Monday, October 15, 2007

the decline of the state

The decline of the state, underway since the close of the Cold War, paired with the rise of participatory democracies and escalation of free-market policies, have created a world climate of exceptional encouragement for human initiative.

According to the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, "the nonproft sector outpaced the overall growth of employment [in the overall economy of the countries studied] by nearly 2.5 to 1... Even this does not capture the full scope of the nonprofit sector, for this sector also attracts a considerable amount of volunteer effort. Indeed, an average of 28 percent of the population in these countries contribute their time to nonprofit organizations."

In a December 1999 article in The Economist, the rapid growth of the citizen sector was expressed through the exponential rise of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The article reports that "One conservative yardstick of international NGOs (that is, groups with operations in more than one country) is the Yearbook of International Organisations. This puts the number of international NGOs at more than 26,000 today, up from 6,000 in 1990. Far more groups exists within national borders." The Economist went on a recent article by World Watch, the bimonthly magazine of World Watch Institute (itself an NGO), which "suggested that the United States alone has about 2m NGOs, 70 percent of which are less than 30 years old. India has about 1m grass-roots groups, while another conservative estimate suggests that more than 100,000 sprang up in Eastern Europe between 1988 and 1995."

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