Paper Local Government and Civil Society from Cooperation to Co-Participation

Research Paper (postgraduate), 2008

12 Pages, Grade: 10


Table of Contents:

0. Introduction

1. Body-Contents: Individual, community, Local and Level
1.1 Individual Level
1.2 Comunities Level
1.3 State Level
1.4 Local Level

2. Globalization: Which are the new opportunities that it could offer?

3. A new role for the Local Government

4. State Security and Human Security

5. An Example as Conclusion: The NO DAL MOLIN COMMITEE



Peace Culture... where? who? what? and How? they are only some questions that it needs I handed for really beginning to walk in this path.

Reading two resolutions of the General Assembly of United Nation ("53/243 A. Declaration culture of Peace" and " 59/143. International Decade Cultures of Peace and Not-Violece for the Children of the world, 2001-2010) we notice that the center ofsuch articles and resolutions it is the human being. We understand therefore that the level from which to depart for transforming the diffused one and as many brutal Cultures of War in Cultures of Peace is that individual. To this point it must quickly be underlined as in the actual International law also proposed by the United Nation System, the principal guarantor of the human integrity (agreement in the sense of Human Rights) it is the government institution, therefore for this we have to insert as second level whether to intervene that community, in this case government but also his Local governament. Considered that the government level is not a lot receptive in this field , and that the claims of the individuals and the different forms of community are not often listened (in the reality)1 we meet therefore the necessity to put an inferior level to the institutions government able to influence the choices of States through numerous inputs and at the same time to develop the guardianship of the human integrity through also a constant interaction with the civil society. These institutions can be seen as the corporate body of local government, institutions that are not only reproductions to local level of the government system and that they are legitimated by this same, but these also have the important characteristic to be on direct contact with the civil society, building continuous points of dialogue with it, to have an action more effective on the territory of competence (and not only) in order to promote the Culture of Peace. There is besides to say that very often such local government, don't follow a political ideology dictated by parties, but contrarily they create coalitions with the purpose to directly satisfy the needs of the citizens and the communities and equally they are organized in international networks to follow these goals.In this brief introduction we have seen as is possible to propose the respect of integrity of the Human Being and the diffusion of the Cultures of Peace to all the levels in which our societies are organized , we will now go to analyze as the Local government and the civil society could cooperate and as they cooperate in order to achive the Cultures of Peace and we will finally analyze a practical example of this as conclusion to this discourse .

1 Individual, community, Local and Level:

1.1 Individual Level:

Starting from the individual level to build the Cultures of Peace, we have to notice that the individual is not only titular of the Human Rights but at the same time it is subject active promoter of these. In the Cultures of Peace, the individual, to my opinion, it also posses some duties and not only of the rights. These duties are speculate to the Human Rights that it possesses, because as individual these rights are respected but at the same time they has to be respected . To be respected and to respect the Human Rights, the individual singly taken has the necessity in this case of two new components that are: the community and the government institution.

1.2 Communities Level:

The community ,or maybe better the communities, to which the individual belongs are groups of individuals that can share culture, traditions, religion, principles and common objectives and agreements in ample sense these communities they go to create the whole of the civil society.

The civil society is not only an aggregate of individuals but also of community that shares common values, organized to pursue different aims where the whole has more value of the sum of the single individuals2. Exactly because this multiplicity of community that compose the civil society they have divergent objectives it is necessary that the relationships, the interactions and the trials that are established among the different communities have some common norms of behavior that allow a system of relations that it could favor the development of the individual and of the same community. Such relation system essentially founds itself on the principles that allow the coexistence and the mutual understunding3 and they are: the respect of the difference, non-violence, the gender respect, the equity, the justice, the dialogue, solidarity, exchanges of opinions and knowledge and the cooperation. Such principles must not be see only turned to the relationships among community that composes the civil society , but also and overall should characterize the relationships among states of which the civil society makes part.

1.3 State Level:

To my opinion, the State institution in this case possesses an add value in comparison to the communities that the civil society characterizes, because if before we spoke of principles caracterizing the relation system , the state possesses that normative ability that allows its to set in law such principles4, in this way it is performed some state to offer a normative system to the citizen that it's able to create the conditions necessary for the citzen personal development and of the communities of which he are part. Besides intending the State as guarantor of the relationships between individuals and community this has to be able to apply (and it has to apply) the normative system that it has developed so that such principles is norms of base for every type of relationships among individuals, often however as we have seen during the course, this doesn't happen because there is an abyss among the theory (juridical system) and the practice (application of the laws). The State frequently, to my opinion, it still possesses the characters of a reactionary institution that it has the tendency to only preserve its integrity, its sovereignty, its territory and its principles5 and this lead to a stillness that doesn't help the individual to develop its possibilities and it conducts the state to a situation of de - link with the real world, and his evolutionary dynamics. Unluckyness , in this environment (the statual environment) dominated by the Negative Peace the logic sprung by the accord of Westphalia (1648) to preserve the identity of the State through is it Security it is strongly still rooted and not allow to create the presuppositions for an idea of state that protects the individual in order to give all the opportunities to choise its own personal development that creates the conditions for a Cultures of Peace.6

1.4 Local Level: Local Government and Civil Society

Equally however, fortunately and unconsciously, some states in the last years have given numerous new powers to the local government (local institutions that are legitimated by the government law and that they operate applying this). This has allowed to develop an intense and constant dialogue both with the whole the civil society and with the different communities that compose it (inclusive those of migrant in my notice the city is made with them and for them in the sense that they could feel citizens of the city if they could live it).


1 As dimostrated during the class lessons when we have comparised our constitution with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

2 “Uber ein elementare Frage der Mannigfaltigkeitslehre” by George Cantor in Cantor's diagonal argument

3 Concept take from Adams,David “Moving from a culture of War to a Culture of Peace”

4 Principle of Juridical Norm

5 Principle of RealPolitik the term was coined by Ludwig August von Rochau, a German writer and politician in the 19th century He published Principles of Realpolitik,,

6 Personal Elaboration ”In larger Freedom”by Kofi Annan

Excerpt out of 12 pages


Paper Local Government and Civil Society from Cooperation to Co-Participation
Universitat Jaume  (International Master in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies UNESCO Chair in Philosophy for Peace at UJI )
International Master in Peace Conflict and Development Studies
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ISBN (Book)
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politics, peace, social mouvements, vicenza, no dal molin, civil society, local government, security, decision making-level
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Graduate Luigi Nicoletti (Author), 2008, Paper Local Government and Civil Society from Cooperation to Co-Participation, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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