Public Interest and Civic Participation (PICP)
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The overarching theme of this chapter is that relative strength of interest in issues which can affect broader communities in KRI is not effectively translated to actual and factual participation of people in civic initiatives. Put it differently, a wide breach exists between, on the one hand, individuals who display interest in issues such as democracy, human rights, rising prices and cleanliness of cities, and, on the other hand, the same individuals who demonstrate inability (not necessarily stated) to organize collective action to address issues that interest them collectively. Hence, there exists a situation of inconsistency between civic interest on attitudinal level and collective action on the behavioral level in the context of KRI. This chapter places emphasis on the structural determinant of civil society and draws attention to three forms of interaction between state and civil society in Kurdistan: a harmonious relationship with civil society by formulating an inspiring legal framework, to domestication and co-optation through illegitimate and unfair provision of financial support and intervention in internal affairs of civil society organizations to confrontation with “unfriendly” civil society. The chapter, furthermore, offers an explanation for the inability of protest movements in bringing about major changes in the politics and governance in KRI.
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