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Kosmopolis Institute Publications Civic Reason and Cultural Legitimacy (tool kit)

Civic Reason and Cultural Legitimacy (tool kit)

Exploring Strategies of Civil Society for Pluralism


In many parts of the world, diversity is on the increase in religion, secularism, culture and ethnicity, often dividing "us" from "them". Diversity has always been a source of opportunity, but also a challenge to the peaceful coexistence of communities. Situations of polarization raise questions about the role of civil society, citizens and the state. How can pluralist societies constructively deal with diversity? How can coexistence be promoted? What roles can be played by state, civil society and citizens?

This tool kit invites readers to explore civic reason and cultural legitimacy as means to rethink strategies of civil society organizations (CSOs). It aims to inspire and help CSOs to explore new ideas for creating or adapting strategies and activities which address issues of intolerance and coexistence in pluralist societies.

The tool kit contains a booklet and six case studies. The booklet provides a short introduction to the concept of civic reason. It presents a brief political history of Uganda and Indonesia so that readers who are unfamiliar with these histories can gain a basic understanding of these countries’ backgrounds. Each case study describes a different strategy of an Ugandan or Indonesian civil society organization (CSO) and provides two or three suggestions for discussion.


Learn more about civic reason, cultural legitimacy and how to use the information in this tool kit in the accompanying PDF filebooklet. To download the selected case studies follow the links below.


Case Studies


PDF fileCivic Reason and Cultural Legitimacy
Promoting a Cultural Approach to Development

PDF fileCivic Reason and Human Rights
Promoting Freedom of Religions and Beliefs

PDF fileCivic Reason and Islamic Debate
Espousing Religious Tolerance

PDF fileCivic Reason and Public Order Management
Securing Spaces for Civic Reason

PDF fileCivic Reason for Good Governance
Improving Citizen-State Interactions for Greater Accountability

PDF fileCivic versus Theological Limitations to Freedom of Religion
Petitioning for a Constitutional Review of the Law on Defamation of Religion