing more creative relationships with Western
Europe, efforts have been made to involve the FSU in the Council of Europe.
To that end the participation of Russia in the pattern of European treaties
has been a critical issue. Given the distinctly non-western approach to
legislation and implementation characteristic of Russian society, the appropriateness
of this can be usefully questioned (Judge, 1995), as is done by Russian's
Accompanying these changes, many western bodies have endeavoured to
establish relationships with people and groups in the FSU and Eastern Europe.
Numerous exchanges and contacts have been fruitfully organized. Many religious
groups have successfully proselytized and established viable movements,
for example. At the same time there has been a flowering of a wide variety
of groups and movements -- strange to western eyes -- often inspired by
charismatic personalities characteristic of FSU cultures.
Un-civil society and organized crime
But most striking, with respect to any understanding of efforts to enhance
any form of "civil society" in the FSU and Eastern europe, has been the
overwhelming increase in the number of criminal gangs, to the degree that
it has been estimated that at least 50 percent of economic actions there
are influenced by organized crime. Only extreme naivety could justify exclusion
of this dimension from any discussion of civil society in the FSU.
The key policy issue here is how to understand and relate to this particular
manifestation of "un-civil society" -- given its central function in FSU
societies at this time. Several approaches may be envisaged:
Ignore: the proliferation of gangs, and organized crime, as a
particular form of "voluntary association" may be ignored as a temporary
aberration, namely "civil society" may be defined to exclude such forms
of social organization. This then raises the question of the relationship
in practice between "civil society", narrowly defined, and its rejected
shadow the "un-civil society". By implication, some forms of voluntary
association are then understood to be naturally good, and others are to
be understood as naturally inappropriate. This leaves unresolved the many
dubious initiatives of "good" bodies, as evidenced by the territorial disputes
between major religious groups. It also ignores the challengeraised by
the levels of abuse and fraud amongst officially registered civil society
organizations in the West. But above all it loses sight of the role played
by "un-civil society" in socially abnormal situations. This is equivalent
to the economists error in long ignoring the "informal" or "black" economies
essential to the economic success and development processes of some countries.
Exterminate: emphasis may be placed on exterminating any manifestations
of "un-civil society". This loses sight of the fact that often decision-makers
at the highest levels are involved, whether voluntarily or because they
have been "volunteered", in un-civil activity. Even in the West, weekly
scandals over the past years have revealed how ministers of government
are implicated in the actions of groups acting in a distinctly un-civil
manner -- if only to reinforce the finances of their political parties.
It is unclear what lessons are to be drawn from the Italian "clean hands"
campaign in the regard, especially now that there are pressures to scale
down any further investigations. Eliminating the shadow of "civil society"
has never proved to be as easy as many have wished.
Come to terms: ways may be sought to "come to terms" with un-civil
society. Totally unacceptable at first sight, this has proved to be the
only way forward for many in the FSU. Whilst politicians may promise to
"root out" organized crime, they have proved to be distinctly inept in
doing so. It is salutary to reflect on the level of gang activity in major
western cities such as Los Angeles, and the level of organized crime in
many western countries, including the USA. Unfortunately it is primarily
through anecdotal evidence that information on how western governments
have "come to terms" with organized crime in particular situations has
become available. Such information is not normally part of any course on
the nature of "civil society".
Reframe: the nature of "un-civil society" may be completely reframed.
The above approaches neglect the possibility that alternative understandings
of the relationship between "civil" and "un-civil" society may exist in
cultures other than the western. It is around this point that there have
been misunderstandings concerning cultures where decision-makers naturally
expect some percentage of any transaction over which they have any influence
(especially when they are underpaid). The whole issue of bribery and "commissions"
concerning transactions in developing countries has only recently come
to the fore, as with equivalent phenomena in many industrialized countries.
The legitimacy of "influence peddling" is a question in all societies.
At what point do the actions of lobby groups, as manifestations of civil
society in the corridors of national parliaments, acquire un-civil characteristics?
When do the actions of Freemasons or Opus Dei, for example, take on "un-civil"
rather than "civil" character?
Just as in the case of western attempts to export economic models and
institutions, there have been efforts to export western civil society institutions.
This continues a trend associated with the colonialization process in developing
countries -- even including the export of parliamentary models. The appropriateness
of such exports was seldom questioned -- as with the early priority of
western missionaries to supply indigenous women with brassieres.
Almost no effort has been made to detect traditional patterns of
collective organization natural to FSU and associated cultures and
to seek ways of enhancing them. More challenging still would be the exploration
of ways to engender new forms of collective organization in harmony
with the cultural patterns and values of those societies -- and of greater
relevance to contemporary challenges in the FSU. What forms of organizational
innovation are appropriate to the FSU? How is their encouragement to be
dissociated from naively enthusiastic attempts to export (or import) inappropriate
A striking example of how such a challenge has been taken up in a developing
country is offered by the Swadhaya Movement, notably active along the western
coast of India. As described by Shri R K Srivastava of the Centre for the
Study of Developing Societies (New Delhi): "Swadhyaya is neither a cult
nor a sect; it is neither a party nor an association; it is neither messianic
nor limited to a particular section of society; it is neither directed
against centralising state power nor to overcoming flaws in Indian society,
though such consequences may follow. Swadhyaya is both a metaphor and a
movement. It is a metaphor in the sense of a vision, and a movement in
terms of its orientation in social and economic spheres."
Building on qualities long articulated within the Hindu spiritual tradition,
emphasis is placed on the quality of relationship between people, especially
within the context of the most impoverished villages. This has led to a
remarkable, and growing, capacity to regenerate village life. Refusing
any economic assistance from either Indian government or foreign sources,
unusual achievements have been made in thousands of villages, even in such
physical terms as replenishing wells and managing farms. (Ironically, although
present by invitation at a 1995 FAO conference on poverty alleviation,
the movement found itself isolated -- it was neither in search of funds
(as an "aid recipient"), nor was it offering them (as a "donor"), but its
experience without funding was considered irrelevant.
Metaphors of civil society
There is an increasing body of literature recognizing the value of metaphor
in reframing issues relating to organizational and policy innovation. The
point made is the need to avoid the metaphorical traps and poverty of imagination
associated with seemingly obvious options.
In this light, understandings of civil society might perhaps be compared
through the following set of agricultural metaphors:
Monoculture: As with unending fields of wheat, civil society bodies
might be seen as stalks of wheat, virtually indistinguishable. This image
might reflect views that favour the principle of citizens organizations
-- providing they conform to a particular approved pattern. The creation
of each body can then only take place with the approval of appropriate
authorities. Differences between such bodies, from the point of view of
any central authority, are considered to be negligible -- only their numbers
are of interest. In its most severe manifestation, all such bodies would
be required to conform to central policies.
Multi-crop farming: This metaphor would allow for a limited range
of differenttypes of voluntary and other organizations as making up civil
society. Each type would however be well-defined: wheat, oats, turnips,
cabbage, apples, etc. Within each type, variations would not be easily
tolerated. This would correspond to the European Commission's approach
-- were it to be extended from vegetables and fruits to civil society organizations.
Integrated farming: In this metaphor, the emphasis switches to the
complementarity between the different types of organization in order to
optimize the growth patterns of each in the interests of the whole. The
farm is treated as a system, with a water and fertilizer infrastructure,
in which each crop has a distinct function.
Inter-cropping: In this metaphor attention shifts from crops as
a whole. The importance of juxtaposing particular plants to provide shade,
protection from insects, or soil enhancement is then emphasized. The checks
and balances required within civil society are rendered explicit at the
level of the individual organization rather than between classes of organization.
Permaculture: In this metaphor much greater effort is made to intimately
relate a wide variety of plant and animal species to enrich the pattern
of checks and balances in relation to water, sunlight, and nutrient flows.
It is with such methodologies that the skills required for sustainable
communities within the civil society emerge. Permaculture is noteworthy
for integrating space for uncultivated, unplanned growth as a source of
particular positive influences on the cultivated species.
Natural parks: In this metaphor the concern is to protect natural
patterns of growth and the wild species associated with it. In the case
of civil society, this would correspond to efforts to provide for traditional
forms of organization (including folk culture) -- and to protect them from
contemporary forms. The question of cultural identity is strongly associated
with this dimension of civil society. The challenge is to minimize forms
of intervention which will make such "natural" organization appear artificial.
Excessive intervention, as with artificial landscaping, can make such supposedly
natural forms of civil society both artificial and soulless.
Wilderness areas: In this metaphor a much greater variety of plant
and animal species grow freely without outside intervention or justification
-- constituting a rich genetic pool. In the case of civil society, the
question for any authority is to what degree a veritable jungle of organizations
of every imaginable kind can be allowed to exist without requiring constant
supervision and management. Such authorities may not then have the ability
to control civil society, even if they wished to. This then reflects the
most extreme forms of "un-civil society".
It is interesting to reflect on the policy challenges relating to civil
society in the FSU and Central/Eastern Europe in terms of these metaphors.
Essentially it is a question of what forms of organization should be cultivated
and how, and how does society benefit by allowing space for certain forms
to grow freely.
Past errors of agriculturists and land resource managers carry many
lessons for thosehoping to cultivate civil society and develop sustainable
communities. More specifically there is the issue of what should be considered
"weeds", how they are to be reduced, and what should be appreciated as
The above agricultural and land management metaphors also highlight
the fundamental challenge of building sustainable communities, namely ensuring
appropriate interaction amongst a diversity of organizations. It is civil
society as a complex ecological system of organizations which needs to
be explored. Simplistic approaches to this ecology may be tantamount to
the destruction of cultural rainforests.
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