December 08, 2014
Benjamin S. Osenbach
State University of New York at Buffalo
Do Civil Society Organizations Undermine State-building?
In spite of the long-standing debate among economists on the optimal level of government
involvement in economic development, little has been said on an optimal level of involvement
by non-governmental “Civil Society” Organizations (CSOs). In particular, little has been said to
address the potential trade-off between the influence of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)
and the influence of government. Using datasets such as the World Values Survey and the
World Bank’s World Governance Indicators, a multinomial logistic model is presented to
model “political legitimacy” (a proxy for governmental influence) in 20 countries against 42
other variables. The results indicate that there is no such trade-off, and that political factors
such as confidence in parliament, political parties, and the justice system are more
significant in explaining political legitimacy than service provision by CSOs.
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), political legitimacy, multinomial logit model