Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies

The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa

Editors: Obadare, Ebenezer (Ed.)

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  • ​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
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eBook $129.00
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  • ISBN 978-1-4614-8262-8
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Hardcover $169.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-8261-1
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $169.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-4939-4536-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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About this book

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, theHandbook 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. 

Endorsements: 

 "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

 

About the authors

Ebenezer Obadare is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He earned his doctorate in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2005, and has undergraduate and graduate degrees in History (1989) and International Relations (1992) respectively from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. A former award-winning journalist, Dr. Obadare’s research interests include civil society and the state, religion and politics in Africa, civic service, and citizenship. He has published extensively on these subjects in leading refereed journals, among them Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), African Affairs, Politique Africaine, Journal of Civil Society, Democratization, Patterns of Prejudice, Africa Development, Critical African Studies, Development in Practice, Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal of Contemporary African Studies, and Journal of Church and State. He is the author of Africa Between the Old and the New: The Strange Persistence of the Postcolonial State (2008); Statism, Youth and the Civic Imagination: A Critical Study of the Nigerian National Youth Service Corps 2010); and co-editor of Encountering the Nigerian State (2010), Nigeria at Fifty: The Nation in Narration (2011), and Democracy and Prebendalism in Nigeria: Critical Interpretations (2013).

Reviews

“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)


Table of contents (26 chapters)

Table of contents (26 chapters)
  • Introduction: Turning the Table on Gellner: Alternative Discourses of Civil Society in Africa

    Obadare, Dr. Ebenezer

    Pages 1-3

  • Escape from Tyranny: Civil Society and Democratic Struggles in Africa

    Kew, Assoc. Prof. Darren, PhD (et al.)

    Pages 7-23

  • Civil Society and Religion

    Shankar, Shobana

    Pages 25-41

  • Theorizing Media as/and Civil Society in Africa

    Willems, Dr. Wendy

    Pages 43-59

  • “Good” State, “Bad” State: Loss and Longing in Postcolonial Zimbabwe

    Gallagher, Dr. Julia

    Pages 61-75

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-8262-8
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $169.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-8261-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $169.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-1-4939-4536-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Handbook of Civil Society in Africa
Editors
  • Ebenezer Obadare
Series Title
Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies
Series Volume
20
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-8262-8
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-8262-8
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4614-8261-1
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4939-4536-8
Series ISSN
1568-2579
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 490
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour
Topics