Publications, opinions, and speeches


Civil Society: Reclaiming Our Humanity

Published on 01/03/1997

This report explores the meaning of the concept ‘civil society.’  While this term is being used more frequently in public discourse, there is no common understanding of what it actually means.  This paper contributes to the debate by operationalizing the term and linking it to international thinking on sustainable development.  The paper proposes that a civil society seeks to achieve three key objectives: caring communities, economic security and social investment.  These objectives are not ‘new.’  What is different about the concept of civil society are the means by which these traditional objectives are achieved including a broad interpretation of resources, the creation of partnerships and collaborative working arrangements, and holistic responses to problems.  The overarching theme of civil society is citizenship – which includes not only rights but also broad, collective responsibility for economic, social and environmental well-being.

ISBN – 1-895796-74-1



This report explores the meaning of the concept 'civil society.'