Civil Society as Public Space and Democratic Participation: The Philippine Experience

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This paper attempts to show how civil society has served as public space and democratic participation in a society; in particular in Philippine society. It consists of three parts. The first part tries to delineate what constitutes civil society. The second part discusses the antinomies of elite democracy and participatory democracy; of rights-oriented liberalism and communitarianism; of welfare state and free market; and how civil society answers these antinomies. The third part surveys the role of civil society as public space and democratic participation in Philippine society. The paper concludes with the challenges in the context of the new dictatorial regime of President Rodrigo Duterte.