Civil Society in Context of a Legal Temperament: Is the Watchdog a Capable Person?
AbstractThis paper critically analyses the concept “civil society” within a legal temperament, in an attempt to present the legal capacity of civil society organisations in their cooperation in state-society governance in South Africa. The paper argues that civil society organisations in their legal capacity as corporate person, should act as a partner in governance rather than being just a watchdog to government functions or clean administration. In its foregoing purpose the paper examines literature on the foundations of civil society and the natural law theories. The paper further explores the basis of state, market and civil society relations in good governance, where civil society is considered a legal person with capacity to act legally as a partner. The paper concludes that the legalised expression of civil society organisations legitimises the agency of human interest to the high levels of engagement and interaction as a partner in governance.
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