Conceptualizing Civil Society

working group

Convenors:  Alice Hovorka, Sarah Pugh, Belinda Leach


  • Reveal key intellectual debates concerning idea of civil society and related concepts (especially local/global, governance, interdisciplinarity, ‘development’ vs. other lenses, e.g. business)
  • Identify likely conceptual trends for next decade or two (where is the literature going?)
  • Make these debates understandable and useful for making informed decisions
  • Engage faculty with theoretical interests as stakeholders in SCS


  • Engage with Faculty from ID, CES, other colleges, including grad students by asking participants to think through objectives 1 and 2 (above) in light of the literatures they know
  • Facilitated workshop for group of 10

The following outputs and resources are available as PDFs (left side-bar):

  • Objectives and Strategies
  • Slides from the convenors meeting presentation
  • Final report will be available at the end of July



Re-imagining the role of the university bottom arrow

Dialogue goals

  • Broaden and deepen our and thinking on the meaning of civil society
  • Explore the linkages between the universities and civil society sectors
  • Engage university and civil society constituents in a process of imagining how the University of Guelph can move in a direction of greater engagement

Building Blocks of Civil Society