Civil Society, Knowledge

Civil Society vs. Democracy

It is well known that civil society is an element of the democratic system, so these two concepts are connected. But even in a democratic country, the civil society activities sometimes become weaker and weaker. This is perfectly visible during elections when the voter turnout is very low. Of course, the civil society activities are not only about voting. Before we go on to the topic of democracy and civil society, we have some interesting materials for the younger and the older children.

The first thing I would like to show you is the book by Aleksandra Kaniewska, an analyst working for the Civic Institute in Warsaw: ‘Demokracja to MY: urządźmy nasz świat’ (WE are democracy: let’s organise our world). The book is a perfect starting point for the journey into the world of concepts related to democracy, such as voting, separation of powers, equality or good citizenship (awareness of the rights and obligations). Every chapter ends with a set of exercises and topics of conversations you can use while having a talk with children, so you have both a theoretical and a practical tool facilitating the understanding of a given topic. The book contains important, yet easy questions: Do you turn off the light and your computer when you leave the room/the house? What is the difference between the private and the public goods? Do you know the differences between democracy and dictatorship?

The other material is a short video for the older children explaining where does the term democracy come from and how it is used today. The video is available with English subtitles.