The Prehistory and Meaning of Civil Society and its Role in Political Life in Different Countries


  • Sopio GABELAIA Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)



Association, Activity, Citizen, Communication, Development, Government, Politics, Rules, Right, Union


The democratic system of governance reform is one of the main directions of the establishment and development of the civil society. Civil society is any activity, any initiative of individuals, spontaneously created self-governance and citizens based associations and organizations, which are supported and protected by the law of the state in their work. 

Tocqueville first presented civil society to the West as voluntary, non-political social organizations that strengthen democracy preventing a tyranny of the majority. Associations, which can be “religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive”, protect diversity by uniting equal but weak individuals into powerful groups. These associations prevent the fragmentation of society by forcing men to consider the affairs of others and to work with their neighbors. In different epoch and in different situations the term “civil society” may be understood in different ways, it may be freedom of speech, wide field of opportunities, democracy, unity of some interests, communication, globalization, activity, governmental and non-governmental associations. In order to get effective functioning of the mechanism, the main thing is to inform society and earn good reputation and trust. All citizens should be acknowledged with the main point of civil society, their functions, duties, obligations and when they can apply to them and what kind of problems they are concerned with. Most important, is more communication, and civil society itself should be interested in providing them with more information about their job, aims, plans and do their best to make citizens get involved in any business or activities. This communication should be bilateral, active and effective. The purpose of the paper is
to discuss what kind of prehistory civil society had and how great its role is in the development processes of democratic governance.

Author Biography

Sopio GABELAIA, Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA)

MA., Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA); Faculty at Local Government. Tbilisi, Georgia.