Chapter 17 Connecting African civil society to its roots
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A central premise of this chapter is that Africa's civil society terrain reflects complex layers of associational life that are poorly connected, but which will be operating in emerging contexts requiring better rooting in the continent's resources and energies in order to become more capable of engaging in political realities and processes. In considering a future research agenda, the chapter examines the material bases for collective action which are derived from the continent's population - domestic or Diasporic - rather than from external resourcing. It also considers drivers of civic agency that, through social movements, tie political dispensations and processes to citizen's energy in collective action and influence against democratic backsliding. Both processes can be regarded as ways of (re)building civil society from the roots of civic associational life. Strains between the two arise from the extent to which civic agency serves different political projects.