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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rescuing the post-colonial State in Africa: a reconceptualization of the role of the civil society
Author:Osaghae, Eghosa E.ISNI
Periodical:Quest: An International African Journal of Philosophy
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:political systems
political change
civil society
Social participation
ethnic groups
political participation
Political development
Abstract:As presently constituted, the vast majority of Africans remain alienated from the postcolonial State, which is a colonial imposition and is incapable of expressing the basic ideals of the community. The pathologies of the postcolonial African State, rooted in extraneous forces (colonialism, global capitalism), have been aggravated by the underlying African social structure and political culture. However, given its crucial roles - as the established reference point of identity for citizens in the world system and the only institution with sovereign power to act authoritatively to ensure peace, order, stability, and development within a given territory - the postcolonial African State should be salvaged. Civil society has a crucial role to play in its reconstruction. This calls for a reconceptualization of civil society in Africa in which the focus is on civil society's role in the formation and reformation processes of the State, in contradistinction to the dominant neoliberal view that pitches civil society as alternative, rival, even opposed to the State. For purposes of appropriating the State, civil society has to first become a national society able to articulate the common good, as well as common values and a common ethos, which as yet does not exist in most African countries. Bibliogr., ref.