Civil society, cooperation and development / [Schwerpunktred.] : Tiina Kontinen, Henning Melber <BR>

This special issue of the Austrian Journal of Development Studies has its focus on the civil society-development nexus. Different cases and levels of reflection seek to find common ground, and attempt to answer the question as to if, and to which extent, civil society initiatives are able to truly support development. As shown, civil society actors are per se neither better nor worse than development cooperation by state agencies. While the informality of some initiatives might be regarded as a strength, it could be also a weakness, in as much as the professionalism of other actors might reproduce similar ambiguities. Civil society is no panacea for, and no guarantor with which to promote, the kind of development that would deserve support. Nevertheless, forms of internationalism by non-state actors have an important role to play. They hence require a closer examination in order to establish the scope as well as the limitations of such interaction. This special issue offers case studies and insights to a necessary (self-) critical investigation. [Abstract]