What is Civil Society?

As explained by Mawlana Hazar Imam:

By civil society I mean an array of institutions which operate on a private, voluntary basis —but which are driven by public motivations. They include institutions dedicated to education, to culture, to science and research. They include commercial, labor, professional and ethnic associations, as well as entities devoted to maintaining health, protectiing the environment, and curing disease. Religious institutions are central to civil society—and so are institutions of the media.

Sometimes, in our preoccupation with government and politics, we neglect the importance of civil institutions. I am not suggesting we ignore politics—but I am suggesting that we think beyond our political preoccupations. A thriving civil sector is essential in renewing the promise of democracy.

Excerpt from speech by His Highness The Aga Khan at Evora University Symposium Portugal

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s