This book investigates the power of civil society in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), in the context of the post-Arab Spring era, as well as more long-standing challenges and constraints in the region. In recent years, local civil society actors have faced significant challenges from social conservatism, conflict, violence, and the absence of democracy and exclusive political systems. Over the course of the book, the authors investigate how the sector has succeeded in achieving its own objectives despite these shifting conditions, the restrictive political environment and the complexity of the socio-cultural and economic context.
Structured around the three themes of peace-building, development, and change, the book also addresses challenges faced by civil society organizations linked to ethnic, linguistic, and cultural diversities as well as religious salient differences that are crucial markers of social and political identity. Case studies are drawn from the Palestinian Occupied Territories, Jordan, Iran, Nigeria, Niger, Egypt, and Morocco, and particular effort has been made to showcase original research from contributors who are from the region .
This book will be of particular interest to researchers working on development, peace-building, conflict resolution, civil society, and politics within the MENA region.
1. Introduction 2. Introducing Civil Society 3. The Power of Civil Society: Young Leaders’ Engagement in Non-Violent Actions in Palestine 4. Challenges Confronting Religious Civil Society in Peace-Building: What Lessons can Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Countries Learn from Nigeria? 5. Social Entrepreneurship, Civil Society, and Foreign Aid in Jordan: Addressing Issues of Self-Sustainability and Continuity 6. Moroccan Civil Society After the 2011 Constitutional Reforms: The Case of the Women’s Movement 7. Unions and the Struggle for Political Emancipation in Niger Republic 8. Human Rights Organisations and Navigating the Political Configuration of Power in post-2011 Egypt 9. Framing the Green Movement and the 2017–18 Iranian Protests by Kayhan Newspaper 10. Participation Modes and Influence Strategies of Large Environmental NGOs 11. Conclusion
"This book addresses a major gap in the literature by focussing on the role and power of civil society in the Middle East from a multi-touch perspective with excellent contributions from a wide range of backgrounds." — Alp Ozerdem, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research, Coventry University, UK
"The multiple forms of civil society activism across the Middle East and North Africa tell us a story of resistance and hunger for change on the part of significant sectors of society and this book brilliantly captures this dynamism." — Francesco Cavatorta, Department of Political Science, Université Laval, Canada
"At a time of tumult in much of the Middle East and North Africa this thoroughly and expertly researched book guides us through the positive role which vibrant civil societies in the region can and are playing. This is essential reading for students and others interested in the region’s development." — Pádraig Carmody, Head of Geography, Trinity College Dublin and Chairperson, Development Studies Association, Ireland
"This book makes an important contribution to the literature on civil society. It is a testimony to the multiple forms this can take and the diversity of civil society experience across this region." — Susannah Pickering-Saqqa, Senior Lecturer in International Development and NGO Management, University of East London, UK