Civil Society and Development: Exploring a Complex Relationship

Published on 1 January 2002

Incorporated into the lexicons of academics, policymakers, and grassroots activists, of multilateral development agencies and local NGOs alike, ‘civil society’ has become a topic of widespread discussion. But is there in fact any common understanding of the term? How useful is it when applied to the South, and what difference does it make to bring the concept into the debate on development?

Howell and Pearce explore the complex relationship among civil society, the state and market in the context of democratic development. Drawing on case studies from Latin America, Africa, and Asia they also unravel what is meant by development agencies -bilaterals , multilaterals, NGOs and international financial institutions, with their diverse approaches and agendas – when they refer to the urgent need to strengthen civil society.

Publication details

Howell, J and Pearce, J
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