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Research Congress on the Third Sector

 

On September 27 and 28, in México City, the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (Cemefi) held the 18th Research Congress on the Third Sector, entitled “Participation, Citizenship and Philanthropy: theoretical debates and experiences in the current context”, at the National Autonomous University of México (UNAM).

 

This activity brought together 75 academic papers related to civil society and their contributions to the development of the country. In addition, it offered keynote lectures by international and national guests, and a specialized book fair.

 

At the beginning of the activities, Luz Elena Baños Rivas, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflected on citizen participation in Mexican foreign policy and explained how México's multilateral vocation offers an ideal space for civil society organizations to express their voice on issues of an international nature.

 

John Gaventa, of the University of Sussex, United Kingdom, presented the paper entitled “What Difference Generates Participation? Challenges and opportunities of a citizenship that generates value”, in which he spoke about the challenges facing civil society in relation to democracy; especially the erosion of participation due to a lack of confidence in political institutions, as well as the emergence of populism and authoritarianism.

 

For his part, Gonzalo Delamaza Escobar, from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, spoke about the “Challenges of Citizen Participation in Times of Democratic Shock”, in a conference in which he proposed three lines of action: political reforms, modifications in participatory institutions and strengthening of the public role.

 

Within the framework of the Congress, the Cemefi awarded acknowledgments to the winners of the 14th Prize for Research on Civil Society. The winners were Ricardo Lindquist Sánchez, in the Bachelor's category; Adrián Mauricio Aguilar Orta, in the Master's category; and Mariana Hernández Flores, for her PhD thesis. This award, which reached its 14th anniversary, highlights the work of research that contributes to the analysis of issues related to civil society in México.

 

It should be noted that the Congress was established as a center of innovation, in which the bases for the development and progress of the country are germinated. In its 2018 edition, civil society, universities, companies and the government converged in the search for joint solutions to complex problems.

 

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