Civil society dynamics: shaping roles, navigating contexts. The case of India

Wednesday 29 May 2019, 16:30 - 18:00
Spoken Language
International Institute of Social Studies
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Panel discussion at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) to investigate the (im)possibilities of the advocacy role played by civil society organizations.

The policy programme ‘Dialogue and Dissent’ of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs aims to strengthen the advocacy roles of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the South. 

Facilitation of this demands first and foremost to ‘start from the South’: acknowledging and linking up with existing civil society and its dynamics in a specific southern context. Research on civil society collaborations in India brings out three elements that take shape within context, and are crucial for CSOs to navigate while shaping their advocacy roles:

  • collaboration
  • representation
  • state-CSO interactions

This panel discussion is jointly organized by ISS, Wageningen University and Research, Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, Lehigh University (USA) and INCLUDE.

The discussion will focus on the (im)possibilities of CSOs to play their advocacy role and how they can be supported.


Margit van Wessel (Wageningen University and Research) - Introduction
B. Rajeshawari (Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi)- Autonomy and diversity in civil society collaborations
Suparana Katyaini (Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi) - Representing or mediating?: CSOs as go-betweens
Rita Manchanda (Consultant at South Asia Forum for Human Rights) - Push and shove: state and civil society interactions as relational dynamics

The discussion will be chaired by Dorothea Hilhorst.


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