CIVICUS Civil Society Index

An international action-research project by and for civil society

‘Examples of violence within civil society’: Essay Contest winner announced!

Posted by civilsocietyindex on February 3, 2010

The CSI team is delighted to announce that Anael Labigne has won the CSI Indicator Database Essay Contest and will scoop a prize of USD $500. The essay contest was opened in September 2009 to celebrate the launch of the Civil Society Index’s interactive Indicator Database, which for the first time puts together in a single place the data generated on global civil society from the 2003-2006 phase of implementation. Over 200 people have now registered for free to use the database, which is easily searchable by indicator.

Anael’s essay, titled “Examples of violence within civil society”, uses the data and information on violence generated by the Civil Society Index to contribute to the broader debate on the role of civility in ‘civil society’. Placing an emphasis on the need for empirical research to underpin conceptions of civil society, Labigne outlines that ‘instead of arguing for or against a normatively charged civility concept, I propose to evaluate the indicator of non-violence within the civil society sector arena surveyed by the CSI 2003-2006 data’.

Anael is currently a PhD candidate at the Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, where his research focuses on the historical question of the role of ‘civility’ in society. On learning that he had won the award, Anael commented that:

“Working in the academic field is an ambivalent privilege. On the one hand, I do like research. On the other, it is often abstract and, especially as a young scholar, you sometimes ask yourself about the relevance of your every day work in the real world. The CIVICUS Civil Society Index is a scientific project that helps to dampen down this paradox and an essay contest gives the possibility to contribute in a more tangible way.

“I want to find out more about violence and civility in a transnational context. From a sociological point of view these are highly contested and difficult concepts. There are good reasons to differentiate between various forms of violence and this essay attempts to do just that by looking at empirical examples. Of course data does not speak for itself, but it can’t be underestimated in research. This essay and a lot of other research projects across the globe would not have been possible without CIVICUS’ commitment to this extensive Civil Society Index.”


Anael Labigne, Winner of the 2009 CSI Indicator Database Essay Contest

The essay contest forms one part of the CSI team’s strategy to encourage widespread empirically-based reflection on the state of civil society, as well as wider and deeper use of the findings of the Civil Society Index. 

It is expected that the data generated from the current 2008-2010 phase of implementation will be collated together in a similar database towards the end of 2010 when it becomes available.

Visit the CSI Indicator Database and register for free by clicking here.

Download Anael’s essay in full by clicking here.


5 Responses to “‘Examples of violence within civil society’: Essay Contest winner announced!”

  1. Walker said

    Pet peeve about a former or theoretical someone living with you?

  2. […] in attendance at the meeting was Anael Labigne, winner of the 2009 Civil Society Index Essay Contest. The Essay Contest celebrated the launch of […]

  3. cepromec said


    Nous avons l’honneur de venir auprès de votre organisation afin de pouvoir sollicité une adhésion et partenariat

    En effet nous sommes une association féminine basée en Republique démocratique du Congo oeuvrant dans les domaines suivant : la santé réproductive, lutte contre les violences sexuelle et domestique,promotion des droits de la femme, lutte contre le vih-sida .

    Recevez nos salutations les plus coopératives .

    Dans la solidarité

  4. John Beauclerk said

    Nice job, Anael

    ‘instead of arguing for or against a normatively charged civility concept’ you still conclude there is a need for a values driven theoretical framework.

    That sounds healthily normative to me…

    Best wishes


  5. Xavier said

    Dzien dobry,

    I agree with Anael when he express how crucial are those type of initiatives for young researchers !

    I am myself conducting a research a bout the concept of civil society and I hope that this database will help me !

    Congratulations Anael !

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