Civil Society And Democracy In Asia : The Struggle Of Non-State Organizations In Expanding Democratic Space

M. Khusna Amal


Civil society and democracy are like two sides of a coin that is difficult to separate. There is no democracy without the presence of civil society, and there is no civil society that does not deal with democracy. Despite having a very close relationship, the relationship between the two does not necessarily lead to mutually reinforcing relationship, but it can also be mutually exclusive. The experience of Indonesia, Philippines and South Korea, shows that civil society organizations have become the main source of the reform movement and people power in pressing for change. However, the emergence and development of civil society in the post-reform in those three countries led to competition, conflict and internal divisions that have an unconstructive impact to the consolidation of democracy. Thus, civil society can be a trouble maker for the process of change and democratization.

Keywords: civil society, non-state organizations, public space, democracy, and Asia.


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