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The principal constraints confronting advocacy groups in the process of democratic consolidation in post-transitional Africa: a comparative study of Kenya and Zambia

Owinga, B. (2018). The principal constraints confronting advocacy groups in the process of democratic consolidation in post-transitional Africa: a comparative study of Kenya and Zambia. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to conduct a comparative investigation and systematic examination of the constraints confronting advocacy groups in the post-transitional states of Kenya and Zambia. The researcher also examined the effects of such constraints on the ability of advocacy groups to effectively contribute to the process of democratic consolidation. The constrained advocacy sub-sector of civil society in a supposedly democratic political setting is an intriguing paradox that is less studied and understood despite advocacy groups’ critical role in the process of democratic consolidation. The study employed a domestic politico-institutional approach with a comparative and case-oriented, qualitative research design, primarily based on in-depth semi-structured interviews method of data collection.

The study demonstrated that advocacy groups in the post-transitional states of Kenya and Zambia are finding it extremely difficult to adapt to the new political environment. The groups are confronting constraints from the uncertainty of the new political environment defined by advocacy groups’ internal contradictions and weaknesses, the legacy of authoritarianism, the influence of politics, primordialism, and international donor control; all have combined in varying degrees to undermine the role of advocacy groups in the process of democratic consolidation. Deliberate state strategies have also led to the ‘closing civic space’ for advocacy groups coupled with popular disengagement due to the disillusionment of citizens with advocacy groups’ performance in the process of democratic consolidation. Advocacy groups are therefore a microcosm of society rigid and not as adaptable as previously portrayed in the literature of civil society studies. The contribution of advocacy groups to the process of democratic consolidation is, therefore, ambiguous. The study also concludes that domestic actors and institutions are the primary determinants of the pace and direction of democratic consolidation, while the state remains the most significant actor in the process.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Departments: Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > International Politics
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 10:49
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/21815
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