Laws governing civil society organisations and their impacts on the democratization of a country: Ethiopia in case

Beyene, Tessema
(2015) Laws governing civil society organisations and their impacts on the democratization of a country: Ethiopia in case. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Democratization involves many important actors and institutions including vibrant civil society organisations (‘CSOs’), a free press, well organized and competitive political parties and an independent judiciary. Civil Society sector is one pillar that has contributed to the development and the democratization process of scores of countries by delegitimizing authoritarian regimes, generating social capital, empowering communities, building capacity of democratic institutions, and holding government to account. However at present, there is an on-going backlash against CSOs across the globe. The threats noticeably change from obvious direct repressions of CSOs and activists, to more elusive legal or quasi-legal obstacles that restrict the space in which CSOs operate.1 The legal barriers include barriers to entry to discourage or prevent the formation of CSOs; barriers to operation to restrict or ban advocacy and lobbying activities; and barriers to resources to restrict CSOs’ ability to secure fund required to pursue their purposes of formation.2 The thesis examines such legal impediments that restrict CSOs space of operation and their possible impact in the democratization process of a nation. It argues that any committed effort towards democratization demands an enabling legal framework that ensures freedom of association; facilitates CSOs formation and sustained existence; allows CSOs engagement in wider lawful purposes including the promotion of human rights and democracy; broadens CSOs access to resources; and regulates CSOs accountability. This thesis provides the first comprehensive assessment of the Ethiopian legal framework against such ideally enabling legal conditions. It does so in order to appraise the potential impacts of the legal framework on the democratic functions of CSOs operating in Ethiopia, and to suggest reforms so that those functions be better carried out to the advancement of the democratization process of the country.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Date: 2015-11-23 (completed)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 08:16
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2022 02:11
DOI: 10.17638/02038560