The results of civil society sociological studies in the region and the non-profit organizations activities are presented in the article. Surveys were conducted in target groups: population, non-profit organizations representatives and local governments. It has been established that the non-profit sector, which acts as the civil society institutional basis, gradually occupies its important place in the economy structure and in social services system. At the same time, according to experts, the level of the Third sector development in Russia compared to other countries is much lower. At the same time, the assessments positive modality identifies the increasing non-profit organizations influence on the population and government consolidation. This is a favorable prerequisite for social stability establishment and the social conflicts elimination. At the same time, the social system is considered as chaotic in the sense that it acts as both a force aimed at preserving and maintaining the system integrity, and the forces leading to the central ties weakening and the disorder instrumentalization. Therefore, it justifies the new agenda facing the elite, the government and the active social part. The main conclusion is that it requires systematic work, taking into account the complexity of modern society and global challenges. Its general outline is presented in the article in the form of paradoxes. To eliminate the interests’ gap, an ongoing dialogue is needed, based on solvable local problems, the active formation of communications between all public life subjects based on both traditional and new forms of civil society organization and development.
Keywords: Civil societynon-profit organizationscooperationsocial policyInternet
In the new reality the state administration system have to be turned towards the management of goals and projects, both economic and social, in the cooperation context. At the same time, the social system is considered as chaotic in the sense that it acts as both a force aimed at preserving and maintaining the system integrity, and the forces leading to the central ties weakening and the disorder instrumentalization. Civil society (with new communications technologies) contributes to the development of these trends. The question is: what is the trend and to what extent?
The government intends to simplify and standardize the social order, driving it into the format of such categories and institutions that make this order accessible and easy to control and manage. In this case, sociology uses the term “environmental misconception” (Maitland & Bauer, 2001; Brewer & Venaik, 2014), which means the objects group aggregated data incorrect use by transferring them to individual objects, or make them match the norms. Environmental misconceptions are the result of a logical error in the a priori or statistical data interpretation, where information about the phenomena (or subjects) nature is derived from a generalization of these phenomena (subjects) class to which they belong. It also includes the imposition of norms and other aspects that violate the social ecology. The challenge is to avoid these misconceptions and form the right agenda.
The social structure is extremely difficult. This accepted truth, by its obviousness virtue, does not seem to require proof and, as it were, can be used exclusively rhetorically. At the same time, today the whole world (including the Russian Federation and its subjects) has faced challenges that impose new requirements on the formation of a social order, a society structure capable of modernizing the country. Therefore, the subject of the study was a complex of civil society important aspects, as well as a new agenda facing the elite, the government and an society’s active part, which involves systematically considering social structure issues, taking into account the modern society and global challenges complexities.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to obtain information necessary for analyzing the civil society development problems, including analyzing the activities of the Third sector – non-profit organizations (NPOs), assessing the implementing socially oriented projects effectiveness and the level of public satisfaction with the services provided. The Republic of Karelia region was chosen as the object of the study. Using this example, an attempt was made at an empirical level to measure the effectiveness of the Third sector and civil society in general.
The survey was conducted in 2015 in 12 municipalities in the target groups: population, NGOs representatives, and local government representatives. A quota sample, reproducing the population structure, was compiled in order to conduct a survey for each urban district and municipal district. The census data were used (GKS, 2010).
It has been established that the non-profit sector, which acts as the civil society institutional basis, is gradually growing and occupies an important place in the economy and employment structure, in the social services system. At the same time, according to experts, the Third sector development level in Russia compared with developed countries is much lower. According to the Report on the Development of Civil Society Institutions in Russia (Nasriddinov, 2014), the NPO sector share in Russian GDP is 0.9%, while the same indicator for countries with a developed Third sector reached the point of 6.5%. The share of people employed in the third sector in Russia is 1.1%, abroad – is 7.1%, the share of SO NPOs from the total number of NPOs is 13.5% in our country, 60–70% – abroad. A comparison of the NPOs formal indicators in Russia and in the Republic of Karelia is presented in Table
According to established data, 70% of Third sector organizations have a small number of fulltime employees – up to 5 people. In the Republic, 40% of organizations have 1-3 people in their staff. The labor scarcity is partly compensated by volunteers. In Karelia, the number of volunteers involved in the NPOs statutory activities implementation in the aggregate, reaches 18 thousand people. According to the Third sector representatives interviewed, the main problems in the NPOs activities are the third sector potential underestimation, bureaucracy in power structures, pressure from regulatory authorities, the authorities’ insensitivity to public inquiries, disunity of NPOs. According to the population, the main problems in NPO activities are insufficient funding (33% of responses), lack of experience in project implementation (18%), insufficient interaction with local government representatives (12%), lack of qualified personnel (8%) and the necessary equipment (8%). According to NPOs, the problems are the following: lack of financial resources (20% of responses), lack of sponsors support (12%), problems with placement (12%), lack of knowledge (10%), especially legal knowledge (7%), lack of enthusiasm (7%), etc. At the same time, generally positive attitudes have been formed among the population, which can become catalysts for the civil society development. High degree of uncertainty and inconsistency in assessing the civil society state and prospects was revealed. At the same time, certain tendencies were identified, which stipulate the following scenarios:
The main conclusion is that the civil society formation requires systematic work, outlined below. Conclusions are formulated in the form of paradoxes in order to emphasize a problem situation that requires an immediate solution. The first problem is
A positive response (in table
Political systems and their legitimation are strongly dependent on citizens’ support and legitimation (Iston, 2000) and their satisfaction with legal norms, authorities, the political system’s “inputs” and “outputs” structure. In other words, the shared beliefs of those who govern and manage the processes and results of management are crucial to the stability and political systems preservation (Sabatier, 1991; Holbig, 2013). Public participation (or non-participation) is one of the main elements that has been studied in detail and, accordingly, in the social sciences, a question has long been raised about the correct determining factors for analyzing public participation and the democratic institutions effectiveness (Deth, 2011; Etzioni, 1969; Verba & Nie, 1972) for the social order design . On the other hand, the community demonstrates the ability to resist categories imposed top-down.
The article is completed in the framework of the state assignment 0218-2019-0088.
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21 January 2020
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Tolstoguzov*, O., & Pitukhina, M. (2020). Civil Society: Problems And Paradoxes. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 3145-3152). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.424