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Civil Society Description and Overview

Civil society is defined as a place where people have common and shared interests, values, purposes, and actions. Civil society is different from for-profit and government organizations since it includes groups and organizations such as community-based organizations, charity groups, and development non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (Meyer et al., 2020). Civil society may face various threats from different actors, such as criminal corporations and corrupt individuals who impact its success.

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As civil society’s primary goals are to help the marginalized and fight for their right to be engaged in policymaking and participation in the provision of services, persons who commit crimes such as embezzlement and fraud that harm businesses pose the greatest threat. Civil societies rely on pulling cumulative resources together from individuals or from funders. Thus, any person harming the business harm the economic stability of civil society. Moreover, civil society relies on donations from the funders, and therefore any person who damages the business environment leads to low funds that may affect the actions of the group (Gill, 2017). For example, a business’s poor performance causes less revenue and fewer funds to support charity works.

A destabilized business environment is a threat to the functions of civil societies. Any person who commits a crime that harms entrepreneurship affects people who rely on the business sector to gain income. Poor societies are easily manipulated as they put their basic needs first and would be easily influenced by people who promise to meet their needs. Corrupt individuals, especially the government, seek first to harm the business environment and cut the source of funds to the civil societies when they want to meet their personal gains. In general, a conducive business environment forms the basis for an effective civil society.


Gill, G. J. (2017). Dynamics of democratization: Elites, civil society and the transition process. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Meyer, M., Moder, C., Neumayr, M., & Vandor, P. (2020). Civil society and its institutional context in CEE. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 31(4), 811−827.

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