Civil Society-Based Governance in Africa: Theories and Practices: ( A Case Study of Senegal)
This book examines the liberal conception of civil society and its applicability to the context of Africa. Although the book acknowledges the reality of civil society as a paradigmatic way of thinking about democracy and good governance, it questions the conception of ‘civil society’ and its use for development in Africa. The book’s basic argument is that if the concept of civil society is to be successful, it has to capture fully and correctly most aspects of Africa’s associational life, without leaving out major portions of behavioral mosaic. Only then, can the concept of civil society be a legitimate tool for recognizing groups’ associations and organizing their problems and claims for a sustainable democracy and development. To examine this argument, the study explores Senegal as a case study to show how the idiosyncrasy of societal development has constructed and produced different types of associational life that are not grasped within the mainstream liberal convention of civil society. Senegal was selected to make a deductive analysis. As an ideal case, it is widely regarded as a vibrant model of civil society and democracy. In essence, the question is whether the civil society that exists in Senegal conforms with the liberal argument of civil society.