HP122 - Rethinking civil society in promoting solidarity and social change in constrained settings
Convened by Tiina Kontinen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), Marianne Millstein (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway), Kees Biekart (Institute of Social Studies (ISS), the Netherlands) and Rosie McGee (Institute of Development Studies, UK)

A vibrant civil society enhances solidarity, social justice, and peace. However, opportunities to act for social change within spaces of civil society are often limited. In constrained settings, solidarity networks can function in ways that might differ from conventional, Western conceptualizations of civil society. The panel explores local manifestations of civil society with focus on authoritarian, conflict affected and fragile contexts characterized by lack or diminishing of democratic state-civil society relationships. Through localized and contextualized notions of civil society and civic-driven change the panel seeks to understand the dynamics of emergent and adapting agency for social change exercised within both established organizations and people’s everyday organizing.

EADI Working Group: Citizenship and Civil Society in Development