Civil Society in the Global South  book cover
1st Edition

Civil Society in the Global South

Edited By

Palash Kamruzzaman

ISBN 9780367617318
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
278 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In recent years civil society has been seen as a key route for democracy promotion and solving development ‘problems’ in low-income countries. However, the very concept of civil society is deeply rooted in European traditions and values. In pursuing civil society reform in non-Western countries, many scholars along with well-meaning international agencies and donor organisations fail to account for non-Western values and historical experiences. Civil Society in the Global South seeks to redress this balance by offering diverse accounts of civil society from the global South, authored by scholars and researchers who are reflecting on their observations of civil society in their own countries.

The countries studied in the volume range from across Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East to give a rich account of how countries from the global south conceptualise and construct civil society. The book demonstrates how local conditions are often unsuited to the ideal type of civil society as delineated in Western values, for instance in cases where numerous political, racial and ethnic sub-groups are ‘fighting’ for autonomy. By disentangling local contexts of countries from across the global South, this book demonstrates that it is important to view civil society through the lens of local conditions, rather than viewing it as something that needs to be ‘discovered’ or ‘manufactured’ in non-Western societies.

Civil Society in the Global South will be particularly useful to high-level students and scholars within development studies, sociology, anthropology, social policy, politics, international relations and human geography.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction – civil society in the global South Palash Kamruzzaman 

2. Civil Society in China: Historical Evolution, Ongoing Transformation, and Future Prospects Zixue Tai 

3. Reconsidering the Concept of Civil Society: Insights from the Experiences of Thailand Thorn Pitidol 

4. Re-Emerging Civic Activism: Restoring the "Eco-System" of the Armenian Civil Society Yevgenya Jenny Paturyan and Valentina Gevorgyan 

5. The Changing Roles and Impacts of Civil Societies / NGOs in Nepal Medani P. Bhandari and Krishna.P. Oli 

6. Civil Society in Zimbabwe: Continuity and Change Davison Muchadenyika 

7. The Multiple Faces of Civil Society in India Sarbeswar Sahoo 

8. The Coalescence of the Displaced: Syrian Civil Society beyond Borders Tamara Al-Om 

9. Putting the T in LGBT: Trans and gender diverse (in)visibility and activism in South Africa Zaynab Essack, Natasha Van der Pol, Sandile Ndelu, Joshua Sehoole, L. Leigh Ann van der Merwe and Heidi van Rooyen 

10. "Menyicil Keadilan" (Installing Justice): Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Indonesia Sri Lestari Wahyuningroem 

11. Authoritarian Neoliberalism and Islamist Civil Society in Turkey Zeynep Atalay 

12. Symbolic Power and Brazilian Civil Society in an Age of Globalism and Populism Vinícius Rodrigues Vieira 

13. Postcolonial perspectives on civil society in Mozambique: Towards an alternative approach for research and action Abdul Ilal, Tanja Kleibl, Ronaldo Munck 

14. Civil Society in Mexico: From theory to practice Alberto J. Olvera

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Palash Kamruzzaman is a senior lecturer in politics and international development at the University of South Wales, UK.


"Debates about the historical origins and character of civil society have become increasingly complex. The consequence is that empirical analyses of a wide variety of cases are required more than ever to develop plausible new generalisations about civil society and its prospects, especially amidst the contradictions arising from a neoliberalised world, which vary in their manifestations according to specific contexts. This is the important service that is provided by this important collection of essays. Together, they constitute a much-needed intervention into discussions that too often begin with wildly differing assumptions."Professor Vedi R. Hadiz, Director and Professor of Asian Studies, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, Australia, and Author of Localising Power in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia