African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 386

Full Length Research Paper

The State and civil society in Africa: A North African perspective

  Hamdy Abdel Rahman Hassan  
Political Science, Faculty of Economics and political Science, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt. Currently at Zayed university, Dubai.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 12 January 2009
  •  Published: 28 February 2009


The concept of civil society is one of the most controversial in cultural and political circles in both of the Arab and African Worlds. Yet, it did not receive the appropriate attention of both its advocates and its detractors, who consider it to be the product of an alien civilization. Furthermore, the concept of civil Society was misused for political purposes, as, for example, some North African States reverted to it in order to exclude the formations of political Islam. On the other hand, Arab movements of opposition and political dissent, resort to the same concept to entrench themselves against state oppression and authoritarianism.Thus this study is based on the premise that the existence of a real Civil Society, independent of both State and Family, and based on the concepts of civilization and tolerance, will lead to full integration on all national, regional and continental levels.


Key words: Civil society, The Arab world, Egypt, Tunisia.