Civil Society and State Fragility in Angola

Salma Essam El Refaei

Abstract


State fragility is becoming increasingly alarming as an epidemic in our world today. It breeds crippling crises and can have irrevocable effects. According to Robert I. Rotberg, fragile states are hubs for both: local and international crimes, human and drug trafficking, terror and human rights violations amongst other problems acting as a social menace to the globe (Rotberg, 2003, p.6). One of the main reasons why fragile states are alarming is that the problems they bring about are rarely contained. They automatically overspill due to the complexity of some of the problems as well as the interdependence of the world’s structure becoming an international issue and concern rather than a regional one. This paper starts with the premise that one of the possible solutions to state fragility is development from within which is achieved partly through civil society and states’ self-help. It tries to establish first and very briefly the relationship between civil society and state fragility and the definitions used in this paper. Then, it tries to determine what civil society could do to reconstruct fragile states in general. Finally, it applies parts of the latter to Angola examining the successes and failures of its civil society focusing only on NGOs. Through this methodology, it tries to answer the question “To what extent is Civil Society successful in reconstructing/rebuilding Angola as a Fragile State?”. This topic is significant because as mentioned above state fragility is on the rise and it is hard to control. Once a country spirals down the fragility index, sometimes the damage is permanent and its threats are imminent. The paper argues that although Angolan civil society is rather weakened and limited by the state and international organizations, there are opportunities for increasing effectiveness. It might not be significantly successful today however, with all limitations considered, it is bringing about small positive changes that will impact the future of Democracy in Angola in the long run.


Keywords


Civil Society, NGOs, Development, State Fragility, Ethnic Conflict, Democracy

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References


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