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Globalization, Governance, and Civil Society

Author: Michael Woolcock
Pub. Date: August 10, 2001
Full Text: Adobe Acrobat (PDF) [287 KB]

Contrary to popular perceptions, globalization renders governments and civil society more, not less, important as actors for managing its associated risks and opportunities. The development process in general, and globalization in particular, fundamentally and necessarily changes both civil society and its relations with government, but this transformation need not entail conformity, coercion, or cultural homogenization: convergence on performance indicators (outcomes) can be associated with a variety of institutional forms (sources). A dynamic civil society is vital for debating the many difficult issues associated with higher levels of integration into the global economy, and for empowering domestic constituencies to press for appropriate institutional and policy reforms. Supporting evidence is provided in the form of detailed case studies from Africa, the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe, and small states’.

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