A framework for understanding civil society in action

The past 30 years have seen a proliferation in the use of the phrase ‘civil society' linked to international aid, resulting in the creation of official donor ‘civil society departments’. At the same time there has been growing understanding that international development has become commercialised into the ‘aid industry'. The result is an explosion of ‘aided', globalised and tamed civil society at the expense of the naturally occurring, local, less predictable and more politicised‘unaided' variety.