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Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

10. Civil Society  

Marina Ottaway

This chapter examines the concept of civil society. During the 1990s, civil society was a relatively obscure concept familiar mostly to scholars of Marxism. It then evolved into a mainstream term freely used by social science analysts in general, and by practitioners in the international assistance field in particular. Several factors contributed to these developments, including the growing interest in the United States and many European countries in promoting democracy abroad at that time. The chapter first defines civil society before discussing traditional vs modern civil society. It then considers the rise of civil society as an entity separate from the broader society and from the state, along with the state-civil society relations in the developing world. Finally, it explores how the concept of civil society became an important part of discussions of democratization.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

9. Global Civil Society and Human Rights  

Marlies Glasius and Doutje Lettinga

This chapter examines the relationship between global civil society (GCS), defined as ‘people organizing to influence their world’, and the normative ideal of a ‘global rule-bound society’. It first explains the concept of GCS before discussing some of the GCS actors involved in human rights issues, with a particular focus on their background, methods, and influence. It then decribes three kinds of activities of individuals and organizations in civil society in relation to human rights corresponding to three different phases: shifting norms, making law, and monitoring implementation. These activities are illustrated with two case studies: norm-shifting activities in relation to economic and social rights, and lawmaking and monitoring activities in relation to the International Criminal Court.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

20. Indonesia  

Dynamics of Regime Change

Gyda Marås Sindre

This chapter examines the dynamics of regime change in Indonesia since 1998, with a particular focus on political mobilization against the backdrop of institutional reform. In the decade since the collapse of the ‘New Order’ — that is, the authoritarian military-based regime that governed Indonesia from 1966 to 1998 — Indonesia has become one of the few success stories in the post-1970s wave of democratization in the Global South. In addition to being considered the most stable and the freest democracy in South East Asia, Indonesia remains the region’s largest and fastest growing economy. The chapter first provides an overview of the legacies of authoritarianism in Indonesia before discussing the government’s radical reform agenda of democratization and decentralization after 1998. It then looks at political mobilization and participation that accompanied regime change in Indonesia and concludes with an assessment of the role of civil society in political mobilization.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

25. Nigeria  

Consolidating Democracy and Human Rights

Stephen Wright

This chapter examines the consolidation of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. With regard to the relationship between development and human rights, Nigeria presents an interesting puzzle. It is rich in oil, but has not been able to translate its immense natural resources into sustainable economic development and respect for human rights. Ethnic and religious tensions, a result of colonialism, have been exacerbated by disastrous economic development, which has in turn led to a deteriorating human rights situation and intense violence. The chapter first considers the political economy of Nigerian oil before discussing the country’s political and economic development, with particular emphasis on critical aspects of human security and civil society. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that has been made as well as ongoing development challenges Nigeria faces.

Chapter

Cover International Relations of the Middle East

6. The Puzzle of Political Reform in the Middle East  

Augustus Richard Norton

This chapter assesses the critical issue of political reform in the Middle East. The Arab world has been slow to respond to the global processes of democratization. The chapter then highlights the political economy of states, the persistence of conflict, regime type, and the ambiguity over the relationship between democracy and Islam. This relationship is not necessarily a contradictory one. Islamic discourse is marked by participation and diversity rather than by rigidity and intolerance. Further, as the Arab Spring has illustrated, civil society is vibrant and growing in many states across the region. Meanwhile, responses from the West to political reform have been lukewarm, with stability and regional alliances privileged over democracy. The evidence from the region, even before the Arab uprisings, is that peoples want better and more representative government, even if they remain unclear as to what type of government that should be.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

11. Social Capital and Civil Society  

Natalia Letki

This chapter examines the role of civil society and social capital in democratization processes. It begins by reconstructing the definitions of civil society and social capital in the context of political change, followed by an analysis of the ways in which civil society and social capital are functional for the initiation and consolidation of democracies. It then considers the relationship between civil society and attitudes of trust and reciprocity, the function of networks and associations in democratization, paradoxes of civil society and social capital in new democracies, and the main arguments cast against the idea that civic activism and attitudes are a necessary precondition for a modern democracy. The chapter argues that civil society and social capital and their relation to political and economic institutions are context specific.

Chapter

Cover The Politics of International Law

8. Human rights in the postwar period  

This chapter focuses on human rights, a perfect topic through which to study the interaction between law and politics in international relations. The topic of human rights offers a microcosm of the clashes and contradictions between realism and idealism, legal principles and political expediencies, state and non-state actors, and collective and individual rights, which characterize international order. The chapter defines human rights and outlines their international legal framework. The chapter then traces the postwar evolution of international human rights law (IHRL). It explains how, by the late twentieth century, the concept of human rights had captured the global imagination. It also explores the international political context in which the rise of human rights took place, including decolonization and the explosion in rights-based civil society activism in the 1970s. Finally, the chapter analyses the efficacy of IHRL in a world of sovereign states, before assessing the cultural relativist critique of human rights, which challenges their claim to universality, often from the perspective of postcolonial societies.

Chapter

Cover Democratization

7. The International Context  

Hakan Yilmaz

This chapter examines the major theoretical approaches to the issue of the international context of democratization. In particular, it considers democratization by means of ‘convergence’, ‘system penetration’, ‘internationalization of domestic politics’, and ‘diffusion’. It also discusses the principal dimensions of the international context, namely, the democracy promotion strategies of the United States and the European Union. The term ‘conditionality’ is used to describe the democracy promotion strategy of the EU. In the case of the United States, its leverage with respect to democracy promotion has been undermined by its military intervention and violation of human rights. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the effects of globalization and the formation of a global civil society on democratization.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

7. International Organizations in Global Politics  

This chapter addresses the nature of international organizations and how they are generally theorized as participants in global politics and then reviews the rise of international organizations from a historical perspective, with particular reference to developments from the nineteenth century onwards. It also discusses the major intergovernmental institutions that emerged in the twentieth century and which have played such an important role in shaping global order. The chapter briefly looks at the League of Nations but most attention is given to its successor, the United Nations (UN), and its various appendages. It then examines the world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of these NGOs possess significant status in the global sphere, others have little relevance, and still others pose dangers. Finally, the chapter considers social movements and their relationship to the contemporary world of international organizations along with the idea of global civil society. In reviewing these institutions, actors, and ideas, we should keep in mind that liberal international theory, especially in the form of liberal institutionalism, as well as proponents of international society, regard robust international organizations as essential building blocks of global order.