This volume brings together the most up to date analyses of civil society in Africa from the best scholars and researchers working on the subject. Being the first of its kind, it casts a panoramic look at the African continent, drawing out persisting, if often under-communicated, variations in regional discourses. In a majority of notionally 'global' studies, Africa has received marginal attention, a marginality often highlighted by the usual token chapter. Filling a critical hiatus, the Handbook of Civil Society in Africa takes Africa, African developments, and African perspectives very seriously and worthy of academic interrogation in their own right. It offers a critical, clear-sighted perspective on civil society in Africa, and positions African discourses within the framework of important regional and global debates. It promises to be an invaluable reference work for researchers and practitioners working in the fields of civil society, nonprofit studies, development studies, volunteerism, civic service, and African studies.
"This volume signposts a critical turning point in the renewed engagement with the theory and practice of civil society in Africa. Moving from traditional concerns with disquisitions on the appropriateness and possibility of the existence and vibrancy of the idea of civil society on the continent, the volume approaches the forms, contents, and features of the actually existing civil society in Africa from thematic, regional, and national angles.
It demonstrates clearly the extent to which core intellectual work on civil society in Africa has largely moved from concerns with cultural reductionism to a nuanced examination of the complexities of (formal, non-formal, organizational, non-organizational, traditional, newer, usual, unusual) engagements, detailing the extent to which, over time, civil society as a concept has been indigenized, appropriated and adapted in the terrains of politics, society, economy, culture and new technologies on the continent.
In all this, the book accomplishes the near-impossible. Without sacrificing the vigour, rigor and freshness of the often unpredictable fruits of up-to-date research into regional and national differences that crop up in the documentation of Africa's multiple realities and discourses, the volume weaves together a rich tapestry of the historical, theoretical and practical dimensions of an expanding civil society sector, and accompanying growth in popular discourse, advocacy, and academic literature, in such a diverse continent as Africa, into a meaningful whole of insightful themes.
Written and edited by a very distinguished cross-continental and multi-disciplinary collection of researchers, research students, practitioners and activists, the volume provides cutting-edge evidence and makes a definitive case for a new lease of life for civil society research in Africa."
-Adigun Agbaje, Professor of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
"Throughout Africa, forms of civic engagement and political participation have seen dynamic change in recent decades, yet conceptions of civil society have rarely accounted for this evolution. This volume is an essential source of new thinking about political association and collective action in Africa. The authors offer a wealth of analysis on changing organizations and social movements, new forms of interaction and communication, emerging strategies and issues, diverse social foundations, and the theoretical implications of a shifting associational landscape. The contributors provide an invaluable addition to the comparative literature on political change, democratic development, and social movements in Africa."
Peter Lewis, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced international Studies/
Chapter 1: Introduction: Turning the Table on Gellner: Alternative Discourses of Civil Society in Africa- Ebenezer Obadare.- Section I: Core Themes.- Chapter 2: Escape from Tyranny: Civil Society and Democratic Struggles in Africa- Darren Kew and Modupe Oshikoya.- Chapter 3: Civil Society and Religion- Shobana Shankar.- Chapter 4: Theorizing media as/and civil society in Africa- Wendy Willems.- Chapter 5: 'Good' State, 'Bad' State: Loss and Longing in Postcolonial Zimbabwe- Julia Gallagher.- Chapter 6: NGO Accountability in Africa- Ronelle Burger and Dineo Seabe.- Section II: Regional Perspectives.- Chapter 7: Civil Society in North Africa- James Sater.- Chapter 8: Civil Society Organizations and the State in East Africa: From the Colonial to the Modern Era- Priscilla Wamucii.- Chapter 9: Civil Society and the Politics of Belonging in Southern Africa- Daniel Hammett.- Chapter 10: Building Civil Society in West Africa: Notes from the Field -Titilope Mamattah.- Chapter 11: Civil Society in Zimbabwe and 'Most of the World'- Kirk Helliker.- Chapter 12: Viral Messaging, Satire, and Spaces of Resistance in Nigeria- Carole Enahoro.- Chapter 13: Civil Society and Conflict in West Africa- Niklas Hultin.- Section III: Civil Society in the Shadow of Neoliberalism.- Chapter 14: Neoliberalism and the Forms of Civil Society in Kenya and South Africa- Jacob Mati.- Chapter 15: Africa Rising? Afro-Optimism and Uncivil Society in an Era of Economic Volatility- Patrick Bond.- Chapter 16: Civil Society and Neoliberalism- Usman A. Tar.- Section IV: After Development: Gender, Sexuality, and Civic Change.- Chapter 17: Popular Organizations in South Africa: from civics to service delivery protests- Elke Zuern.- Chapter 18: "If Good Food is cooked in One Country, We Will All Eat from It:" Women and Civil Society in Africa- Hannah Britton and Taylor Price.- Chapter 19: NGOs, Civil Society and Development- Badru Bukenya and Samuel Hickey.- Chapter 20: Civil Society and Sexual Struggles in Africa- Ashley Currier and Joëlle M. Cruz.- Chapter 21: Civil Society's Response to the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Africa- Richard G. Wamai.- Chapter 22: Orature as a Site for Civil Contestation: Film and the Decolonization of Space and Place in Tsitsi Dangarembga's Kare Kare Zvako (Mother's Day) 2005- Bunmi Oyinsan.- Section V: Aid, Volunteering and Philanthropy.- Chapter 23: Civil Society and Aid in Africa: A case of mistaken identity? - Alan Fowler.- Chapter 24: Volunteering, Civic Service and Civil Society in Africa- Helene Perold and Lauren Graham.- Chapter 25: Philanthropic Foundations and Civil Society in Sub-Saharan Africa- Christiana Atibil.- Chapter 26: Volunteering, Civic Agency and Citizenship in Africa- Ebenezer Obadare.
"Obadare's handbook manages to showcase the varied contours of civil society in Africa ... . several chapters in this book should serve as valuable sources for new research avenues. Readers of this handbook, be they academics, civil society and African studies scholars and researchers, and practitioners, should come away with a much enlightened view of civil society, one that draws from, and is anchored within historical and contemporary African realities." (Grace L. Chikoto-Schultz, Voluntas, Vol. 28, 2017)
"It is more voluminous and multilayered, spanning the historical, theoretical, and concrete dimensions of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) across Africa. ... a multi-disciplinary collection of essays from cross-continental contributors the book is an attempt to set a template for research and studies on civil society and NGOs. It is recommended for academics, civil society groups, and other stakeholders in Africa, and would be useful in teaching." (Olugbemiga S. Afolabi, African Affairs, Vol. 115 (461), October, 2016)
"The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa provides an important set of contributions that locates African civil society in historical context and takes a critical look at its current manifestations across the continent. ... the volume represents a deliberate attempt to shift and widen the terms through which civil society in Africa is conceptualized and understood, aiming to open up new modes for understanding societal organizing and resistance in Africa. In this aim, it is largely successful." (Mary Kay Gugerty, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Vol. 45 (4), August, 2016)
¿One of the first to aggregate current scholarly thinking on civil society in Africa from a variety of viewpoints
Discusses core themes, regional case studies, and development of civil society in Africa
Focuses on an idea that enjoys widespread currency in both academic and non-academic (including international development) circles