The Role of Civil Society within the Democracy
Goga Gina Livioara
Danubius University of Galati, Faculty of Law, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: The consolidation and development of the lawful state ca nnot be accomplished without an
active and functional civil society. A functional civil society is the basis of democracy, because a
democracy in which the individuals cannot express their opinions a nd organize in different kinds of
organizations c annot be cons idered a democracy. Within the totalitarian s tates, the exis tence of a civil
society cannot be conceived, as the individual’s freedom is c onstrained. In the present context, the reality
of Europe’s liberal democracies is that they are in a strong governmental deadlock, cause by the existence
of a political system in which there isn’t an active civil society or at least a civil society that does not
accept inequalities and government injustice. A corrupt soci ety has at the other pole a weak civil society.
The civil society’s role is to monitor and get involved in the c orruption issues, being part of the systems of
national integrity. The society’s welfare in general is reduced in the long run to the citizen’s role, at an
individual level. The ideal citizen must show an interest and participate in the political life, express his
point of view and get actively involved in the com munity’s life, helping his neighbours and collaborating
with the others.
Keywords: citizen, law, state, European Union
In what extent is the national state’s citizen
ready to be a part of the European public
life and improve the democratic system?
The concept and the evolution of the “civil society”
Aristotle asserted that the oldest form of civil society was the one he called Heroical. However, it is
difficult to establish the exact period of time when the first civil society emerged or which one has to
be considered the oldest. Although Assyrian is considered to be the oldest and the biggest monarchy, it
doesn’t mean that is was also the first civil society. The reason for which it is considered that this is
where the first civil society emerged is connected to the fact that it is much easier for a society already
established to conquer a neighbour one than for a new state, whose members still need to connect to a
certain territory that could disappear, to conquer an older state.
The term “civil society” was described by Cicero in his work from the 1
century B.C and became very
important starting with the 18
century, together with the emergence of the natural law theories.
The idea of a contrast between the human reason and will, founded on the natural and positive law,
whose obedience is ensured by the state, was a great concern of many contemporary authors from the
development of the civil society period.
In the same context, the separation between the state and civil society represented “a bastion against
the despotism, from the moment in which the more numerous, articulated and educated professional
class began to fear the irrational lack of laws, the prodigality and confusion of blind power. In the
upright of the reasonable limitations of the state power, the theoreticians describe the aspects that
precede the state, in law and time”. Thus, in the concepts referring to the stat in contrast with nature,
1 Aristotle underlined the fact that, until the formation of the civil soc iety there is paternal authority, that has an uncontrollable
authority on his family and this is practically the reason for which no civil society was formed before the Flood. The
demographic augmentation caused a rise in the number of people that broke the cohabitati on rules, so that most of the families
representatives decided to form an alliance in order to become a power. See Samuel Pufendorf , Antoine Augustin Bruzen
de La Martinière, Joseph Sayer, An introduction to the history of the principal states of Europe, Vol. I, E d. A. Wilde,
London, 1764, p. 1-3;