Civil Society Studies
The term “civil society” first appeared in an official G8 Summit document in 1995. Since then, the relationship between the G8 and civil society has undergone a marked evolution. Two decades ago, the notion of large-scale civic engagement occurring alongside G8 deliberations was unthinkable. Today, G8 Summits are often synonymous with large-scale demonstrations. Civil society does not only fulfill the role of an external commentator, but also that of an internal stakeholder through a new program of formal consultations.
The Civil Society Unit has been monitoring the relationship between various civil society groups and the G8 presidency since 2004, with the aim of developing a better understanding of the role civil society plays in the agenda-setting process and outcome of G8 Summits.