Global civil society

The role of NGOs in supporting progress toward multi-party elections in authoritarian countries is well documented. Since the early 1990s, civil society organizations increasingly became global and challenged global policies of international institutions and led to the development of new accountability norms. They also offer (or state to) more legitimacy to global governance mechanisms by representing and being the voice of non-state and non-corporate actors. Many global institutions tend to associate with NGOs and the civil society at large to gain extra legitimacy and higher levels of public trust. Author: Jerome Duberry

Emergence of the nonprofit sector

The global civil society inhabits the space between the private sector economy and the state. It includes a wide variety of actors with sometimes conflicting objectives: formal representative organizations such as parties, churches, lobbies or trade unions, cohabit with informal functional organizations such as charities, universities, think tanks, mass media; and with more informal social and political entities and their networks such as social forums, ad hoc activist coalitions, diasporas networks causes or internationally coordinated social movements. Author: Jerome Duberry

New forms of activism

New forms of activism use social media channels to debate, discuss but also to spread information rapidly and freely. Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools increasingly became the favored space where citizen start their participation in protests by either posting a photo, an information for the press, or support a cause by liking its page or following its hashtag. Iranian opponents to the newly reelected Iranian government also used other types of communication technologies such as mobile phones. Author: Jerome Duberry

The World Social Forum

Thanks to the use of new ICTs, the World Social Forum became a global public space where individuals and organizations dealt with common problems through dialogue and discussion. Given that WSF was founded by and for alter-globalization activists, its evolution did not follow the traditional pattern. It remained an open-space where grassroots movements are more represented than powerful INGOs. Author: Jerome Duberry

The Arab Spring

These civil society movements have some common characteristics: they are organized and function as a network and make intense use of new ICTs such as Internet based and mobile communications. They create multiple connections with peers, with other groups engaged for the same cause, with the media, and with society at large. To enable these unlimited local to global connections, civil activists need Internet. Author: Jerome Duberry