Un-Civil Society


-         Bowling with Hitler’ v. “Bowling Alone

o      fascist regions of Italy and Germany had high levels of associational life

-         sectarian associations can reinforce divisions in society

o      Islamist NGOs rather than secular or ecumenical NGOs

§       Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood

§       Malaysia: Allied Coordinating Committee of Islamic NGOs (ACCIN) opposed inter-faith commission proposed by Malaysian Bar Association 

§       Pakistan: Jamaat-e-Islam v. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

o      Ethnic nationalist NGOs than civic or multi-ethnic NGOs

§       Rwanda: Radio Mille Collines


-          civil associations may compete with parties and state organizations…

o      associational interests v. political interest-aggregation

§       firms, unions, landowners pursue patronage rather than politics

§       undercut support for mass-membership parties

-         …but they may be co-opted by states and parties as well

o      partisan & statist interests override associational interests

§       GONGO v. ‘working NGO’ (Cooper)

§       Thai media under TRT



Positive Net Effect of Civil Society

-         democratic regimes favor flourishing civil society

-         totalitarian and authoritarian regimes repress civil society