Civil Society and Social Innovations
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Kodanikuühiskond ja ühiskondlikud innovatsioonid
Course title in English
Civil Society and Social Innovations
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
autumn - spring
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
Katri-Liis Reimann (inglise keel) tavaline kursus
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The aim of the course is to discover ways in which the civil society enables to tackle issues in contemporary societies. The course introduces the main functions, actors and dynamics of the civil society both in theory and in practice. Altogether it will lay a foundation for understanding how the civil society operates and relates to government and the markets, what are the behavioural logics of a democratic and open society, and encourages a critical debate over how and to what extent can the ideals of civil society be implemented in practice.
Brief description of the course
Introduction to the concept and intellectual history of civil society. Main functions of civil society. How civil societies emerge and evolve: the institutional, behavioural and socio-cultural determinants. The forms and actors of the civil society: from stamp collectors to global social movements. Civil society and the governments: different role relationships in the national and transnational governance models. Civil society in the markets: from a corporate responsibility valve to social entrepreneurship. The dynamics within civil society organisations. Reaching out: civil society organisations engaging with broader publics in the information age.
Independent work
Reading the suggested materials at home and preparing for class discussions;
Gathering data and completing thematic written assignments and making a presentation
Reviewing and reflecting on the classes’ lecture materials
Learning outcomes in the course
The student
- is familiar with the concepts associated with the civil society and knows how to use them correctly.
- is aware of theories that describe the possible functions, developments and intersectorial relations of the civil society and can apply them in empirical analysis.
- knows how civil society organisations operate and achieve an impact, and can outline a practical strategy for a civil society organisation.
Assessment methods
Thematic assignments
Exam in case of absence from classes and/or not meeting the deadlines for the assignments
Mari-Liis Jakobson
Study literature
Loengumaterjalid ning seminaritekstid (ca 150 lk), mille täpset nimistut uuendatakse iga-aastaselt ning avaldatakse kursuseprogrammis ning mis avaldatakse kursuse veebikeskkonnas. /Lecture materials and class readings (approx 150 pages) updated on an annual basis and made available to students in the course programme and the online learning environment.

Replacement literature
Lecture materials and suggested reading
Other sources:
Edwards, M. (2009). Civil society. Polity.
Edwards, M. (2013). The Oxford handbook of civil society. Oxford University Press.
Lang, S. (2012). NGOs, civil society, and the public sphere. Cambridge University Press.
Young, L. and J. Everitt (2004). Advocacy Groups. UBC Press.
Berry, J. M., & Wilcox, C. (2015). Interest group society. Routledge.
Goodwin, J., & Jasper, J. M. (Eds.). (2014). The social movements reader: Cases and concepts. John Wiley & Sons.