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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Civil Society and Political Economy in Contemporary Africa: What Prospects for Sustainable Democracy?
Authors:Shaw, Timothy M.ISNI
MacLean, Sandra J.
Periodical:Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Geographic term:Africa
political systems
political economy
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Structural adjustment and changes in both Africa and the global political economy have become undeniable in the 1990s: the so-called 'New' World (Dis)order. New social movements and contexts have stimulated debates about civil society's emerging central role in both the theories and practices of democratization and development. As a contribution to these debates, this paper examines the various NGOs which are central actors within new and reestablished civil societies in Africa and elsewhere in the south. While acknowledging the necessity for democracy of constitutions, multipartyism and elections, the paper goes beyond such formal processes and institutions to underlying structures. Hence, it commences with an overview of Africa's political economy at the end of the 20th century, seeking to situate the continent in the New International Division of Labour (NIDL) and of Power (NIDP) after more than a decade of externally dictated but internally digested adjustment 'reforms'. It then analyses revitalized African civil societies, and concludes by identifying major challenges and opportunities confronting the continent as the next millennium approaches. Bibliogr., notes, ref.