Re-conceptualizing Civil Society: The Debate Continues With Speci ﬁ c Reference to Contemporary Senegal M BAYE L O * A BSTRACT This article challenges the civil society argument based on its failure to correctly and appropriately conceptualize Africa’s societal experiences. To this end, the article explores Senegal as a case study to show how the idiosyncrasy of societal devel- opment has constructed and produced di ﬀ erent types of asso- ciational life that is not grasped within the liberal preconditions of civil society. Senegal was selected to make a deductive analy- sis. If we can prove that Senegalese society, which is commonly cited in the liberal argument as a vibrant model of civil soci- ety, is neither acting within the conventional frameworks nor meets the conventional preconditions of civil society, the argu- ment on the ﬂ aws of the liberal conception of civil society will stand. The Civil Society Argument The discourse of civil society in Africa stems from the recent quest for good governance in the continent. With the emergence of the good gov- ernance agenda in the early 1990s, the concept of civil society in Africa African and Asian Studies, volume 5, no. 1 also available
African and Asian Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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