Broadening Domestic Constituencies
Civil society is rendered more vulnerable to government’s efforts to curtail their work because of a lack of strong links to national and local constituencies. By extension, many analysts believe that if civil society is able to build and forge these links, the sector would become more resilient to government efforts to close space. Yet others caution that the work of human rights and social justice is, almost by definition, too “controversial,” “political,” and “dangerous” to garner broad public support. iCon members will explore the hypothesis that closing space is facilitated in some places by a lack of connectivity, legitimacy, and relevance of human rights and social justice advocacy organizations to the larger population. They will examine different strategies for broadening and deepening public support for these organizations, including by using data to better ground civil society’s work with local populations.
- How can CSOs better use survey data, social marketing techniques, as well as traditional and social media to build constituencies and public support?
- What challenges exist for greater use of survey data by civil society, especially in highly restricted/closed political environments? How can these obstacles be addressed?
- How can adopting different methodologies – providing legal services while also doing advocacy work, or adapting mandates to engage on issues that are of particular concern to local communities, for example – help build linkages between CSOs and the populations they serve?
This report highlights the power of national and community-based civil coalitions to combat impunity and revise controversial laws that diminish civic space in Mexico.
This report provides an overview of the status of civic space in Tunisia after the 2011 Arab Spring and focuses on ways in which civil society can respond to closing civic space in the country, especially through the formation of coalitions that push back against laws that impede their activities.