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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Popular Participation in Non-Governmental Structures in Africa: Implications for Democratic Development in Africa
Author:Shaw, Timothy M.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Today
Period:3rd Quarter
Geographic term:Africa
popular participation
Development and Technology
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4186666
Abstract:The appearance and proliferation of forms of 'popular participation' in Africa at the level of politics are one of the few positive products of the continuing continental crisis. They are matched at the level of economics by the expansion and diversification of 'informal sector' production and distribution. This paper takes it to be axiomatic that such informal social organizations exist in a dialectical relationship with both the formal polity and the formal economy. Both States and State systems exist in an ambiguous manner with the informals, at times attempting to control and coopt, at others seeking to distance and divorce. Informal sector participation has increased as the continental crisis has intensified and the role and relevance of the State have diminished. Such popular democratic and developmental contributions should not be disregarded even if the crisis moderates over the next decade. Instead, conditionalities should be redefined away from short-term economic criteria and towards long-term ecological concerns. Democracy and development are inseparable whether this is always recognized to be so or not. Notes, ref.