Civil Society in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebenezer Obadare

in The Oxford Handbook of Civil Society

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780195398571
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Civil Society in Sub-Saharan Africa

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This article provides a critical survey of the contemporary history of civil society in sub-Saharan Africa. It discusses criticisms on the alleged weaknesses of contemporary civil society associations, especially urban-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and highlights the re-emergence of old anxieties about the capacity of civil society to expound African socialities. It concludes that while the early promise of civil society may have been exaggerated there is equal danger in inflating current levels of disillusionment with a set of ideas that retain real analytic and practical utility.

Keywords: civil society; sub-Saharan Africa; contemporary history; NGOs; African socialities

Article.  5249 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Public Policy

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