Sample Essay on Civil Society

Civil Society

Question 1

Over the last few years, majority of the people have been advocating for the adoption of civil rights that match states and nations. This trend has been widely accepted, but in some cases, it has been a source of tension. This has been the case because different parts of the world have different practices that influence civil rights, and while some of these factors are accepted worldwide, others are not accepted that way. For this reason, while some civil rights cut across the world, other civil rights do not cut across the world. For example, the issue of treating men and women equally has been a source of tension in different parts of the world because of varying cultural practices (Pharr, & Schwartz, 2003). In particular, while western countries have embraced this issue, Middle East and Africa are yet to embrace this issue in the right way because of cultural differences. In addition, while other parts of the world treat immigrant workers fairly, Middle East is yet to do this because of its cultural and religious practices.

Question 2

Literally, the term civil society may have different meanings because of the variation in approaches people use when defining this term. This notwithstanding, a civil society refers to a political space that exists within politics and in other areas of life for deliberate association of people or groups of people for the purpose of governing aspects of social life. In this respect, organizations in civil society target reserved rules and seek to impose social orders on those reserved rules (Keane, 2006). From another perspective, civil societies may be understood as voluntary associations that deliberately try to shape rules for the sake of the members of the public as a whole or as a fraction. This means that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that exist in public life for the sake of expressing people’s interests based on scientific, ethical, religious, philanthropic or cultural considerations are part of civil society because they do what civil societies do. Some good examples of civil society include human right watch, equal employment opportunity community (EEOC), and citizen’s forum for constitutional reform (CFCR among other examples. The fact that civil societies target formal rules and seek to transform them for the sake of the members of the public contributes to the functioning of democracy (Hintz, 2009). Democracy in this case refers to the tendency of governing people based on what they like.

Question 3

Broadly speaking, it might not be possible to be just to all people at all times. In such cases, justice allows states to be just to most of the people while being less just to some. The electoral process in current democratic nations and states is a good example of this case. This means, the way democracies conduct their general elections is a good example of justice of this nature because the few people that lose in general elections accept to be governed by the people that win by majority votes. The US presidential election is a good example because presidential candidates that lose in general elections together with their supporters accept defeat and embrace presidential candidates that win through majority votes (Grande, 2004). Another example that depicts justice of this nature exists in democratic parliaments. In such cases, parliamentarians do not always agree on everything when making the law. However, because laws have to be made even in such cases parliamentarians end up casting votes on those issues and the outcomes are embraced. In such cases, the law making processes tend to favor majority parliamentarians while being less just to minority parliamentarians.



Grande, S. (2004). Red critical theory: Native American social and political thought. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

Hintz, A. (2009). Civil society media and global governance: Intervening into the world summit on the information society. Berlin: Lit.

Keane, J. (2006). Civil society: Berlin perspectives. New York: Berghahn Books.

Pharr, S., & Schwartz, F. (2003). The state of civil society in Japan. New York: Cambridge University Press.