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Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society Essay

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Updated: Sep 14th, 2021


There has been a recent increase in scholarly interests in the transnational activists’ group according to Wapner’s empirical observation. These activists groups are becoming more and more popular internationally. As Wapner proposes, this is when the politically inclined people start manipulating these activists groups. These activists groups start up by starting something small among their little community and around their residential area.

This could be like the plant more trees campaign which starts small with private funding and later gets expanded into a global society with more people funding in it after getting conscious of it. Wapner also disagrees that politics also falsify charitable practices into mechanisms that govern public affairs. Wapner defines political power as an “interface of power and public domain”.

Main text

Civil society is usually referred to as the society that is doing things in opposition to the present social norms. The term global civil society can be defined as a voluntary society that shares information or does a certain activity together. The concept of having a global civil society is going more towards politics beyond states, whereby more and more international civil societies are forming to fight against something they believe in, most of the time not thru political influence.

It was more recently termed as the ‘activist groups’. This society can be divided into “within states” and “beyond states”. The state has the right to access power and govern while the civil society cannot use any violence etc. This fundamentally gives more power to the state than the city which means that the state runs on politically influenced society while the civil runs of a more public domain. Thus, in other words, a civil society goes against the usual political hierarchy. Order creates a negative relationship with hierarchy, an order which can also be defined as “an arrangement of product” goes against hierarchy.

To a much greater extent, popular and famous people are joining these activists groups to enhance their social well-being. For example, Oprah Winfrey building a school in Africa became a worldwide phenomenon. She also has set up her charity to help collect more money for Africa. The media also plays a role in helping to create awareness regarding these activists groups around the world. The media contributes a lot in terms of publicity for these activists groups.

Apart from the above, the internet also plays a major role in spreading messages around the world. People from any corner of the globe can access the internet and find out information on whichever activists group they want to join and so on. Thus, with the current technology in today’s world, the activist groups are getting more attention and more and more people are getting involved in it. The internet has become one of the main foundations for information and for people to share information and opinions among themselves.

There are a few ways that the political system checks on whether the activists group is still active and successful. Firstly, they will verify if society is continuously being financed. This could be thru either a politically influenced society, where the money comes from either a politically influenced person or any government bodies. Donations can also be another way of funding the group thru the generous public. In addition, it is also possible to check if the society is successful is thru its relevancy. This is referring to the objective of the society being set up. The political system can check the group’s current activities against their objectives.

In general, there are 2 types of criticism which are theoretical and normative criticism. An assumption that can’t be theoretically sustainable defines the theoretical criticism whereas it approaches while the normative criticism focuses on the application of the Utopian approach which is based on the facts and consequences. One of the latest approaches is Woodrow Wilson’s 14points and study of IR whereby Woodrow suggests the principle of public diplomacy and agreements which suggests a more transparent IR and the principle of national self-determination. in addition that, there is rather something called the liberal pattern of IR whereby it is suggested that there are changes in the structure and characteristics of the political system.

The liberalism theory gives more importance to domestic politics while the realist theory despises it. The realist theory is based more on an individualistic approach while the liberalist theory is based more on a group-based approach. Among these 2 approaches, politicians are motivated to use an approach depending on the situation. To determine foreign policies, a realist believes in a more foreign approach while a liberalist depends on a more domestic approach.

For example, during an emergency in the country, like a terrorist attack which becomes a security issue, a leader would have to choose between being a realist or a liberalist. The leader has to be more of a realist thinking of only his country and his people whereby if he chooses to think of it based on a more economic approach, he would be a liberalist as he would consider the economical value of his country towards the other countries around the world. In addition, this would also depend on a leader’s timing of an issue, for example, if it is an urgent issue, a leader would think in a more realistic way rather than a liberalist way.

Social construction can generate international relations thru regimes and social facts. There are various forms such as historical, cultural, and political forms. In recent times, the above happens as a result of human interaction with the rest of the world, mainly thru the media and the internet at least.

Change happens through a different context or a different objective which are some of the central themes; whereas social dimensions of emphasizing the normal rules, the process of interaction which when humans interact they will be able to exchange information on the various forms of structural agent whereby whether the behavior comes from the realism(individualistic approach) or a liberalism approach ( a more cooperative, group approach).


Lengthening the shadows of the future is one way of increasing cooperation. The political system tries to brainwash the public by repeating the same goals over a long period and starts stressing and suggesting some new strategies to attain them. The next step is to increase the costs of cooperation. For instance, they would highlight the benefits of being cooperative, the effect and consequences on everyone, etc.

This would also mean that they can “buy” cooperation by increasing the benefits for those who cooperate and punish those who do not cooperate. Apart from that, they could also create some kind of tension or domestic violence to install the cooperation among the public. They would also encourage sharing information on those who do not cooperate, meaning that another person or a cooperator could point out the ones that are not cooperating, this would create fear in people, so everyone is forced to cooperate whether they want to or not.

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"Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society." IvyPanda, 14 Sept. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/global-civil-society-as-a-voluntary-society/.

1. IvyPanda. "Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society." September 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-civil-society-as-a-voluntary-society/.


IvyPanda. "Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society." September 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-civil-society-as-a-voluntary-society/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society." September 14, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/global-civil-society-as-a-voluntary-society/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Global Civil Society as a Voluntary Society'. 14 September.

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