by Muhammad Sulton Fatoni (Lecturer Sociology at Unusia.ac.id)

The civil society phenomenon is quite noticeable by people around Pondok pesantren that has strategy to improve the people’s quality life. Two important things above raise a presumption that there is a relationship between civil society and social capital. Therefore, it is interesting when the relationship between civil societies with social capital becomes a focus of the study in this book. In reality, the rooted existence of Pesantren’s community in the wider society are socially, economically and politically strong enough (civil society), while on the other hand the community has been doing social roles directly relate to the society.

Then the interesting problems to be disclosed are the strategy in creating a civil society and forming civil society relations with the social capital in the case of pesantren’s community.   The Pondok pesantren’s communities have social power based on their uniqueness. This study shows a model of the community in building civil society through social capital approach.

The community can explain the factors strengthening the building of civil society and its correlation with social capital as well. It is quite interesting about its strategies in empowering the surroundings, especially individuals who interact with it. The strategies are described as identifying the shape and pattern of rural community empowerment. While the community’s potency is  explained by identifying forms of its internal strength.

The Study of the relationship between the civil societies with the social capitals in Pondok pesantren’s community is included a study with a choice of a new approach. So far, the study about Pondok pesantrens is  focused more on political issues. Therefore, this study is very useful for the community to see more clearly its significant potencies.  The results of the study can be used as a reference for non-governmental institutions in formulating a strategy of strengthening society in all sectors of life. So that civil society grows naturally, sturdy and spread widely with the patterns of development which is bottom up.

In addition, this study can  also be used by the government as a model in its efforts to improve quality of  people’s life. When the government has identified the civil society’s configuration in a rural community’s association, especially in the villages with their building elements, the government can put its position correctly in the midst of people who are doing the process of strengthening their internal. Governments can maximize the power of civil society in the society to open up a broader creative space that is possibly disturbed at the base level due to the bureaucratic structure in the village. It is difficult to deny that the implementation of the village Act and regulation/law 43 is disturbing creativity towards empowerment of rural communities. At a minimum, the rules have reduced the intensity of the village structures serves villagers’ genuine activities.