IOG's Civil Society Initiative: Civil & Uncivil Society - Who really speaks for the people?
SESSION THEME: Populism and civil society’s role as a window into the views of citizens
Review of recent evolutions in civil society
Impact of the rise of social media platforms
Populism and its implications for social cohesion
‘Uncivil society’: far-right and anti-rights ideologies – unpacking a new phenomenon
Civil society's impact on governance and social cohesion is being felt in Canada and around the world. The rise of populism, a declining trust in governments, the changing role of (and trust in) media as a neutral, fact-based intermediary, and the impact of technologies on both organizational form and engagement (within and across sectors), all tell us that the role of civil society in Canada is evolving.
Civil society is a reflection, and voice, of society’s wants, needs, priority issues and concerns. In a diverse society like Canada, civil society elements reflect our culture (e.g. French/English) and include NGO’s, faith-based organizations, immigrant groups, and Indigenous Peoples. Civil society has the ability to both disrupt and bring together. Citizens also tend to have more trust in civil society than they do in governments.
Governments need insight into the changing roles and views on the impact of civil society so they can respond with policies and programs.