National governments must find new ways of enabling their people to participate more in government and to allow them much greater influence on the decisions that affect their lives … Unless this is done, and done in time, the irresistible tide of people’s rising aspirations will inevitably clash with inflexible systems, leading to anarchy and chaos. A rapid democratic transition and a strengthening of the institutions of civil society are the only appropriate responses. Among the many specific steps that must accompany such a transition, the two main ones are to decentralize more authority to local governments and to give much greater freedom to people’s organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) — instruments of people’s participation.

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Supporting Civil Society
Institute of Political Economy

Macdonald, L. (1997). Introduction: Civil Society, the State and Non-Governmental Organizations in Central America. In Supporting Civil Society (pp. 1–28). doi:10.1007/978-1-349-25178-0_1

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