You may occasionally hear the term "civil society". President G.W. Bush used that term and you might see it in education material, among other places. It is a UN term but the U.S. Department of State also engages in activities related to civil societies.
Both are engaged in creating democracies across the world for "global leadership" as stated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Take note the next time you hear this term, who is saying it, the context in which it is being said, and give consideration to what it means for America.