Engaging Civil Society

Emerging Trends in Democratic Governance

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The rapid pace of globalization has led to the increasing interdependence of member states of the United Nations to achieve sustainable development objectives, including the eradication of extreme poverty, environmental protection, access to basic services and livelihoods and the promotion of economic growth and opportunities. The book attempts to examine the changing roles of civil society in global and national governance. It identifies factors that influence the effectiveness of civil society in promoting democratic governance by addressing how the rapid pace of globalization has increased the interdependence of governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations.



Civil society in Africa: Constraints and opportunities for democratic change

Africa has a rich associational life, but does this fit the description of a “civil society”? This question is particularly relevant for a discussion of its possible contribution to democratic change. In most discussions of civil society it is taken for granted that it is a vital part of democratization. This link stems from the record of democratization in Western countries, where voluntary associations have been a force in bringing about participatory and accountable forms of governance. But what should one expect of civil society in this regard in African countries that have been only marginally affected by previous waves of democratization and where, therefore, the political foundation on which to build democracy remains fragile?


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