Non-government organisations and the dialectics of state and civil society

Kenny, Susan 2007, Non-government organisations and the dialectics of state and civil society, Futures, vol. 39, no. 2-3, pp. 185-199, doi: 10.1016/j.futures.2006.01.005.

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Title Non-government organisations and the dialectics of state and civil society
Author(s) Kenny, Susan
Journal name Futures
Volume number 39
Issue number 2-3
Start page 185
End page 199
Publisher Pergamon
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2007-03
ISSN 0016-3287
Summary This paper is concerned with envisioning the development of non-government organisations (NGOs) in Australia over the next 200 years. It begins with a discussion of a hypothetical NGO, providing vignettes of its activities in 2104 and 2204, and sketching out contextual factors that might influence NGO development. This discussion is followed by an outline of the methodology upon which the projections indicated in the hypothetical case-study are based. Three methodological approaches are used. The first approach begins from an analysis of current contextual trajectories, and projects the role of NGOs within these trajectories. The second approach postulates that the changes that will occur will be affected by the reflexive nature of social change, involving continual reflection and action. The third methodological approach draws on this notion of reflexivity, but emphasises that social change is not only a reflexive process, it is also a dialectical one. The dialectical approach rests on the premise that change occurs through a process of the accumulation of contradictions, challenge and resolution. Using these methodological approaches the paper proceeds to identify three factors which will influence the Australian NGO sector in the next 200 years. These factors are the shifting relations between the state and civil society, including the rise of the neo-authoritarian state in the 21st century; the ways in which least advantaged people are dealt with and, finally, the idea of risk society. While it is more difficult to identify the contextual and NGO trajectories into the 22nd and 23rd centuries, the paper postulates a more utopian vision for NGOs in Australia in 200 years time, where the category of people who had been previously marginalised disappears, and the major roles of NGOs are to ensure cultural diversity and develop civil labour.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.futures.2006.01.005
Field of Research 160805 Social Change
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2006
Copyright notice ©2006, Elsevier Ltd.
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