Civic society and citizen participation Sociedad civil y participación ciudadana uri icon


  • Recent governance theories consider citizen participation as an indispensable element for good government. However, few studies have centered on the quality and efficiency of this aspect, and at the same time there is evidence of the destabilizing effect that civic society has on government. The objective of this study is to propose a delimitation theory between the concept of citizenship and that of civic society. Given the complexity of the topic, the analysis studies the semantic nucleus of both concepts, without considering all of the significances accumulated over the historic evolution of this field of study. The methodology consisted of an analysis of documents that permited a reflection of the theoretical spaces that are shared and/or exclusive to each concept; this paper limited itself to two tangents: rights and participation. The conceptualization of citizenship was restudied with the hope of incorporating pluralism as a constituent part of the concept, and at the same time the dimension of participation is emphasized in relation to freedom of rights, principally those related to the reflections of Jurtgen Habermas on public opinion and the proposal of citizenship on the part of Michael Walter. The conclusion is that it is necessary to employ a more restricted use of these concepts, given that equal status for both elements does not offer a real solution to the problems that stimulated the initial approach to political systems and processes of conformation in the present legal framework.

Publication date

  • January 1, 2004