Crafting Democracy. Civil Society in Post-Transition Honduras, 2003 | Caroline Boussard

Civil society’s democracy-building potential is clearly affected by the political context and the external influences. Traditionally, the ruling elite has attempted to control civil society, and this behavior has continued after the transition to democracy. In the post-Mitch era, this behavior has been reinforced by the donors’ demands for civil society participation. The Honduran government has institutionalized civil society participation through different commissions. As a result, civil society lost part of its countervailing power and its important function as an unofficial opposition in the country. Thus, in order to understand civil society’s democracybuilding potential it does not suffice to study civil society in isolation: we must broaden our scope to include the political context and the external dimension as well. The study concludes with Chapter Ten, in which the empirical and theoretical arguments are summarized and further discussed. The implications of the conceptual framework are discussed, and in this concluding chapter a number of suggestions for future research are introduced.

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