The contemporary meaning of the term civil society is contested. It is sometimes considered to include the family and the private sphere, and referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business.[១]'s 21st Century Lexicon defines civil society as 1) the aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens or 2) individuals and organizations in a society which are independent of the government.[២] Sometimes the term is used in the more general sense of "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society" (Collins English Dictionary).[៣]


John A. Hall lists 5 distinct enemies of civil society:

  • Despotism: this is this idea of fear which discourages any type of group that's formed between society and government.
  • Revival of the tradition of republican civic virtues: these are qualities that hold a moral value or moral principle and amount to dispositions to obey.
  • Specific forms of nationalism: this would be where the rule of majority wins, and assimilation is used in order to form an ideal society.
  • Totalizing ideologies
  • Essentialist cultural ideals: these would be social cages of individuals that determine the function and value of that person in society.[៤]



Civil-society scholarsកែប្រែ


  1. What is Civil Society
  3. Civil society Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved 2nd August 2012 from website:
  4. Hall, J. (1995). Civil society: Theory, history, comparison . Polity