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Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration

Jude Howell and Jenny Pearce
Civil Society and Development: A Critical Exploration
ISBN: 978-1-55587-619-7
ISBN: 978-1-58826-095-6
2001/267 pages/LC: 2001019004


Now Available in Paperback!

Incorporated into the discourse 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 relationships among civil society, the state, and market in the context of democratic development. Drawing on case studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, 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.


Jude Howell is professor of international development at the London School of Economics. She is author of China Opens Its Doors: The Politics of Economic Transition. Jenny Pearce is professor of Latin American politics in the Department of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford. She has written extensively on Latin America.


  • Introduction.
  • Civil Society and Development: Genealogies of the Conceptual Encounter.
  • Civil Society, Democracy, and the State: The Americanization of the Debate.
  • Civil Society, the State, and the Market: A Triadic Development Model for the Twenty-first Century?
  • Manufacturing Civil Society from the Outside: Donor Interventions.
  • Civil Society and Market Transition: The Case of China.
  • Civil Society Discourses and the Guatemalan Peace Process.
  • Civil Society in a Regional Perspective: Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America.
  • Conclusion.