Civil Society in Sub-Saharan African Post-Conflict States: A Western Induced Idea(l)?

Simone Datzberger

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    The promise of a flourishing, vibrant and democracy-committed civil society has emerged as a posited panacea in ongoing peacebuilding, democratisation and development assistance over the past three decades. As for sub-Saharan African post-conflict states, however, the local context and understanding of civil society remains often unaddressed. By and large, civil society has become an uncontested idea(l). This article argues that a classical Western liberal-individualist model of civil society is continuously challenged by the cultural and historical particularisms of states in the sub-Saharan African region. Settled modes of thinking in peacebuilding and development research and practice have to take into account local characteristics that are already part of, and grounded in, existing and historically rooted experiences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-29
    JournalJournal für Entwicklungspolitik
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 15 Jul 2015


    • civil society
    • post-conflict countries
    • development
    • sub-Saharan Africa


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