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Civil Society in Authoritarian Settings

As governments in many African countries have embraced increasingly authoritarian policies in recent years, civil society groups have often suffered from increased scrutiny and harassment. Civil society regulations have posed obstacles for private groups seeking to organize. Media laws have made it harder for independent radio stations, newspapers, and website to carry out independent journalism. Yet members of women’s and youth organizations, human rights associations, and religious groups have also provided some of the strongest resistance to authoritarian backsliding across the continent. This panel will explore the dynamics of attempts by governments to control civil society and resistance by civil society groups.

Please email short abstracts to Timothy Longman (Boston University) longman@bu.edu by March 24.