Civil society and crucial role it plays in governance

Irungu Houghton

Mr Irungu Houghton, author of the book ‘Dialogue & Dissent.’

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Essentially, civil society is a humongous lobby that seeks to keep government excesses in check through direct advocacy.
  • That is one of the principal reasons why relationships between civil society and the powers-that-be are almost always highly adversarial.

Taking potshots at civil society has been a favourite pastime of many a commentator, especially when its views do not exactly align with the prevailing political correctness. However, it turns out that this knee-jerk opposition may be ill-advised, especially because it is - except in authoritarian states - an essential component of good governance and its views should be taken into consideration by both the Executive and the Legislature.

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