32.1 Civil society, that offshoot of the enlightenment, has developed in the early twenty-first century into a benchmark of a fully functioning democracy. One of its key manifestations is the flourishing of organizations outside the state sector. India for example is estimated to have over 1 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In 1997, the then UN secretary-general discussed the increasing influence of civil society within the United Nations and pointed out that civil society actors were ‘now perceived not only as disseminators of information or...
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