Empowered Participation or Political Manipulation?
Rabab El-Mahdi, American University, Cairo
Latin America and the Middle East are two of the most important regions of the South and the world, yet they have hardly been studied comparatively in social sciences. This book attempts to fill this gap in the literature through a study of civil society-state relations in Bolivia and Egypt focusing on empowered participatory institutions. Not only are these institutions important in their own right in terms of the amount of resources allocated to them, but they are an important illustration of a rising model of governance and development based on state-civil society cooperation. The study not only helps us understand the nuanced relationship between state and citizen under neoliberalism, but also gives us insights into issues of major theoretical and practical importance, specifically the impact of social reform on processes of democratization, social inclusion, and equity.