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date: 20 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines a subset of grassroots or voluntary associations that work primarily at the local level to promote strong grassroots participation in civil society. It explains that voluntary associations are often assumed to be synonymous with civil society and an engaged democratic citizenry and reviews the definition and scope of these associations and their relationships to other civil society groups. It introduces a category of associations called social change organizations and provides two examples showing how new alliances between different types of grassroots association are emerging to link local work with larger efforts to build civic voice.

Keywords: grassroots associations, voluntary associations, civil society, democratic citizenry, social change organizations, civic voice

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