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Civil Society and Political Change in Africa

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
For more content, see Comparative Sociology.

Civil society organizations have in recent times significantly altered state-society relations in Africa. Current analyses of these changes have focussed on the oppositional actions by civil society against repressive regimes. However, there is no systematic discussion of the process through which organizations in civil society have mounted challenges against the state or of the factors that make such challenges successful. This paper details how Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in Kenya repelled controlling legislation introduced by the Kenyan government in 1990. It details the evolution of this challenge against the Kenyan state and suggests specific factors that enabled NGOs to successfully counter legislative control of their activities. This study therefore demonstrates how NGOs have contributed to the wider political reform movement in Kenya and extends present discussions on the role of civil society organizations in political change in Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Government, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795


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