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Title: Globalization and post-colonial state : human rights NGOs and the prospects for democratic governance in Egypt.
Author: Pratt, Nicola Christine.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 7745
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2001
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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, there exists a near total consensus regarding the desirability of democracy. Many see the push towards democracy as encouraged by the increasing interconnectednessusually referred to as 'globalization'-between countries and peoples. Civil societies around the world are often regarded as the primary beneficiaries of globalization. Simultaneously, they are frequently represented by policy-makers, academics and development practitioners, as the new agents of democratization, particularly in the struggle against authoritarian regimes. This thesis seeks to answer two sets of questions: 1. Does civil society contribute to democratization? If so, how? And if not, why not? 2. Does globalization help or hinder the democratization process? In response, this thesis argues that civil society plays a key role in contributing to democratization, but it does not necessarily do so. Indeed, certain sections of civil society playa role in maintaining authoritarianism. Secondly, globalization both helps and hinders democratization. This is nothing to do with globalization's intrinsic qualities, but rather due to the way that actors within civil society perceive glo baliza tion. I present here a case study of Egyptian human rights NGOs, as a sector of Egyptian civil society struggling for democratic governance. Following a survey of the current literature on globalization, democratization and civil society, Chapter 1 introduces the theoretical and conceptual elements of the thesis, which are based on Gramscian notions of hegemony and civil society. Chapter 2 locates the historical problem of democracy in Egypt within the hegemonic power relations that have developed in the post-colonial era. This chapter represents the emergence of Egypt's first human rights organization as pushing the boundaries of the hegemonic consensus. Chapter 3 demonstrates that, despite the shared origins and objectives of the Egyptian human rights NGO community, different human rights NGOs pursue different strategies in attempting to bring about democratization. These different strategies depend upon the positions of human rights activists vis-a-vis the post-colonial hegemonic consensus. Chapter 4 examines the way in which human rights NGOs conflict with other sections of civil society because of the former's resistance to the hegemonic consensus. Furthermore, civil society opposition to human rights NGOs leads to calls for their control and, consequently, the strengthening of authoritarianism. Chapter 5 examines further how authoritarianism may be strengthened as a result of globalization. It also considers the problems faced by human rights NGOs and other civil society actors in building a wide-based coalition for democratization that challenges the bases of the hegemonic consensus underpinning authoritarianism. In the final chapter, I suggest some implications for this research inrelation to how we conceive politics and political strategies in the struggles of non-state groups for democratization
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Civil society; Democratisation; Nationalism; Gender; Class; Globalisation