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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

WHAT IS CIVIL SOCIETY?

CIVIL SOCIETY DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
1.  What are the most pressing issues facing civil society in your country? 
2.  How does civil society engage the government in your country? 
3.  How does the government in your country engage civil society?  Is it receptive to civil society?  
Does it recognize the contributions that civil society offers in your society?    
4.  What is the role of civil society in a free society? 
5.  What is the role of civil society in a closed society? 
6.  How do you define “civil society”?  Is “civil society” different or unique in your country from 
other countries?  If so, how? 
7.  What role do you think international organizations should play in supporting civil society in your 
country? 
8.  What role, if any, should governments play in supporting civil society actors in other countries? 
9.  Throughout history, civil society has made invaluable contributions to the world. What examples 
come to mind? 
10. What would you recommend the United States do most effectively implement the objectives of 
the Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society? 
11. What issues should the various working groups explore? 
12. How should the United States structure the working groups? 
13. How should membership in the working groups be decided? 
14. How often should the working groups meet? 
15. Where should the working groups meet?   
16. What would you like to see the working groups do? 
17. What objectives would you outline for each working group? 
18. What role do you play in strengthening civil society within your country? 
19. How do you think the United States supports civil society abroad? What can the U.S. do to 
better support civil society around the world?  
20. Which countries do the best job of supporting civil society in your country? Explain. 
21. Which countries do the worst job of supporting civil society in your country? Explain. 
22. Does civil society organize effectively in your country? 
23. What are the factors that limit civil society’s ability to organize in your country? 
24. What are the factors that enable civil society to organize in your country? 
25. What are the factors that limit civil society’s ability to influence the government in your 
country? 
26. What are the factors that enable civil society’s ability to influence the government in your 
country? 
27. What is the history of civil society in your country? 
28. What opportunities exist for civil society to influence domestic policy in your country? 
29. What kind of relationship should civil society and the business sector have in your country? 
30. Has information technology, the Internet and social media changed how civil society functions in 
your country?  Does civil society in  your country understand how to use this new media?   
31. How do civil society groups in your country share information? 
32. What elements make civil society truly vibrant? 

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