One of the main tasks of any democratic state in the modern world is to achieve consensus among citizens. This is only possible if respect the interests of different social groups and civil consensus. The main role in the bond and connection of public and private interests played by civil society. This concept is quite broad, and we in this article we will try to understand it.
What is civil society
Very often the development of the state directly depends on the level at which there is civil society. To understand the essence of this concept, it is necessary to define. Civil society is a system of social relations and institutions that are not public. This could include formal and informal structures that create the conditions for political and social human activities.
In addition, civil society is more satisfaction and realization of different needs and interests of individuals, social groups and associations. It usually exists in two dimensions: social and institutional.
If we talk about the social component, it is historical experience, which delineates the limits of the possible actions of all participants in the political process. The experience can be both collective and individual. It defines the behaviour of the individual in the political arena, a way of thinking and some other parties interpersonal relations.
If you imagine that civil society is the institutional dimension, then it can be described as a set of organizations that represent the interests of different segments of the population. Also try to implement them independently of the state.
Thus, the concept of civil society is quite broad, and different scientists in different interpretiruya.
The principles of civil society
Every society has its own beliefs, of civil in this regard is no exception. It operates by the following principles:
- All people have equal rights in the political life of the country.
- The rights and freedoms of citizens are protected by laws that are valid in the global society.
- There is such a thing as economic independence, which is the right of everyone to have their private property and to obtain worthy reward for all your work.
- Citizens have the right to unite in various groups, organizations, according to their views and interests.
- Citizens have the right to form a party or movement.
- Modern civil society is obliged to create conditions for the development of various industries and education of their citizens.
- Allow the free activities of the media outside of state censorship, which is limited only by the observance of the law.
- The state and civil society closely in contact, due to the presence of a mechanism that stabilizes the relationship between them. Also is the security of citizens from state structures.
Signs of a civil society
The society is independent from the state and has developed its economic, political, legal and cultural relations between its members, so it is characterized by certain signs. The main ones are the following:
- The consciousness of the people is at a high level.
- Has a place of financial security, which is based on ownership of property.
- All members of society together have close ties.
- Is controlled by the government, which is represented by employees having corresponding competence and ability to solve problems of society.
- Power is decentralized.
- Some of the power is transferred to the local authorities.
- Any conflicts should be resolved by finding a compromise.
- The place has a real sense of collectivity provided with the awareness of belonging to one culture, nation.
- Personality is a person that is focused on spirituality and creativity.
Also worth mentioning that the features of civil society can and should still include a well-developed democracy. It is impossible to build a modern society. In almost every state society has its own distinctive characteristics.
The structure of civil society
Society is that has its own structure, which definitely included public organizations and institutions. Their task is to support and creation of conditions for realization of interests of citizens and the needs of entire communities.
Moreover, the structure of civil society includes some subsystem elements, which include:
- The national movement and the nation.
- The social strata of society (e.g. pensioners, students).
- Political parties or movements.
- Social movements that are massive (for example, trade union organizations, environmentalists, animal advocates, etc.).
- Religious organizations.
- Public organizations (dog lovers, temperance society, or beer lovers).
- Various unions or associations, which can include businessmen, bankers.
- The society of consumers, which include all of us.
- Any team in the workplace, in educational institutions.
- The family is the nucleus of our society, so this is also part of its structure.
Often it happens that even personalities can perform the functions of the individual element companies. These include the following: A. Saharov, A. Solzhenitsyn, Likhachev, and others.
Functions of civil society
Any organization, Association perform their specific functions. This also applies to civil society. Among the main functions are the following:
- Production of norms and values that the state approves its sanctions.
- Education the environment in which is the formation of the individual.
- Creation of conditions for free development of the personality on the basis of various forms of ownership.
- Regulation and control of all structures of society and their relationships to each other through civil law. This allows you to avoid or overcome conflicts and to develop a policy in the interests of the whole society.
- Protection of the rights of each person and his interests by establishing an extensive system of legal mechanisms.
- Large-scale self-government in all spheres of public life.
The relationship between the society and the state
The state and civil society are in constant interaction. The society appeals to the government with its initiatives, proposals, interests, and requirements, often requiring support, and primarily material.
The state, in turn, goes to meet differently, it can be:
- Consideration of the initiatives and their support or disapproval.
- The allocation of funds for development organizations or foundations.
In almost any state in the structures of power are the bodies which deal with public relations. This relationship can be in various forms, for example, registering new organisations and provide them assistance, creation of conditions for financial support.
In addition to the special bodies there is another form of contacting companies and the state. This is when civil society representatives are members of commissions, boards, working in the government. For example, the deputies, experts and narrow professionals, possessing valuable information, which deals with the development of society.
If you consider in detail the interaction between society and the state, it is possible to draw certain conclusions:
- Civil and legal society is a powerful lever in the system limit the aspirations of political power to dominate. This is participation in election campaigns. As well as the formation of public opinion through independent media.
- Civil society is constantly in need of public support. That is why many organizations take an active part in the work of government agencies. Despite the fact that most of the organizations are self-generated and independent, they still interact with government in different forms.
- It has a keen interest in good relations with society.
The concept of civil society is too broad and ambitious, but it necessarily involves close cooperation with government agencies. For a democratic state it is very important to these relationships was trust and close, the only way to have economic and political stability.
Civil society and its institutions
As we have seen, the main element of any society is people. Therefore, all social institutions, groups and organizations should promote the full development of personality and realization of its interests.
Civil society institutions can be divided into several groups:
- Organization in which the person receives everything necessary to meet their vital needs, such as food, food, and housing. It can be a trade Union organization, industrial or consumer unions.
- The second group of institutions are family, Church, sport organizations, creative unions. In them the individual fulfills their spiritual needs, physical.
- Political parties and movements to meet the needs of management.
Thus, the realization of all the interests of citizens is carried out by the institutions of civil society. The boundaries of these rights and freedoms are precisely its main features.
Characteristic features of modern civil society
For the present time characterized by civil society, which has the following characteristics:
- Not yet a coherent and unified system of civil structures. You can also talk about weak legal protection of citizens.
- In society you can see the division of people into rich and poor, elite and ordinary people, government officials and all the rest.
- The weak social basis of society. According to estimates the middle class is from 16 to 30 % of all citizens.
- Do not have bright severity of unifying cultural values: respect for the individual, solidarity, trust and others.
- Citizens are in most cases passive and unwilling to participate in political and public life of the state.
- Organizations or weak, or inefficiently affect the authorities.
- Is still at the stage of formation of the legal basis of civil society.
- On the face of the society as a whole influences and historical development, and modern features.
- It is still impossible to name the process of formation of civil society in Russia is completed. It is a very long way. Many people are simply not aware of the role of society in the life of the state and their own.
The big problem at the moment is the alienation of many organizations, groups, and institutions from the state.
The global open society
Global civil society – it is international manifestation of the scope of initiatives of citizens and their integration on a voluntary basis in the organization. This area is not amenable to intervention and regulation by the state. Such a society is the main base for the development of civilization and a kind of regulator of not only the economy, but politicians in all countries of the world.
Open global society has its signs:
- By rapid change of officials on the basis of public opinion.
- The same can be said about the elite of society.
- Available media, which is not subject to state censorship.
- The presence of social networks in which citizens can exert influence on each other.
- Public opinion is dependent on the assessments of citizens.
- All rights and freedoms are implemented in reality, not only on paper.
- The government is at a high level.
- The state is the correct social policy.
- The society has a weight in the middle class.
- State organizations are controlled by public organizations.
Thus, we can say that global society is one in which the state dominates in the relations of the citizens.
Society and its development
If we talk about the development of civil society, we can safely say that it is not yet complete. This applies not only to our country, but to all other world states.
Most political analysts argue that the formation of civil society began even in ancient times, for example, in Greece and Rome there were separate elements of society. It was the development of trade, crafts, this has led to the emergence of commodity-money production, which was enshrined in Roman private law.
If we talk about European regions, we can distinguish several stages in the development of society:
- The first stage can be attributed to the 16-17 centuries. At this time began to appear political, economic, ideological preconditions for the development of civil society. This rapid development of industry, trade, division of labor, the development of commodity-money relations, the ideological revolution, the development of culture and art.
- The second stage begins with 17 and continues until the 19th century. This period was marked by the formation of civil society in the most developed countries in the form of capitalism which relied on private enterprise.
- The 20th century is the beginning of the third stage of development, which continues to the present.
If we talk about the development of civil society in Russia at the present time, we can note a number of features:
- In our society, is insufficiently developed political culture.
- Many citizens lack social responsibility.
- Initially, Russia belonged to those countries that are more oriented towards the state than towards society. Such stereotypes are quite difficult to adjust.
- There is no powerful social stratum that could manage the social movement, therefore the main role in this is assigned to the state.
The development of civil society is a long and almost continuous process, which take an active and equitable participation of both citizens and the state. If we can establish a modern legal, civil society, and the state will be forced to obey the laws and to serve citizens.