(Re)locating civil society in the politics of civic driven change
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Abstract Politics is central to development discourse yet remains peripheral. And, over some twenty years, a civil society narrative has not fulfilled its potential to ‘bring politics back in’. Reasons can be found in conceptual confusion, in selectivity in donor thinking and policies towards civil society and in the growth-driven political economy of NGO-ism. Remedies for the political lacunae are being sought through a focus on rights, citizenship and leadership that show valuable, focused progress. This article examines a comprehensive complement to such efforts referred to as civic driven change (CDC). Originating in a grounded empirical approach, the constituent principles and elements of CDC offer a lens that can both sharpen and deepen insights and advance analysis of socio-political processes. As a work in progress, a CDC narrative is illustrated by reference to contemporary examples of citizen action that play out at multiple sites of governance.
- development studies