Roles Of Economic To Civil Society

943 words - 4 pages

This paper was prepared by Anthony C Ndjovu a Masters Student of Research and Public Policy at University of Dar-Es-Salaam

Civil society is often described as the “third sector”, a domain outside market and state which contributes economic participation. Its strength can have a positive economic influence on the state and the market. Other scholars such as Adam Smith and Marx in identifying civil society primarily as economic interaction through the market and hence civil society acting as the agent for promoting economic ...view middle of the document...

2002). Participation in civil society organizations gives individuals the opportunity to develop as they meet and work with people outside their own group, class, work environment which strengthens social cohesion. Large parts of civil society is engaged in the expressive function like theatre companies, Facebook groups, book clubs and fill an important role in forming and diversifying social capital.
Thirdly, In many countries,civil society is an important economic actor in itself generating employment and value added. This is seldom mentioned in standard analysis of economic development. However, in many countries the third sector is an important contributor to growth. As reported by Ghaus-Pasha (2005: 4-5) a survey of 36 countries by John Hopkins University shows that the civil society sector in the surveyed countries spent ,on average, 5.4 per cent of GDP and employed an equivalent of 4.4 per cent of economically active population in the period 1995-2000. According to another report by John Hopkins University (2013) non-profit organizations are a major source of employment growth globally and in some countries its employment share is as high as 10 per cent.
Fourth, Civil society is important for absorbing and giving structure and strength to citizens’ “voice”. That a society can absorb the voice of its citizens is deemed positive for the economic development. The concept of “voice” in economic literature comes from the theory of Exit, Voice and Loyalty of Albert O. Hirschman (1970). Hirschman takes his starting point in standard economic theory and attempts to explain behaviour that is not predicted by standard economic models. That market actors expresses “voice”, i.e. trying to influence quality of goods and services instead of just choosing another provider. “Exit” is the predicted behaviour for an economic agent that is unsatisfied with a good or service, at least in a competitive environment where there are alternatives. Hirschman also introduces the concept of “loyalty” as a  bridge between exit and voice. If the individual has a loyalty bond with the organization or company that he/she is dissatisfied with there is a greater chance he/she will try to use voice to improve the situation before using the exit option. Translated into a...

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