Exercises in activism and citizenship – trajectories of government – CSO’s relations in SSA

P01 – Exercises in activism and citizenship – trajectories of government – CSO’s relations in SSA

Andrzej Polus . University of Wroclaw
David N. Berger . University of Wroclaw

The panel’s focus on citizenship and activism will draw upon an understanding of political and social forces that have shaped civil society and government interaction. It will build from the supposition of an ideational structure of mutual suspicion and mistrust that has adversely affected activism. The panel aims at analyzing the evolution of CSOs’ role and position in Sub-Saharan Africa, through the examination of structures that promote development and activism. The panelists will attempt to outline a “map” of CSOs’ positions toward the governments in the entire region. Regional or country-orientated research proposals are also included as they provide vital references on the nature of CSO-government relations. In an effort to map CSOs’ role in activism, submissions that address historical, economic, cultural, political, policy-orientated, or even descriptive aspects of the evolution of CSO – government relations, are welcome. Additionally, panel conveners welcome proposals devoted to the evolution of the Sub-Saharan political landscape in times of economic decline as well as those related to relatively new aspects of CSO activism. These may include how (if at all) mobile technologies, wider access to information, and new means of communication and organization encourage mutual transparency and strengthen the social contract between government and citizens. Additional topics that address exogenous factors, including aid structures (Western vs. China and the emerging powers factor), political pressure, and economic pressure, will be focal points of discussion.

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