Copenhagen ADI Conference 2016
8th annual international ADI conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative
University of Copenhagen 20-22 June 2016

Civil society in South Asia – a comparative approach

Conveners: Peter B. Andersen and Rubya Mehdi, Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies

During the recent years the frames of civil society in South Asia have changed in considerably under the impact of international as well as local developments. The World Bank has stressed that good governance may be strengthened by the inclusion of civil society organisations in the governmental development strategies. This has led the governments of South Asia to open for new kinds of interaction with civil society organisations. In India this has led to support for civil society organisations in rural development and alphabetisation whereas the Government of India has been reluctant to the interaction with other kinds of civil society organisations. In Pakistan the organisation of civil society has been dominated by the metropolitan bourgeoisie, with attempts to organise a full-fledged civil society. In all of the nations of South Asia liberal, democratic, religious and ethnic groups have worked for influence through the civil society in civil and sometimes un-civil ways. The panel invites papers on the changes of civil society over the years and papers which address the changes in actors and structures in civil society in South Asia.