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978 90 5727 025 3


416 pages



Kees Biekart : The Politics of Civil Society Building

European Private Aid Agencies and Democratic Transitions in Central America



Strengthening civil society may be all the rage in the international donor community, but what does it mean in practice? This seminal work critically examines the political aspects of civil society building and the role of non-governmental development aid agencies during recent democratic transitions in Central America.


The Politics of Civil Society Building is the first comparative study of the policies, practices and political impact of European ngo aid interventions. Drawing on years of active fieldwork, Biekart rigorously compares the cases of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras within a rich analytical framework. His new book is bound to fuel current debates on the impact of private aid agencies, which are under pressure to demonstrate results of their interventions abroad.



Kees Biekart is a Fellow of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute (tni), where he has coordinated research programmes on Central America and Democratisation. He was co-author of Compassion and Calculation: the Business of Private Foreign Aid (Pluto, London 1996). For more information you can visit this webpage

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