Creating a Civil Society Marketplace (CSM): Knowledge, Training, Resources

Civil society is under siege in many countries throughout the world. In recent years, autocratic regimes, as well as governments in transition, have implemented a variety of laws and regulations designed to decrease the scope of activities for civil society organizations at home, and limit their ability to receive funding from abroad. Non-governmental organizations have been labeled “foreign agents,” accused of treason, and subjected to restrictive registration requirements. Several countries have made it illegal to accept foreign funding for “political activities.” Repressive governments have made all sources of foreign funding suspicious, but American government sources of funding have received the most negative attention. This worldwide assault on civil society started over a decade ago, but has accelerated in the last few years.

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Michael McFaul

Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies