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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:State and civil society in Africa: an instance of asymmetric interdependence?
Author:Sitoe, EduardoISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Mozambique
East Africa
Subjects:political systems
civil society
Power (Social sciences)
Political development
Social participation
Abstract:In most African countries, and Mozambique is a case in point, the space and strength of civil society is largely constrained and/or determined by the predominance of the State over the entire social system, despite the fact that the State in Africa is, in general, structurally weak and its formal institutions barely reach the countryside. However, since the State is to a large extent the privileged arena for economic accumulation, political prestige, and social predominance, it plays a pivotal role vis--vis civil society despite its weakness and limitations. The author conceives of the State-civil society relationship as a situation of asymmetric interindependence, where the search for equilibrium may lead to the establishment and subsequent consolidation of a democratic political order. He looks in particular at the making of civil society in Mozambique. He notes in conclusion that one of the main reasons for the State itself to be particularly interested in the consolidation of civil society is that a strong civil society, by encouraging nonviolent political participation, contributes to the sociopolitical stability of the State and the country alike. Bibliogr., notes, ref.