'What a welcome gift!' John Clark, Project Director, UN Secretary-General's Panel on UN-Civil Society Relations. 'This book truly breaks new ground in the field of civil society studies by introducing an innovative assessment tool which can be of use to practitioners, policy-makers and researchers alike.' Kumi Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer, CIVICUS Civil society - comprising the activities of non-state organizations, institutions and movements - has in recent years emerged as the major force for change in the realms of politics, public policy and society both globally and locally. Yet, despite the crucial importance of this political phenomenon to the principle and practice of democracy, it eludes definition and systematic understanding. This book provides a comprehensive and flexible framework for the definition, measurement, analysis and interpretation of civil society based on the innovative 'Civil Society Diamond'. Written as a guide for both practitioners and academics, the book presents precise and insightful solutions to the issues of how to understand the concept of civil society, where to locate it theoretically and empirically, and which techniques are best suited to its measurement. The approach presented here has been successfully adopted across a wide range of civil society organizations in over 30 countries. The author draws on and applies a diverse repertoire of indicators, tools and data - suitable for various organizational forms, practical contexts and theoretical perspectives - which measure the effectiveness of civil society initiatives and reveal certain strategic and policy options. The aim is to promote and facilitate structured, informed and fruitful dialogue within civil society organizations and between them and the governmental, corporate and academic actors with whom they are now so integrally linked.