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Funding Virtue

Funding Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion

Marina Ottaway
Thomas Carothers
Copyright Date: 2000
Pages: 350
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  • Book Info
    Funding Virtue
    Book Description:

    In recent years the United States and many other international donors have embraced civil society aid as a key tool of democracy promotion. They support thousands of NGOs around the world in the name of civil society development, investing in these organizations high hopes for fostering democratic participation and values. Funding Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion critically examines this burgeoning field. A diverse, distinguished collection of democracy experts and civil society practitioners from both donor and recipient countries analyze civil society aid in five regions, including country case studies of South Africa, the Philippines, Peru, Egypt, and Romania. The authors focus on crucial issues and dilemmas, such as the relationship between donor conceptions of civil society and local realities, the effects of civil society programs, and how aid can be improved. The book's broad geographic reach, practical focus, and analytic rigor make it an invaluable guide to this vital new area of international affairs.

    eISBN: 978-0-87003-340-7
    Subjects: Political Science, Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Jessica T. Mathews

    Today’s rapidly expanding role of civil society in political, economic, and social life, both within and across borders, commands attention in many quarters. Some people invest great hopes in civil society, holding it out as a unique repository of values, virtue, and voluntarism. Others worry about the effects of proliferating nongovernmental organizations, arguing that governments are still the only legitimate source of order and authority and that too much of a good thing on the side of citizen empowerment could turn out to be a source of domestic political gridlock and international impotence.

    Debate and discussion over civil society are...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction

    • The Burgeoning World of Civil Society Aid
      (pp. 3-18)
      Thomas Carothers and Marina Ottaway

      U.S. AID AIMED AT PROMOTING the development of civil society in other countries has increased dramatically in the past ten years. In the nearly one hundred countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union where the U.S. government is engaged in democracy assistance, civil society aid is almost everywhere part of the portfolio. The rise of civil society assistance is by no means strictly a U.S. government phenomenon. Many of the major private American, European, and Japanese foundations are deeply involved in this arena. In addition, all of the major bilateral donors...

  6. Part One: Middle East

    • 1 Weak Democracy and Civil Society Promotion: The Cases of Egypt and Palestine
      (pp. 21-48)
      Imco Brouwer

      If there is one region of the globe in which democracy is deemed extremely weak and difficult or impossible to develop in the near future, it is the Arab world. At the beginning of twenty-first century, none of the twenty-two members of the Arab League has a democratic system of government or can be said to be democratizing, and only nine—Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian proto-state, Tunisia, and Yemen—have experienced a degree of liberalization.¹ Even the more liberal regimes, furthermore, allow some political freedom and political competition not because they are committed to democratic change...

    • 2 A Clash of Values: U.S. Civil Society Aid and Islam in Egypt
      (pp. 49-74)
      Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid

      A major paradox of u.s. foreign policy lies in its proclaimed commitment to support the transition to democracy and consolidation of civil society in countries of the South and of the former socialist bloc on the one hand and its open hostility to certain types of political movements that have become major actors of those countries’ incipient civil societies on the other. Washington’s hostility stems not from the fear that these movements will turn on the rest of civil society once they gain a measure of power, but from the fact that the organizations that make up the movements oppose...

  7. Part Two: Africa

    • 3 Social Movements, Professionalization of Reform, and Democracy in Africa
      (pp. 77-104)
      Marina Ottaway

      Since the early days of colonialism, Africans, particularly in the cities, have organized a plethora of strong and resilient voluntary associations—in today’s terminology, organizations of civil society—that have played important social, economic, and political roles.¹ Voluntary organizations have helped the millions of villagers who have migrated to African cities adapt to urban life and maintain strong ties back home, giving financial and moral support. Voluntary organizations have also tried to provide the services that incompetent governments do not: they have educated children and buried the dead, extended credit to microbusinesses with no access to the banks, and built,...

    • 4 Voicing the Voiceless: Foreign Political Aid to Civil Society in South Africa
      (pp. 105-132)
      Christopher Landsberg

      Since the 1960s, South Africa has undergone what can be described as four waves of democratization. The first wave (1960–89) was the struggle against apartheid and the white-minority regime upholding it. The antiapartheid protest movements inside and outside South Africa, together with the banned liberation movements, particularly the African National Congress (ANC), worked to weaken the apartheid state and nudge, even compel, the government into negotiations on a transfer of power. This wave was at its highest in the mid- to late 1980s. Domestic and international structural and contingency pressures converged powerfully to snap open the apartheid edifice. The...

  8. Part Three: Asia

    • 5 Democracy as Development: A Case for Civil Society Assistance in Asia
      (pp. 135-158)
      Stephen J. Golub

      Views about the links between civil society assistance and democracy promotion in Asia substantially depend on where one works. In Washington, where supporters of civil society aid justify the cost of such work by declaring that it builds democracy and the rule of law, evaluation of aid efforts frequently hinges on a given Asian nation’s overall progress in those regards. Taking a more realistic view, Asian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that receive U.S. aid look for progress in specific policies, practices, or groups of people. Rather than declaring, “We are building democracy” or “We strengthen civil society,” they talk about work...

    • 6 New Visions and Strong Actions: Civil Society in the Philippines
      (pp. 159-188)
      Mary Racelis

      Ironically, civil society in the Philippines owes much of its flowering in the late twentieth century to the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos (1972–86). The fifteen years of arbitrary governance, crony protection, profligate living, and gross human rights violations, capped by economic collapse, heightened organized resistance to the repressive regime. In four momentous days in February 1986, Filipinos cried, “Enough!”

      More than a million demonstrators spanning the entire range of civil society and disaffected business and military groups took to the streets in peaceful protests on EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue), adamant that Marcos, his family, and his cronies...

  9. Part Four: Eastern Europe

    • 7 Lofty Goals, Modest Results: Assisting Civil Society in Eastern Europe
      (pp. 191-216)
      Kevin F. F. Quigley

      During the 1990s, the United States and many countries in Western Europe gave aid to promote the development of civil society in Eastern Europe, as part of the broader Western effort to facilitate transitions to democracy in the region. These efforts to assist civil society in Eastern Europe fell far short of their lofty goals, for reasons having to do with donors’ and recipients’ assumptions, the aid programs themselves and the settings in which they operated, and the institutions assisted. Western European and North American donors harbored different assumptions about civil society and its relationship to democracy than did the...

    • 8 Civil Society in Romania: From Donor Supply to Citizen Demand
      (pp. 217-240)
      Dan Petrescu

      Romania suffered for decades prior to 1990 under one of the most repressive, absolutist communist regimes, that of Nicolae Ceausescu. The transition to democratic government that began at the end of 1989, though along the lines of those in the other Eastern European countries (with “free and fair” elections, a new constitution, and the establishment of political pluralism), has been shaped by the abruptness of the change. During his twenty-five-year rule, Ceausescu did not allow any organizations not completely controlled by the Communist Party, and dissident movements were promptly smashed by the infamous secret police, the Securitate. Romanians had no...

  10. Part Five: Latin America

    • 9 Latin American Democratization: The Civil Society Puzzle
      (pp. 243-268)
      Michael Shifter

      One suspects that if Orwell were here at the start of the new millennium, he would be tempted to put “civil society” at the top of his list of manipulated terms. The term has gained broad appeal and currency in the United States and around the world. Yet it is slippery, reflecting the pervasive conceptual confusion about the realms of society outside government and thus serves the purposes of analysts and activists who use it to posture and drive home a political point.

      In the context of Latin America, a variety of meanings can be discerned. Together, these constitute the...

    • 10 Civil Society Aid in Peru: Reflections from Experience
      (pp. 269-290)
      Carlos Basombrío

      Few Latin American countries have had long, consistent experiences with democracy. The United States was once one of the obstacles to democracy in the region, siding with dictators to advance its own economic and security interests. Since the resurgence of democracy in the region and the end of the Cold War, however, the United States now attempts to help the region’s countries democratize and stay democratic. One of the elements of this policy line are aid programs for democracy building, something pursued not just by the United States but by other governments and private donor organizations.

      Since the early 1990s,...

  11. Part Six: Conclusion

    • 11 Toward Civil Society Realism
      (pp. 293-310)
      Marina Ottaway and Thomas Carothers

      The promotion of civil society has become a major element of the burgeoning universe of international democracy assistance. When they began trying to support the “Third Wave” of democracy around the world in the late 1980s and early 1990s, most democracy promoters focused on fostering free and fair elections and reforming state institutions. In the mid-1990s, however, they embraced civil society development as a necessary part of democracy promotion and launched hundreds, even thousands, of projects under that rubric. Enthusiasm for civil society programming is now common among international actors involved in democracy aid, including bilateral aid agencies, international institutions,...

  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 311-320)
  13. Index
    (pp. 321-336)
  14. Contributors
    (pp. 337-339)
  15. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    (pp. 340-340)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 341-341)