Since the end of the Cold War, the promotion of democracy has occupied centre stage in global politics and in the academic debate on international relations. Governments, intergovernmental agencies, and international donors have invested significant resources to support the democratic consolidation of fledgling democracies. The European Union (EU), which is the largest aid donor in the world, has been no exception to this trend.
This book focuses on the development aid provided by the EU to the South African democracy during its first ten years of life. EU Democracy Aid is the first book to empirically analyze the EU policy towards South Africa, which has been the most longstanding and comprehensive European democracy promotion initiative in a single country and an important test-bed for the EU’s effectiveness and credibility as a global democracy promoter. Building on the EU’s declared goal to promote democracy ‘from below’, this study explores the potential of micro-level projects aimed at ‘deepening’ democracy through grassroots civil society organizations operating in marginalized communities, where abusive and authoritarian practices often outlive the advent of democracy.
It will be of interest to students and scholars of civil society, democracy, economics, development studies, European Union studies, political sociology and international relations.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Promoting Democracy through the Citizens: The EU Approach to Democratic Deepening 3. ‘Going Local’: NGOs, Social Movements and Grassroots Groups 4. The Changing Roles of South African Civil Society: From Opposition to Alignment and Dissent 5. Deepening Democracy, Strengthening Development? EU Aid to Local Civil Society in South Africa 6. Conclusion
Lorenzo Fioramonti, PhD, is Research Fellow in Euro-African relations at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and Fellow in International Relations at the University of Bologna (Italy). Research interests: European Union’s external relations, civil society, democracy promotion, and international development.