Civil society in its many forms plays vital roles in discovering and then meeting social needs – from poverty and disability to discrimination. This report investigates the many ways in which these roles have been played, analysing civil society’s role as a campaigner, innovator, researcher and service provider.

It includes data on how people meet their needs in contemporary Britain, as well as providing an analytical framework for understanding civil society.

The report warns that civil society’s legal structures often risk becoming frozen around past needs, and advocates using the new ‘public benefit test’ to ensure that civil society organisations remain focused on the most pressing contemporary needs.

Civil Society

Posted on: 30 March 2008


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