Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society in Development

Webb, Martin. 2018. Nongovernmental Organizations and Civil Society in Development. In: Hilary Callan, ed. International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781118924396 [Book Section]

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The term “civil society” has a long career. It has roots in eighteenth‐ and nineteenth‐century philosophy and social theory but has reemerged as one of the key concepts through which development policy and practice have been reimagined since the end of the Cold War. The idea of civil society, although contested, provides the theoretical underpinnings for a three‐sector model of development in which state, market, and voluntary associations are all seen to have a role to play. As development policy and donor funding have been reorganized to incorporate actors beyond the state, the numbers of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) involved in development has soared. While the idea of civil society as a sphere of popular resistance, voluntary organization, and charitable giving valorizes NGO action in development, the role of NGOs as service providers in a competitive market for development aid means that notional boundaries between state, market, and civil society become blurred.

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Book Section

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Aidland, civil society, development, grassroots, liberalism, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), social development, third sector

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25 July 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

28 Jun 2017 15:18

Last Modified:

21 Mar 2019 16:39


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